A proofreader is a vital part of the technological world. Proofreaders are employed to revise written work and correct any flaws; the skills of a proofreader are many, and if you wish to pursue this career then you must properly study and prepare yourself for it. You have to have a very good grasp of the language in which you are proofreading and likely will be required to have a significant number of qualifications and to have studied at a university of high reputation. You cannot get a career as a proofreader if your language or grammar is not very good. Read this guide and you will be on the road to becoming a successful proofreader!
A Keen Eye
Working as a proofreader requires the utmost determination and concentration. Proofreading is the most difficult and requires being detail oriented when looked at comparatively with other freelance writing jobs. When you are proofreading you must look for every single potential flaw and read every line ten times over. If you make a mistake, lose your concentration, or miss something, you could damage your reputation as a respectable proofreader, and you could seriously damage the author’s chances of succeeding with his project. When you are proofreading you should make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep and eat a healthy diet so that you can stay on top of your game and make sure you are functioning properly.
You should have, as aforementioned, a very healthy grasp of the language respective to your project; if you do not, there is little point in pursuing the project. The money may be good, but you are unlikely to ever get another project again in the future and will likely get terrible reviews.
You Must Be Motivated
Reading for extended periods when it is not creative writing or fictional, or just something you are not interested in, can become extremely laborious and seem more like a chore than a job. It is easy to grow very bored and weary of what you are reading, and it is easy to start skipping over and losing motivation. You must stay consistently determined and have a strong level of determination, otherwise you will not get the work done properly. Proofreading is one such career that requires an incredible amount of motivation otherwise you will find yourself making big mistakes.
You Must Exercise Good Judgement
When working as a proofreader you must exercise a very high level of judgement and make sure you do not change things unnecessarily. When you read somebody else’s writing it is very easy to pick up on lots of flaws and problems, but many times that can just be their style of writing, and by changing it you are making an error yourself by changing the way they intended the writing to be conveyed, which of course, is not something you want to do when you are being paid to proofread their work.
Work With The Author’s Style
If you do not see any serious errors or grammatical or spelling mistakes there is little point in changing or amending the perceived infraction. Oftentimes, many so-called ‘flaws’ are intentional, and the author may become offended or irritated if they are removed. This is very true in creative writing, as while non-fiction and more serious writing requires a different literary quality, fictional writing allows a writer to incorporate their style and grammatical tweaks into the content, for example: some authors choose to ‘misuse’ commas in creative writing to make their work more punchy and hard-hitting. It is very easy to become judgemental when reading other people’s work, but you are being employed to make changes that are necessary, not unnecessary.
As was mentioned in the previous paragraph you must connect with the author’s style. Being a proofreader means you must be able to match exactly with the particular writer’s specific style of writing; their style must become your own, otherwise your edits may not match the content itself. You must also identify with the author and be able to establish their quirks, as again was previously mentioned, so that you cannot decimate their work and gut it.
Being a proofreader is an awesome career and it can be a brilliant way to make some money. If you do want to go ahead and pursue a career as a proofreader it would be a good idea to adhere to the instructions listed in this guide so that you can be the best you can be and put out high-quality work.
You can find proofreading jobs on many freelancer websites, but check out the credibility of the agency before you start writing for them.