Today was one of the first days that I actually felt like I was making real progress in my life as an editor. I need to step back a bit to explain all of this, so excuse me while I reminisce.
Back when my whole desire to work as a journalist started, I was told that the most prestigious positions at the paper (at the time the junior high paper) were the editor's positions. I do understand now that they are merely different roles in the real world, but at the time the positions were given to the students who were responsible and good with the trades of an editor--grammar, spelling, style, tone, etc. So being as competitive as I was at that age, I set out to achieve this goal. I never made it though. There were some positive reasons; I was a good writer and an excellent interviewer. I was good at getting people to talk and was rarely intimidated by anyone. This made me perfect as a reporter. Still, there was the negative reason I was not promoted. I lacked the attention to detail that made a good editor. My editors loved what I had to say in my writing, but my work took, well, a lot of fine tuning.
Back to now. I started working seriously as an editor about two years ago. A number of people I knew needed help with books, articles, etc. I needed money, so that was that. I still was shaky on a number of concepts, but I made it through it all. Still I could tell that the same problem that was consistent through all my schooling, including college, was still there. I had no process that I followed to ensure that I did a complete edit. I lacked resources or methodology, and considering my background in science, I was appalled. So I sucked it up and went into a technical editing program to try to find a process or create one. Sure enough, in a program that focused on editing (my BS Journalism really only taught me how to write and research) they had a great process. *phew*
Today I set out to edit a rather large booklet. I knew where to start. I knew what problems I might find. I even knew to double check trademarks. It's so nice to have a process again.
BTW, I know that all of these entries probably have editing issues. I still can't edit my own work. :)