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What does editing really mean

What does editing really mean?

Most people have heard of "proofreading" or "copyediting," but editing comes in several flavours. This inventory should help you understand some of this language.

What is coaching?

Editors work not only with words, but with writers! Sometimes you just need someone in your corner to help you figure out what is working, what is not, and how to move forward with a writing project.  Coaching has been part of my practice with writers in all types of domains. Here’s how some of this works:

Conversations and email—to provide resource information; share my knowledge; ask meaningful questions about your plans/projects to clarify your goals and purpose; encourage and support you if you are uncertain; and suggest possible options.

Feedback comments in the manuscript—to highlight gaps, seek clarification, provide alternative wording, explain a revision, clarify the needs of particular sections

An editorial letter, whether brief or lengthy—for more complex or detailed comments, in which I explain my approach, key content concerns, and recommended larger revisions.

Demonstration—is a powerful tool, by “scaffolding” potential solutions that can show you the way forward and facilitate your insight, rather than just pointing out problems.

Accountability—regular meetings and/or deadlines to support your active progress towards completion.

Live coaching is another option: As writing is always particular, never abstract, live coaching sessions are most effective when oriented to an actual project or ongoing writing task. I encourage you to plan for several sessions (1 hour each) for continuity and follow-through with your project, but this is flexible, based on your time, energy, and resources.

what is coaching

What was your graduate research about?

Grad school changed my life! My research involved interviewing several people about movies that transformed their lives. Here’s the abstract for my rather long thesis, entitled Movies that Matter: Films, Personal Meaning-making, and the Narrative Self.

This research investigates innovative ways that the personal hermeneutic practices of select viewers were engaged through watching films. Taking a narrative inquiry approach, the analysis explores eight in-depth interviews through narrative identity theory (where personal identity is understood as “story”). I argue that people engage metaphorically with films in a manner that informs their personal stories, and that through this they accomplish several narrative tasks. I develop a typology that illustrates that people involve movies in everyday meaning-making to fulfill three increasingly complex desires: to feel better about their current life circumstances; to support themselves in moving forward in their lives; and to facilitate greater insight into what they believe their lives are about. This work draws on existing theory, and contributes to narrative identity theory and film reception studies by demonstrating that select viewers integrate films into their lives to maintain, develop, or enrich their narrative identities.

If you want to know even more, here’s a link to the full thesis on the University of Calgary digital repository.


What are the practical details of working with you?

Format and Timelines

I require your document in electronic form in MS Word, as I make all edits in track changes and provide comments and queries within the document. This keeps my work transparent, which is crucial: you're the writer, you get the final say.

Turnaround times depend on the size of the project and what's already waiting in my inbox. We can work together to sort out a timeline that meets your needs. 



The total project cost depends on the type of editing or writing you need, the length of the document(s), and your deadline. I typically charge by the hour, but usually provide an estimate of how long a project is likely to take, which will be adjusted to reflect the actual amount of work at the conclusion of the project.

For creative or book-length projects with the multi-phase process described here, I can give you a project quote.

  • Wordcount: This is the best metric for size, since the page count is affected by various layout aspects: margin width, font size, line spacing, position of headings, use/integration of graphics, and so forth. 

  • Rush rate: If you need something done in a hurrybut I have to work evenings/weekends and/or set aside other planned work to fit in your project—this applies.

  • Graduate students:  If this is you, I'll give you a slightly reduced rate for your academic projects.

practicl details
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