I wrote this during graduation week at the University where I still worked part time at the time, and that’s a time of year I have always loved. The expectation, the joy of the families, the relief that the hard work is over. And during the past couple of years there’s been the added pleasure of knowing that some of the people whose dissertations and theses I’ve proof-read are among those happy bands of people throwing their hats into the air on the library steps at my University and at various campuses around the country.
It’s not just the students, either. OK, I also had a lovely email from a client whose English I’ve been helping throughout her Master’s year. She’s nearly finished her dissertation, it isn’t half bad, her written English has improved hugely as she’s worked hard through the year, and I’m proud of what she’s achieved – and she appreciates the care I’ve put into my work with her.
But I’m also proud of the novelists who get their precious words in print, whether in a “tree book” or electronically. I enjoy working with people who struggle with their writing, whether English isn’t their first language or they face issues like dyslexia, and bringing their words and meaning to life with them. And I’m always excited to see my name on an acknowledgements page in a book! I get a real thrill from opening a favourite magazine and seeing a journalist’s article which they’ve created from the bare bones of an interview I’ve transcribed for them – but I’m also pleased when I help someone with a transcription that is never going to see the light of day anywhere but in a research paper.
I get pleasure from seeing my corporate clients grow their businesses with the help of blogs and press releases I have written. They are so proud of the work they do, and I love the fact that I can fill in some of the areas in which they might not be so confident. I don’t think I’ll stop being pleased when I see the words I’ve written filling someone else’s website, helping them climb up the search engine rankings and representing their voice as well as I can – even though there won’t be a credit to me on the website and sometimes I don’t even tell anyone I’ve written it!
I also love helping other entrepreneurs and organisations, both formally through helping out at the Social Media Surgeries and more informally at Entrepreneurs’ meetings in coffee shops and the Social Media Cafe every month. It’s great meeting other people with such enthusiasm and drive, and wonderful to share ideas, tips and hints, in a spirit of collaboration rather than competition. As part of that, I’m really enjoying putting together the interviews I’ve been posting on Saturdays for the past few weeks.
I became a librarian because I wanted to help people and benefit society in some way. As I transition away from my library career and more and more into Libro’s world, I am happy to say that I feel I’m helping people and benefiting them and, yes, society, perhaps more than in my library work. Libro turns two in August, and I will continue to work in a way that I feel is both comfortable (most of the time – a few challenges along the way make it more fun!) and ethical, and, well … I love doing what I do!
Libro offers copyediting, copy writing, proof-reading, transcription and typing services to other small businesses, individuals and corporations. Click on the links to find out more!
July 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm
It really is great to find work that feels right. I’m glad you’ve found your niche, Liz.
I don’t have the patience you obviously must have to work with people who struggle in English. I did some editing work of that type when I lived in ex-Yugoslavia, but it used to drive me nuts!
Fortunately, I’ve found my element in translation. Most of the time I really enjoy the work. The exceptions are when I have to work overnight to meet a deadline….
…. and when I have to edit poor translations done by others *grin*
Liz at Libro
July 28, 2011 at 5:10 am
Thanks for your comments, Krys. I find it interesting to see the common things that crop up in particular native languages and it’s like a puzzle, working out how to say things best.
I’m glad you have your niche too, and I envy you being able to do it full time!
July 29, 2011 at 11:19 am
It’s fantastic that you love what you do, you obviously have a passion for it and I think that really helps with getting more work. I deal with a lot of small businesses and see that there are many differences between success and failure, but one of the most striking is passion. It is difficult to maintain that level for long periods of time, but it obviously helps if you like what you do.
Liz at Libro
July 29, 2011 at 11:48 am
Thanks for your comment, Nick. I was enjoying doing this kind of work long before I set up Libro, so hopefully the passion for what I do will stay for a lot longer!
July 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm
Wow I cannot believe that Libro is nearly 2 already – congratulations on how you have made it grow. It is lovely to see that you are still enjoying it.
I think the comparison with what you do as a librarian is really apt.
Liz at Libro
July 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm
Thank you Kate – the comparison hadn’t really struck until I was helping out at a training session at the library and realising the general point of the two lines of work is very similar!
August 2, 2011 at 9:34 am
I love what I do – whenever I talk about what I do to my friends or family I can’t help but talk really quickly and go off on tangents that are often only interesting to me. I firmly believe that to be able to deliver to the highest level you have to love what you do.
Liz at Libro
August 2, 2011 at 9:35 am
Thanks for your comment! I do this too – especially if someone asks me about something technical to do with my work … off I go!