Want to become your own boss? What would life be like if you didn’t answer to anyone but yourself? Calling the shots gives you a level of freedom and flexibility that many dream of. You can do things like take time off whenever you want, set your own schedule, spend more time with family, rest — basically, you get to choose how you work and live!
Having this kind of work-life balance is possible if you’re willing to put in the necessary work. The key is to find something you’re passionate about that you can turn into a business. One person who has discovered the joys of being her own boss is Maria Arana.
Maria is a former teacher who took her passion for reading to create a successful editing business. It has brought meaning and joy to her, and she loves working with words all day! Keep reading to see how Maria’s decision to pursue freelance editing has changed her life.
Hi Maria! Can you tell us about yourself?
Yes! I was a big reader growing up. When I got into teaching, I instilled the same love in my students. We read different versions of books, such as Cinderella and The Little Turnip.
I still am an avid reader. If the topic is well-written and interests me, you will find books by my bedside, all ready to be devoured.
From what I told you already, you know I studied to be a teacher. I taught Kindergarten and First Grade for many years. I used to include the writing process in my lessons. The Kindergarteners went from one word to a whole story by the end of the year! It was amazing.
After a few misfortunes, I became a substitute teacher (which isn’t the same as having your class). Then, I helped with my mother’s care. I still do, and that’s what led me to start my own business working from home.
How long have you been running your editorial business for?
It’s been a year since I started my own editorial business. I’m so glad I took your course [High-Level Proofreading Pro]. The lessons helped put me on the right track, especially on organizing and the guidelines necessary before taking on a client.
What made you decide to be your own boss and start an editing business?
I had applied to many teaching positions, but misfortune continued to follow me, especially when they saw the price tag attached to having a master’s and two credentials.
I love learning, so I researched jobs for ex-teachers. Editing was on the list. I’ve always proofread my father’s letters and assisted my sisters in their schoolwork. I even made sure their e-mails were sent error-free to important individuals.
When I taught, other teachers would ask for me to look over their content, and I loved helping children build their writing skills. All this came in handy when I joined a poetry critique group and a writing critique group. I guess I’ve always had an inkling for editing. =)
You started your career in editorial with proofreading and copyediting, and now you’ve expanded into line editing. What made you decide to grow your business?
I love learning! Line editing seemed like the next logical step in providing services to my clients that would help them achieve clean and standout content. Manipulating text and analyzing its effectiveness is something I enjoy. What better way to get a writer to view their content in a way that would send it to the moon?
What do you like best about running your own editorial business?
I like helping the writer grow strong and more confident with their writing. The discovery of varied topics to learn from and providing my services to help others create the best content possible is another reason.
I also like the idea that I can work around caring for my mother and my pets.
Can you tell us about your editorial business?
Arana Editing Services is my editorial business. I work on all kinds of content such as articles, blog posts, self-help books, autobiographies, poetry chapbooks, fantasy, children’s fiction, and more! I guess a little of everything because I read poetry, fiction, and nonfiction myself.
I’m inclined to call what I do part-time. At the moment, I’m my own boss and employee. My sister is a reference when I have questions about Spanish content.
How has being your own boss impacted your life?
Starting my own editorial business has impacted my life. It has brought meaning and joy that I thought I had lost. I’m back in the driver’s seat!
Did our course, High-Level Proofreading Pro, prepare you for working as a freelance proofreader and copy editor?
The High-Level Proofreading pro course gave me the confidence to be a freelance [proofreader and copy editor]. The lessons and scripts were a springboard to the different content you come across.
How did The Art of Line Editing prepare you for working as an editor?
The Art of Line Editing prepared me for working as an editor for the [publishing] company I am with now. It provided the tools and helped with the language used.
To learn how you can start a proofreading and copyediting business, we have a free beginner’s masterclass to get you started. Click here to watch it now.
Want to learn how you can grow your editorial business with line editing? Sign up for our FREE 3-day editing course, Line Editing 101.
What advice do you have for people who want to get into proofreading and editing?
Go for it! It takes time to land a client or find a company or publisher who would take you on, but don’t give up. Most of all, own up to your skills and abilities. Make connections and be kind.
Can you give us a peek at what your typical day is like?
It’s very hard for me to give you a day-to-day routine. Morning activities are dictated by the length of time it takes to help my mom or take her to doctors. My dog was recently diagnosed with cancer, and both take a chunk of my time.
If I have an hour or two before lunch, I take it and work on editing. If I have an hour or two after lunch, I do the same while trying to squeeze in social media. In the afternoon or evening, I continue this pattern until I get enough work done.
The key is to focus on the work when I’m there, which is a lot of fun and I take it seriously. This is someone’s creation and I aim to help them make it stronger.
On Saturday, I try to work on my novel. On Sunday, I try to write posts for my blog, social media, and newsletter.
About Maria Arana
Arana Editing Services provides beta reading, developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Check it out here. Maria is also a freelance editor for The Urban Writers and a developmental editor at Gatekeeper Press. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.