Admitting my Passion
I'm passionate about my role: assisting authors to improve their writing styles through my partnership with them in the editing process. I have extensive experience in working one-on-one with academics and research higher degree students (both face-to-face and by distance), and thoroughly enjoy helping them work towards achieving their academic publishing goals. I'm equally happy to assist authors of non-academic texts.
To more fully explain the reason for my passion, it may help for me to reveal a few things about my past.
Revealing my Past
As someone who came to university studies a little later in life, I suffered from anxiety about my ability to succeed in my studies and attain my goal of an education degree qualification. When completing my application for enrolment, I had been informed by well-meaning others that I would be competing for a university place against students who had only recently graduated from college (grade 12 in the Tasmanian education system). As a result, I believed that these college graduates would have academic skills that would show me up for the "poor student" I had been during my high school years, according to my history teacher's damning report of my scholarship. I was particularly concerned about the quality of my academic writing. At that time (1999), I hadn't written an essay in over 20 years, and I had no confidence in my ability to structure an academic text.
I nervously handed in my first essay assignment. And waited. And worried. I was terrified that I would have my high school history teacher's assessment of my (lack of) ability confirmed. I was scared that I'd have to admit my failure to teachers and parents at the school where I'd previously worked as a teacher's aide. So, when my essay was finally handed back to me I was completely dumbfounded to discover that I had achieved a high distinction; the highest grade. Such a result just did not seem possible to me.
Following this initial success, I continued to spend hours and hours and hours researching, writing, and re-writing each of my assignments, totally focussed on my academic pursuits and neglecting lots of other things in my life in the process. In four years, I didn't miss one lecture or tutorial. I paid attention to every detail of my lecturers' and tutors' teachings. I was scared I'd miss something important; something that would make a difference to my goal: to be the best teacher I could be. I slogged at my computer into the early hours of every morning, and spent every weekend studying. I was a complete study-aholic; I was still terrified that I'd be found out for the fraud I felt I must be. But my academic success continued, which is unsurprising (to me now) given the intensity with which I pursued my goal!
Despite my success, one of the hardest things I had to do at university was to submit my writing – numerous essays and both honours and doctoral thesis drafts and final documents over a 10-year period – to lecturers, tutors, research supervisors, and examiners for their assessment and/or feedback on the quality of my thought processes and my ability to articulate these at an appropriate academic level. A lecturer friend recognised my anxiety, despite clear evidence of my academic success, as the "impostor syndrome." I found some literature on this syndrome, and "fear-of-failure," and realised that my brain was playing tricks on me. I'm sure that being a perfectionist was at the root of my issues. I felt sure I would never be "good enough" (what does that even mean?). I put my experience to use, writing a paper in which I outed myself as an academic impostor and presenting it at a research conference.
Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, I realise that I had completely discounted my many years of valuable work experience in a variety of secretarial and office administration roles, as well as in a school, including work: as a legal secretary, in a tourism venture in New Zealand, as sole office-person in a land surveying business, as a partner in a mechanical engineering business overseeing all office-related tasks, and as a teacher's aide in an early childhood classroom. I had the necessary skills (and determination) to succeed ... but I lacked confidence in my ability; I needed to believe in myself.
I've come a long way since that time. My university success, five years as the assistant editor for an international music education research journal, and work as editorial assistant in the production of four edited books on music and research were foundational in expanding both my ability and my self-confidence. I've proven that I can not only write my own copy, but also copy-edit others' writing and assist them to enhance their writing skills. And I enjoy doing it. It's that simple.
Why am I telling you all this? You may be feeling anxious about submitting your writing for editing or proofreading. Now you know that I've also experienced anxiety at the thought of entrusting others with my writing; I've been "in your shoes" and can empathise with any anxiety you may be feeling. I hope that by sharing some of my story with you, you'll feel able to trust me with your writing.
I look forward to using my skills to assist you to produce your best writing.