You have decided to be a writer, and now you want to know what is the best way to get you prepared for a career once you leave college. Freelancing online for content writing, blog writing, and essay writing services can bring in lots of extra cash, but the best way to know the ins and out of the writing business is to become an editor of the colleges paper or magazine.
The editor is exposed to every level of writing that comes into the copy office. You would be responsible for reviewing proposals and drafts, planning, coordinating and editing the content of what gets published.
Instead of just one genre of writing, becoming the editor in college will help you become a broader writer with exposure to more than general literature. It is beneficial to write technical and scientific papers, and as they come across your desk as you edit them; you will learn the formatting of this type of writing as well as some technical terms that you would not normally have been exposed to.
Opportunities After Graduation
Anyone can write, but not everyone is a writer. As you study your courses, the job as the college magazine editor will be the catapult to your writing career. When you are able to put the experience on your CV, it will open doors to the jobs you will be qualified for after graduation. Maintaining this position is equivalent to an apprenticeship as a professional editor.
Books, Articles, and more Books
As an editor of the college magazine, you will be sent articles to read all the time, but when you acquire the dream job in a publishing company, there will be books to read, and more books. Your love of words will be appreciated as a book/magazine/article editor. This is definitely the place for a bibliophile. You can even call for submissions if you don’t think you have enough to read, but as an editor that is simply not going to happen.
Ability to Choose Your Genre
After spending time as the college editor you will definitely know what types of books and articles that you do not like to read. If you hate science fiction you will have the option of passing this type of reading on to a colleague that likes to read it. By the time you get out of college you will not be expected to know about everything you read but at least you will have much more exposure than those that did not use the time in college to write or edit.
Your Importance to the Writer
Every writer, no matter how good they think they are, needs an editor. You will always be in demand when you can tighten up a manuscript for an author that has spent years bringing their book to the publishing stage. You will be able to give them eyes that friends and relatives will not. An editor will be looking for the details and that is what you will be paid for.
College Will Train Your Eye
Many students that want to be editors for the college magazine will likely have to go through different aspects of editing that require different skillsets before being placed in the editor position. You will be better trained at the college paper that taking on an apprenticeship in an outside publishing house that may use you for free labor for 3-4 months and still not teach you any editing. In the college magazine offices, you will be learning the following skills:
a. Acquiring editors: work directly with the author in the developmental stage of the manuscript and are concerned mainly with structure.
b. Working along with the acquiring editor sometimes is a line editor, but they don’t work as close to the author. They look through the writing but not as deep.
c. The Copy Editor: Their focus is on the flow of the article or manuscript. They want to ensure consistency.
d. Proofreaders: Finally, the proofreading position. This position is last and will not allow a book to be published without all the bells and whistles of grammar, style, and formatting in place.
You Get to Help Authors
Editors love to help authors do their best work, and as a college editor you will be working with your peers. These are new writers like yourself just starting out in the publishing world. These future number one bestselling authors may just end up being your clients for the rest of their lives. The networking in the college magazine offices is a gold mine for future writers. Many new writers see their by-line for the first time in this magazine or paper, and as the editor you will definitely make sure your by-line is published.
In House Work
The advantage that you will have when taking on college to get your BA degree is the acquiring of jobs outside of freelancing. A freelance writer who wants to go about editing, and is able to find work, can do so without a degree, but when you go into publishing houses looking for a position as an editor, they are going to hire those that have spent the time pursuing a degree in this field. English is not an easy degree to obtain, and neither is journalism.
Your Reading will Improve
There is a ton of reading involved in the editing process. A publishing house knows that if you took the time to get an English degree, you are a true grammarian, and will be an editor that has honed their critical research eye while in college. The more you read the better your eye for research will become. You will learn to read faster and smarter.
You Typing Will Improve
No more one-finger typing will haunt your hands. You may have taken a typing class in school, but when you become and editor for your college paper or magazine your speed will pick up and the mistakes will become less and less. Before you know it you will have finished typing papers in half the time it used to take you. You will not depend on your software programs to fix as many errors while you are working. You will become increasingly aware of your own errors and will auto correct them mentally as you go along.
Becoming an editor and writer will help you start your own business if this is your career goal. Follow websites that give information on what the top writers in the industry are doing with the technology that is available on the market today. Every day look up what book publishers and e-zines are up too, and find sites that cater to writing and editing. These websites lead to job opportunities and have tutorials on how to further your career. Write on!