New Year reflections
As the last few days of December draw to a close I like to pause and reflect on the past year and make some plans – I don’t call them resolutions – for the new year ahead.
Throughout the year I like to keep a record of the number of words I have proofread or edited. The total increases every year, and as I always read every text at least twice it is only a small amount of the number of words I have actually proofread or edited during the year. This year the grand total stands at 1,500,151 – I’m so pleased I achieved the one and a half million target. This year I have read dissertations and theses on a wide range of subjects, from arbitration law (a very popular topic) to petroleum chemistry, and from social work practices to classical literature. I’ve also reviewed hundreds of CVs and letters – I do hope that the jobseekers were successful, and some fascinating business reports, conference transcriptions and websites.
I’m always at amazed at the number of books my fellow editors read for pleasure. Where do they find the time? This year I have deliberately set aside time for reading – I aim for thirty minutes a day, much more if I can manage to wangle a day off. Spending so much time in front of the screen, I really don’t like to read on an electronic device, so although I’ve got a Kindle – one of the very first, in fact – I rarely use it. There’s no substitute for the look, smell and feel of a book. I’ve not actually kept a record, but I reckon I’ve read about twenty-two books. It might sound a bit pretentious, but most of the books I read are in French. This is one of the reasons why the ‘To Be Read’ pile does not go down quite as fast as a pile of English novels. It’s a great way to improve, increase your vocabulary and I actually enjoy it. I’m now pretty much up to the same reading speed as in English and rarely stop to look up words, so the practice obviously works. I’d recommend it to anyone learning another language.
Plans for the New Year
I hope that next year I won’t buy any more desks! This year I have tried three different styles. I’m hoping that the final choice, my Christmas present – an Ikea Bekant sit-stand desk – will prove to be the correct choice at last. It’s early days yet as I’ve only been using it for a week but my back does certainly seem to be less stiff and sore by the end of the day. I’ll do a full report later in the year.
This year has seen a few changes as I re-branded my business as Liz Brown Editing, to reflect more accurately the type of work I do. I also launched this blog, which I thoroughly enjoy writing, and took the plunge with Twitter. If you’re reading this and not already connected please join me on Twitter, Facebook, G+ or LinkedIn. My plans for 2016 are to continue the academic editing and proofreading that I love, pursue a couple of courses via my membership of the Society of Editors and Proofreaders and get to grips with German. Whatever your plans for 2016 I wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year.