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Book Review: Life without Envy by Camille DeAngelis

 

(St. Martin’s Press, 2016)

Life without Envy by Camille DeAngelis

By Michelle Waitzman

Camille DeAngelis is a novelist whose career has had its ups and downs. Like many writers, she often found herself battling self-doubt, jealousy, bitterness, and frustration. She decided that it was time to re-examine her beliefs about herself and her career and, most importantly, to examine her ego and how it was affecting her professional life.

Life without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People will resonate mainly with readers who consider themselves “creators” (authors, poets, visual artists, musicians, etc.). Although it is written from the point of view of a writer, and most of the examples in the book revolve around writing, it addresses common problems with working in any profession where success and failure are often subjective and where both praise and criticism are taken very personally.

Editors may find that this book is not really targeted to them unless they also have a writing career or aspire to have one. Nonetheless, some of the examples are likely to ring true. As an editor, it’s easy to feel envy or frustration after working for months to shape and improve a book, only to see all of the praise and credit for its success go to the author (whose work may not have succeeded without you). Also, many editors suffer from “imposter syndrome,” which is a feeling that you are only pretending to know how to do your job (despite the fact that you are actually well-qualified) and believe that you will be caught out and exposed. (more…)

Getting to know you

Speed Networking

By Ghozt Tramp via Wikimedia Commons

By Michelle Waitzman

The new year started with a bang for the Toronto branch’s monthly program. The first event of 2017 dispensed with the usual presenter–audience format and devoted the evening to speed networking.

Nearly 20 participants paired off to get acquainted for seven to eight minutes at a time. Icebreaker questions were provided for anyone who was uncomfortable striking up a conversation out of the blue. At the end of each session, everyone found a new partner and began again. This cycle repeated six times, and participants were then invited to stick around to continue their conversations after the official networking ended. I spoke to some of the participants at the beginning of the evening about what they were hoping to get out of the session.

For University of Toronto student Rosie, the event was an opportunity to explore editing as a career option. She is not yet an Editors Canada member, but she has been doing some editing work for her fellow students and may want to continue editing after graduation.

Adrineh recently joined Editors Canada on the recommendation of one of her editing instructors at Ryerson. Adrineh currently works in corporate communications and she’s taking courses to hone her editing skills. She wanted to meet people who had made the leap to full-time careers in editing. (more…)

Book review: See Also Deception, by Larry D. Sweazy

(Released May 2015)

By Vanessa Wells

Book review: See Also Deception, by Larry D. Sweazy

Full disclosure: I have never been into murder mysteries. No early Nancy Drews, no later Agatha Christies—frankly, I just felt like I would never be able to figure the mystery out and would feel kinda dumb, so I never embraced the genre. The only reason I was interested in the Marjorie Trumaine books by Larry D. Sweazy was that I’d heard they were written by and about an indexer.

I was a little skeptical about how the second book of the mystery series, See Also Deception, could pick up with a new murder only months after those of the first, but this fell by the wayside once I cracked open the book. In a nutshell, our newbie-sleuth heroine cannot accept that her librarian friend has committed suicide, and her indexer-character tenacity leads her to work the details of the case that are missed by the police. Fortunately, foreshadowing is well handled and carries the reader’s interest rather than handing over the solution to the murder on a silver platter. This is perhaps due to Sweazy’s writing habit of working organically and without complete pre-outlining, which lets the story unfold for himself as much as for his audience.

In his acknowledgments, the author says, “Indexing, like writing, is a job best done in isolation.” In See Also Deception, he has again succeeded in creating an atmosphere that highlights the protagonist’s isolation, both physical and psychological, despite the constant presence of her invalid husband and her community of Dickinson, North Dakota. The bleak feeling also works for the character and plot development that he tantalizingly creates for the reader. (more…)

Freelancing: Dressing up for the occasion

By Vanessa Wells

Freelancing: Dressing up for the occasion

Two years ago, Whitney Matusiak offered some good advice on BoldFace about wardrobe considerations for freelancers. Today I’m going to sing the praises of dressing up for working (mostly) at home. I am amazed at those who work in their jammies. Amazed in wonder, not judgment. The only things I can accomplish in my nightwear are scrolling through Facebook and drinking my first coffee.

My POV is about preparation, discipline, and focus. I am hyper-organized. I love lists. They are my modus operandi for life and work. In order to be productive, though, I must be “ready for my day,” and the physical must precede the psychological. (See the first point on Emma Gannon’s blog post about being self-employed.) (more…)

The resumé, every which way: It’s a hustle

By Berna Ozunal

The resumé, every which way: It’s a hustle

In this four-part series, I’ve been looking at how to prepare an editor’s resumé. First I talked about some micro matters. Then I talked about how to present yourself on a resumé for editing work—the main take away from that was to not describe yourself as a hybrid candidate if it’s not a hybrid role. Next I talked about language and advised you not to provide information that can lead to bias and not to include humdrum, untrue, or irrelevant information.

Well, here’s the thing: The world is changing faster than anyone can type. An article in Fast Company claims that cover letters are dead. I suspected as much: I think they’re in their death throes, but some employers are still stubbornly demanding them. Either way, this is good! Now we can focus on the resumé. You have to tailor it for each job you’re going after. Gone are the days of blitzing everybody with the same resumé. In this post, I want to talk about structure, and structure is inextricably linked with content.

Start over

If you are an editor looking for work these days, I would refrain from taking the easy route and dusting off or sprucing up a previous resumé. Start over. Do your research. There are multitudes of knowledgeable people writing about job search tools. Your resumé should reflect you, and there is room on it to provide a holistic picture of yourself. For example, for editors who don’t specialize, being a generalist in the knowledge department can be a plus. If you have multiple degrees, have travelled extensively, or have worked in diverse industries, again, this is a good foundation. But just plopping it on your resumé in list form or as an add-on is what I’d advise against. It all has to work together to support your case for why you’re the best editor for the job. I’ve seen impressive “YOLO” resumés—about people who’ve climbed Kilimanjaro or marched with the penguins—but they did not explain how these life experiences would be valuable to the organization or contribute to success in the role. It is impressive in and of itself, yes. But if you can’t tie it into the I-am-the-best-editor-for-this-job story in a way that is not stilted or obvious, leave it out. (more…)