A Little Bit About Me

A Little Bit About Me

296_Julie_at_RWA_2014_origMy mother taught me to type one summer when I was 11 years old. As a single mom who also ran a court reporting business, she didn’t have time to entertain me during school breaks, nor was there money in those days to send me to summer camp. (I suppose it was also a way to keep me occupied for a few weeks.) She gave me a manual and sat me down at a spare typewriter. And I learned to type.

But she had another goal in mind. She wanted to give me something I could “fall back on” to make a living. In high school I transcribed for court reporters in her office. In college I typed term papers. When I moved to New York after college, people told me I’d be pounding the pavement for a long time, but I had a job at Random House within two weeks because I could type.

Before computers were a household item, I operated a typing and word processing service. Editing was part of the work, though I didn’t really capitalize on it, nor did I think I was doing anything unusual when I edited, proofread, and formatted during my various careers as a paralegal, business owner, and administrative assistant.

Typing blended well with my aptitude for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I’m good at what I love to do (editing, proofreading, and formatting fiction and creative nonfiction), and I always strive to be better. I’ll verify anything I’m not sure of, and I know how to let the writer’s voice come through. Because I have lived in different parts of the U.S., I understand quirks of dialogue and know how to let them breathe on the page.

I continually refresh my editing skills by attending editors’ and writers’ conferences, and I’m always learning new technical skills. I’m a big fan of Lynda. com! In fact, I learned the basics of interior design through Lynda.com, and I refer to its training videos whenever I run into a technical problem with Word, InDesign, or other software programs.

Learning to type was the beginning of my working life. I never imagined it would lead to a professional life as an editor, proofreader, and book designer.