Interviews conducted by Jessica de Bruyn.
Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.
This month, we are honoured to be joined by Ellen Keeble and Raya P. Morrison. Meet them in person at this month’s program meeting on February 25.
What skills, other than writing and editing, do you think help most when you’re marketing yourself online?
Ellen: This isn’t really a skill, but I think a lot of people try to ride whatever wave is trendy and they spread themselves too thin. They might also put themselves on platforms that don’t reach their intended audience. I would say resist the urge to do everything. Focus on what you can do well, and make sure your audience (clients) will find you there.
And if we’re talking about working online as an editor, you need to be flexible. The rules change constantly. You can’t get stuck in what worked last year, last month, or last week. You need to be able (and willing) to adapt.
Raya: Nowadays, people really want to see that you know SEO. You also need to be flexible and comfortable with modern slang and emojis and know how to use them correctly (especially if you’re in marketing). At the end of the day, though, I think that being confident in your abilities and showing that you know what you’re talking about are the most important things, whether you’re reaching out to people online or in person.
What online indulgence (cat videos, memes, social media) can get you sucked into an online vortex?
Ellen: My current obsession is Japanese crane machine games. You can play these remotely online. When I need to reset my brain, I will watch other people play for prizes I want to win to learn their strategies.
This is my favourite of my wins so far. This was less skill and more dumb luck, but I’ll take it.
Raya: I try to stay away from these kinds of distractions—I even have timers for Instagram and YouTube set on my phone. But if there is anything that would suck me in, it’s actor/director interviews. I’m a big movie buff.
If you weren’t working as an editor, what career could you see yourself pursuing?
Ellen: I need to be in a role where I am learning something new every day. Journalism and editing have served me well so far. It’s hard to imagine doing anything else.
Raya: I had another career (as a web developer) and spent years trying to figure out why I wasn’t happy in a field that was booming at the time. After discovering my passion and talent for editing, I don’t think I would trade it for anything in the world. Okay, but if I *really* had to choose, I would become a full-time tarot reader.
More about our speakers
Ellen Keeble is a Toronto-based journalist and editor. In her current role as Trends Editor for Microsoft Bing, she creates and curates comprehensive landing page experiences for users. She also volunteers regularly for Editors Canada national committees as a print designer.
Raya P. Morrison is a Toronto-based editor, writer, and tarot reader. She specializes in short fiction, non-fiction, marketing, and magazines. She is the communications chair for Editors Toronto and the webmaster for the Editors Canada conference committee. She is also the editor-in-chief of the local literary journal Blood & Bourbon.