Last week, I had the unique experience of completing my first proofreading project. The opportunity came about via the website Upwork – a treasure trove of freelancing opportunities perfect for people like me who are traveling, have some extra time, or just living that freelance life.
I applied to the opportunity not really expecting much. Though I’m a pretty avid reader and still consider myself a young adult (two things that the author was looking for), I had very little (read: zero) experience with proofreading. The closest thing I could share when applying was my experience with editing – some professional, some personal. Regardless, though, I got the assignment.
I’m not sure if I should say much about the book itself, so I won’t. Instead, I just wanted to write a bit about the experience.
Normally, I’m reading simply for pleasure, but in this case I needed to read with a more critical lens. I was thinking about the story as a whole, the character development, and if each chapter made sense in the flow of the story. I was looking for lines that were forced, sections of texts that were unnecessary, and ways to improve the story. And, even though all of these things were going through my mind, I was still trying to read for pleasure. Ultimately, I realized that I was reading to see if this story was one that was, simply put, good, entertaining, and something that others would also want to pick up and read.
I was a bit nervous that reading with this proofreading lens wouldn’t end up being an enjoyable experience, or that it would somehow make me enjoy reading less, but neither of these were true. I found that I was able to read critically while stil reading for pleasure. I quickly realized that focusing more on reading for fun was the best way to go about the process – reading through the text naturally helped any oddities jump out even quicker.
If you haven’t ever had the chance to proofread someone’s work, you should give it a try. I found it to be a fun experience and hope to do it again. Plus, in this case, I made a couple of bucks doing it – which makes it even better.