Expert book editor and coach Tara Whitaker joins me on this episode to discuss all things editing! She covers the different types of editing, how to get training and support, the steps you should take first before you start your business, and the importance of being part of a community and sharing kindness in order to be a successful editor.

Curious about editing and if it’s the right new side hustle for you? Listen in!

Resources and links

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to invest in YOU by listening to this episode! Please hit subscribe so you catch every episode — and share with anyone needing encouragement or curious about starting their proofreading side hustle too.

Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandoraStitcheriHeartRadio

Intro: This is The Proofreading Business Podcast with Elizabeth Wiegner. For more, visit TheProofreadingBusinessCoach.com.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Welcome to another episode of The Proofreading Business Podcast. And today, I have a wonderful guest on. I am so excited for you to meet Tara Whitaker. She is -- besides being just an absolutely wonderful person -- I have known Tara for -- I guess I should have added this up before the podcast -- five, six years. Seven? I don’t know.

Tara Whitaker: 2017.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh wow. Okay, so math.

Tara Whitaker: Math. Six?

Elizabeth Wiegner: Since -- yeah, all right.

Tara Whitaker: We’ll go with that.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I’m impressed you knew the date. That -- we connected over our love of proofreading, and we just hit it off and have worked together and been friends, and it’s just been wonderful. So you are going to love hearing Tara today because she’s going to talk, not about proofreading. She’s going to talk about editing because that is Tara’s niche. She -- I’m not an editor, so Tara is going to talk about what -- usually when you hear editing, you think proofreading.

So she’s going to talk about the differences, the different types of editing, how to know if you’d be a good editor, how to get training for it, all the good stuff. Tara is the expert. Like if anybody is like, oh, I need an editor, Tara is the first person I think of. So, Tara, if you’d like to introduce yourself, kind of share your background, how you got into editing, and we’ll kick it off.

Tara Whitaker: I don’t know how to follow up that lovely introduction, but thank you. I’m so happy to be here. Like Elizabeth said, we’ve known each other for -- we’ll just go with six years.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I like it.

Tara Whitaker: I, like a lot of proofreaders and editors, do not have a straight path to where I’m at today. I went to college for marketing, which we’ll talk about later, that you don’t need a college degree to edit, but I’m going ahead of myself. But I went that route and worked in corporate and decided that was not the life for me.

So in September of 2012, I started my editing business as a side hustle and quickly moved it to full time in February of 2013. So I lasted a whole, what, five or six months as a side hustle and then had just wanted to get out of my full-time job. And here we are, what, 10+ years later, and like Elizabeth said, I am an editor, although proofreading is part of the editing process.

But now I’m mostly focused on copyediting. My background is all the different types of editing and proofreading. I’ve edited cookbooks, and they’re back there, cookbooks and travel guides and nonfiction and fiction and everything. But I really specialize in romance and crime thrillers, suspense, copyediting, and proofreading now. So that is the very short version of how I got to where I am today.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I love that you didn’t last very long in your side hustle. Now, some people keep it as a side hustle, and that’s perfect.

Tara Whitaker: For sure.

Elizabeth Wiegner: But you were like, you know what? This -- and you live in Chicago, so you had quite the commute.

Tara Whitaker: I did. It wasn’t terrible, but thinking about it now, absolutely not, no thank you. But at the time, I graduated college, and I’m this big city girl. I’m on the train doing my commute, and I’m hot stuff, and then year on the train with no air conditioner in July, packed in with people, or it’s delayed and you lose that romantic vision very quickly. So working from home is for me. It’s just a better fit.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I did the same thing. I started out proofreading, and then when I got married, I was like, you know what? Everybody is talking about the corporate life. I’m going to work in a cubicle or -- for some reason, I just felt like that was the big girl thing to do, and you’re very right. It’s -- quickly that faded to oh, no. This is not it.

Tara Whitaker: This is so not it. If I wanted to hear someone clipping their nails at their desk, I could just stay at home. The things that you see in a corporate setting in cubicles is just mind blowing. And I’m -- I don’t take -- how do I say this? I don’t like having a boss. I don’t like being told what to do, which sounds terrible. But if I want to work 8 to 2 or 6 to 1 or whatever, I will do that and use what my internal schedule and what I do best at the timeframes that I like to do them, not the strict 9-to-5. Oh my gosh, don’t take a lunch break. Don’t take a bathroom -- it’s not -- it’s just not it.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And you have kids, so you can work around. I know like on your stories on Instagram, sometimes you’ll be like, they’re sick home, and so my whole day planned is now rearranged. But you can -- you always say it’s frustrating, but I love your focus on the positive of, but I am able to be there for them.

Tara Whitaker: Yes, and I started my business way before any of that. I wasn’t married. I didn’t have a house. I did not have kids and loved the flexibility then. But then after having two small children who constantly get sick, and there’s always something, I cannot imagine not having the flexibility that this business provides with having two kids. It’s just -- or not even just kids. We all have lives. We all have things that we love to do. Nobody wants to sit at a desk for 8, 9, 10+ hours a day. That is not how I want to live my life, and it’s not. And freelancing provides that, freelance anything.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I love you said that you started it, like you were single in an apartment. Usually you think of freelance like moms wanting to be home with their kids, which is absolutely -- I mean, that’s a big reason I do what I do so that I can help other moms be able to be home with their kids. But it’s also for any -- I mean, it works for -- I have no kids. I just -- like you, I hate having a boss and being told what to do. And it works for anybody really.

Tara Whitaker: It really does, and you can go to the grocery store in the middle of the day or ride your Peloton in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night if you’re a night owl like you are.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: You can do whatever you want. It’s amazing. I don’t know if -- something drastic would have to happen in order for me to go back into an office, and fingers are crossed that whatever that is never happens. But it would take a lot for me to give up this lifestyle.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I think if you ever posted that you were going back to the office, I’d be like, she’s kidnapped, and this is a call for help.

Tara Whitaker: Absolutely, 1000% would be, and I would hope that you would be on the phone with 911 immediately.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh, I would be on it, and then I would be on a flight up there to check on you myself, all the things.

Tara Whitaker: This is not right! This is not Tara! Same with you though too. I’d be flying down there in a hot second.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Once you’ve tasted that -- it’s challenging. Like there are -- and this is something we can even talk about a little bit later. There are challenges with it. It’s not always easy, but oh my goodness, it’s completely -- I can’t even imagine a life different.

Tara Whitaker: No, same, and you’re right. There is not all sunshine and roses. There are definitely things to consider when you’re thinking about freelancing. And for some people, a 9-to-5, that structure, they need that.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes, absolutely.

Tara Whitaker: They can clock out, and they’re done with the day. I’m not going to lie. Sometimes that sounds very appealing.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Also yes, yes.

Tara Whitaker: When you’re a business owner, you know it’s you, and you’re on, thinking about it probably quite a bit. So there are tradeoffs, but for me, the tradeoffs are way more -- that does not make any sense. The tradeoffs are more…

Elizabeth Wiegner: I knew where you were going. It’s worth it.

Tara Whitaker: There we go. There it is. The tradeoffs are worth it.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And I love your honesty with that too because a lot of times, it’s very easy to talk about -- especially if you’re just scrolling Instagram, you see everybody is -- oh, everything -- when you work from home, everything is perfect. And anyways, we can just make a podcast just about that. We’ll have to -- I’ll have to have you back to talk about the honesty of freelancing.

But tell me about -- so you edit. Let’s clear up the differences between editing and proofreading first because that’s one of -- that’s a really big question I get. And if you’ve ever had somebody reach out to you to -- about a proofreading or an editing project, you always have to clarify, what do they actually mean. So tell us what the differences are.

Tara Whitaker: Okay. So this is super common, especially when someone wants “editing,” and I’m saying editing in quotes for those of you who are listening and can’t see. Most often, they’re thinking about copyediting, and that is the most common type of editing that people know about. That’s what I thought editing was when I started. I didn’t have a clue either.

And then when I started learning more about editing, I realized, oh, there are multiple levels of editing, not just grammar, spelling, punctuation. So to give a brief overview, we’ll just stick with the four core types in the editing process, and that’s developmental editing; down-to-line editing, or sometimes it’s called structural editing; copyediting; proofreading. That’s the order that “a piece of content should go through.”

And I’m a fiction editor, so a lot of the stuff that I’m going to talk about is based in that genre and niche of editing. It’s not going to be like that for -- probably a blog post does not need to be developmentally edited, right? It’s probably just going to need some copyediting or some proofreading. But for novels, that’s the structure.

So developmental editing is all big-picture things. We’re talking plot, setting, character development. If it’s a romance, you’re figuring out if there’s a romance there and if they have goals and conflicts. If it’s something like fantasy or sci-fi, the world-building and the whole -- whatever that encompasses. If it’s magical or vampires or whatever the case may be, it all makes sense. This is when you’d be doing things like adding chapters, deleting chapters --

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh wow.

Tara Whitaker: -- suggesting that there’s new characters incorporated or characters removed or different storylines put in. I mean, it is big-picture editing. We are not touching grammar. We are ignoring typos, which --

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s hard.

Tara Whitaker: Super hard. But none of that matters because at this point it’s either going to be cut or fixed or deleted or moved, and there’s just -- it’s just a complete waste of time. So that’s developmental editing.

Then you go down to line editing. So if you picture an upside down triangle, we’re just getting more and more specific. So with line editing, it’s really adjusting or enhancing the sentence structure, the style. You could be moving paragraphs around. You could be moving sentences around.

And here’s where it gets a little gray. More and more these days, line editing and copyediting are being smushed together. The skill sets are very similar, which is why they’re getting smushed, and I’m seeing it more and more. So lots of editors do things differently. Let me go into copyediting first. Then I can go back to this.

But copyediting is what we all think about with grammar: spelling, punctuation. If you’re doing novels, you’re also going to be doing things like fact-checking if it’s -- depending on what the content is. I mean, even with thrillers, I have to fact check things that happened in the past. Like if someone mentions a world war or some historic event, I have to look it up and make sure that that actually happened when they said it did.

You’re going to look up continuity between chapters and scenes. So if someone has blue eyes in chapter two and they have green eyes in chapter 20, that’s a copyeditor’s job. Or if they’re sitting down, and then all of a sudden they’re out at the barn, they either teleported, or we skipped them getting there. You’ve got to fix those.

And then there’s also pointing out anachronisms, which if you don’t know what that word is, it’s okay because I didn’t either. But it’s when things don’t match with the time period we’re talking about essentially. So if you’re writing a book in present day and someone gets a page or -- I don’t even know how to say it, a beep on their pager.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Those who use pagers are going to be shaking their heads, like I can’t believe you.

Tara Whitaker: I know. I know. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I think it’s a page. I remember my dad getting them with a beep, but yeah, I suppose it’s…

Tara Whitaker: Oooh.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I know. He was fancy.

Tara Whitaker: He is fancy. But yes, so something like that or something really that would never happen, but if you’re in an 18th century romance and someone gets a call on their iPhone, clearly that doesn’t match. But those especially, it’s like was this thing invented in the time period it’s in, or was this an appropriate gesture or someone touches someone’s wrist. Was that appropriate at that time frame? I mean, you’re really getting into nitty gritty.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yeah, wow.

Tara Whitaker: Yes. So that’s copyediting. That’s why it jams up so closely with line editing because there is a lot of similarities between the two. Some editors will do a line edit on a project and then do a copy edit after that. Some will do the same service at the same time when they read it. It just depends on how you work. I can’t do that.

I’ll be straight-up honest. I don’t like to line edit. It’s my least favorite type of editing, so I just stick strict copyediting because that’s what I like. But they are often getting smushed together but also charged at a higher rate because you are combining two services. One is usually a more -- more higher rate. Also, editors do not need to speak with perfect grammar.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Absolutely.

Tara Whitaker: I am the perfect example of that.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Absolutely. I agree.

Tara Whitaker: It’s not going to happen.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So is that kind of looked down upon to smush together structural and copy? Or is it -- just because it’s getting more mainstream. Like a lot of people try to smush proofing and editing together, which is not okay. So is it kind of looking the same way?

Tara Whitaker: So yes, and good point with proofreading. So obviously I don’t need to explain what proofreading is here. But it is that last, final overview, typos, formatting, etc. And you’re right. They are -- it is getting smushed with copyediting. I think -- everybody has a different opinion. People who aren’t familiar with editing, like self-published authors who are not just in our world are not going to necessarily know the difference.

So line and copyediting, I would say, is more acceptable. I don’t know if that’s the right word either. It makes more sense as long as you’re charging appropriately. That’s my big stickler because line editing is definitely, in my opinion, more difficult and requires more work than copyediting.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh yeah.

Tara Whitaker: But in the real world, you’re right. Copyediting and proofreading do get smushed together, when at that stage, it’s really just copyediting. It’s not proofreading.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: I prefer to separate the two. I also recommend not having the same person copyedit and proofread because --

Elizabeth Wiegner: Absolutely.

Tara Whitaker: -- you’re getting into the same issue of an author proofreading their own work. We don’t see the errors. We see what’s in our head, not what’s on the page or the screen. But I know that doesn’t always happen. So in a perfect world, it would be two separate services done by two separate people.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes, absolutely. So can you -- that brings up an interesting question. Could you have the same person do developmental line and then copyediting? Maybe three separate takes, but could you, or is that -- do people usually specialize in one over the other?

Tara Whitaker: Ready for the, it depends. So the short answer would be yes, you can have someone dev edit, line edit, and copyedit. They -- I would hope that they would be three separate passes if that was the case.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh yeah.

Tara Whitaker: Or at least two. In a perfect world, I would say have someone different because, again, you’re running into the same issues. But developmental editing and copyediting are very different skill sets. So some editors do all of the services or just copyediting and line editing or dev editing and whatnot. It just depends on your skill set because there are dev editors I know that they strictly developmental edit, and they don’t know grammar rules. They don’t need to.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That makes sense. That makes total sense.

Tara Whitaker: They’re not working on grammar. I know some other editors who do because they copyedit. That’s kind of a bit of a hot take because you hear, oh, editors need to know all the grammar rules. No, they don’t because they’re not doing it. Now, if you’re a developmental editor copyediting, yes, I should hope that you have that skill set, but you don’t need to be fixing typos during a developmental edit.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s so -- you know, I mean, for instance, I’m not an editor. I have copyedited before, but I have never done line or developmental editing. So for someone -- again, this is kind of jumping ahead on the questions I had for you, but who would make -- I guess the question would be like, who would make a really good editor? It would depend on what type of editing they want to do.

Tara Whitaker: You’re exactly right, yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s fascinating.

Tara Whitaker: Yes. There are commonalities between all editors and proofreaders in my opinion, which I think are the core qualities to have. Depending on the type of editing you do, that’s the type of editing skill set you need. So if you’re going to be a copyeditor, you need to know grammar and spelling and all of that. If you’re doing dev editing, you need to know story structure and things like that.

But aside from that, it’s really knowing your specific editing skill, but it’s also knowing or wanting to learn every day. Like the continuous passion for learning and growing is huge because this industry changes so much. And you have to be open to that and want -- and you want to learn more, and that’s part of being an editor and part of being a business owner, which I think gets skipped over a lot, which we can talk about in a little bit, the business portion of it.

But to be a good editor, you have to have that passion to learn and grow. You have to be open to changes happening in the industry, whatever the case may be. And I think the biggest piece of it is a little bit not talked about maybe very much or it wasn’t when I started. But it’s very much wanting a collaborative effort between you and your client because editors are still seen as very adversarial with our red pens out to just rip apart your writing and just tell you how terrible of a person you are. And some editors do that, which I can’t -- that’s not how we roll. It is a partnership. It’s a collaboration.

And if you are a great editor, your work is invisible on the page. If you gave me a piece of your writing and I edited it -- edited it -- I can never say that right, and you got it back and it sounds like I wrote it, I did a very poor job. I should not be injecting my voice or my style or my preferences into your writing. All I need to be doing is elevating your content and making it the best that it can possibly be for your reader, period. If you don’t have that mindset, editing is going to be a very difficult profession for you.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I’m, like, nodding my head off over here, yes. Because it’s kind of -- I mean, editing and proofing are very different in the fact like editing, you can actually go in and change things and --

Tara Whitaker: Right.

Elizabeth Wiegner: -- proofing, you’re not there to change things. They are to put the pretty bow on top.

Tara Whitaker: Exactly, yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: But with editing -- the similarity with proofreading and editing is you still have to keep the author’s preferences in mind. Like if they don’t -- and I always use this example because it’s the easiest one. If they don’t use the Oxford comma but you do, don’t go in and put it because even though you aren’t changing the words, you’re changing their style, and that’s exactly what you said. It needs to look like the writer did everything from start -- we’re here to make the writers look as absolutely amazing as possible within the scope of how they want to look.

Tara Whitaker: 100 million percent. Does it sting a little bit if you’re Team Oxford Comma? Yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh yes.

Tara Whitaker: But a good editor will swallow that, deal with it, use it in your own writing, but don’t use it in your client’s, and move on.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I liken it to like if you go to a restaurant and you order a pizza without mushrooms, and then they bring out mushrooms on their pizza because the server liked mushrooms. I mean, you would be sending the pizza back and not tipping the server, right? No, that’s not okay.

Tara Whitaker: That’s such a good way to put it, especially because I hate mushrooms. So you picked the one thing that I despise on pizza. You’re right. You’re right. You wouldn’t do that in that scenario. Why would you do that in an editing scenario? And some of it is not -- we don’t do it on purpose. We have our own styles, and we’re like, oh yeah, we do the Oxford comma, and you’re just chugging along. You know you have to keep the author’s preferences in mind, and you just have to dial it back and go, wait a minute. This is not my writing. This is my client’s writing.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And I love what you mentioned earlier about editors along with proofreaders, and I don’t mean to lump them together in the sense that they do the same, but they are -- it is part of the editing process in the end.

Tara Whitaker: It is. It is. I don’t consider them separate. We’re not othering proofreaders. We’re all in the editorial process together.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And I love where you said that it’s -- a lot of times, editors get a bad rap with their red pens. Proofreaders the same get the bad rap with the red. We’re just there, and it doesn’t help that a lot of people who edit and proofread like to get out their asterisks in social media posts or send you an email with a highlight of something you got wrong with something just -- I mean, I’ve made posts and stories very strongly worded about how obnoxious that is. So if you do that and you’re listening, stop it.

Tara Whitaker: Yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: It puts a bad name -- nobody wants to work with somebody who is there to make you look bad.

Tara Whitaker: Nope.

Elizabeth Wiegner: You don’t want that. Why would you think the client wants it?

Tara Whitaker: No. Absolutely. 100%, and it’s not a vibe you want to put out in the world, and it’s not something that you want other editors to be judged by either. Every industry has their bad apples, so to speak, and that’s often what people remember the most. But it’s not -- I’m hoping I can say this. I’m hoping the majority of editors and proofreaders out there are not that way. I’m just going to say that. We’re going to put that out into the world.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And make it so, yes.

Tara Whitaker: And make it so, yes. You just said something that reminded me of something I was going to say about -- oh, part of being a copyeditor and up to -- not up but like…

Elizabeth Wiegner: No, I know what you mean.

Tara Whitaker: Up on like a ladder.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: Or a pyramid. You’re giving a lot more feedback when you’re editing than when you’re proofreading. You’re giving suggestions, and you’re -- because, again, you’re not injecting your own thing in here. You’re querying, which means you’re just asking them a question like, hey, this word sounds a little funny. What about this list of words?

So you really have to be good about giving constructive feedback in the way that is best received by your client. And that can be discussed previous to the project by asking them. Like do you like, very encouraging, we’ll say, soft feedback. Or do you like, cut to the chase, or do you want me to just change things without asking you? Some people want that. Or do you want me to cite every single rule to back up my changes, which some people also do, which also, side note, put that into your rate.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh absolutely.

Tara Whitaker: Because that’s going to take forever.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: And it’s an art of giving constructive feedback, as we know with anything. So as a copyeditor, you’re definitely doing that, and you’re definitely doing that with line and developmental editing. And you’re writing a style sheet if you’re a copyeditor, which we’re getting a little nitty gritty. I don’t know how far down you want to get.

Elizabeth Wiegner: How about -- so style sheet. Especially in transcript proofreading, you don’t use a style -- you have preferences but not a style sheet, which is -- I mean, if you want to kind of -- like if you’re familiar with transcript proofreading and you do -- a style sheet is kind of along the same line of a preference. But how about you explain, like for a specific -- it’s more detailed for copyeditors. So how about you explain what a style sheet is?

Tara Whitaker: Yeah, and I can do that while incorporating what training you need if that works because this is kind of --

Elizabeth Wiegner: Perfect.

Tara Whitaker: -- part of it. So with -- I’ll step back into the training and what I said at the beginning. You don’t need a college degree, but if you do have a college degree, it doesn’t have to be in English or communications or journalism or what have you, and you don’t need an editing certificate. And I know some people will be like oh. That is not to say you don’t need training.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes, oh my goodness, yes.

Tara Whitaker: You just don’t need those specific things. If you want to drop $6500 on an editing certificate, awesome. That’s education. I am sure you are going to learn a lot, fine. For some people, that is not financially feasible, and that’s okay. I do not have an editing certificate. I took one class, and then I stopped.

Elizabeth Wiegner: You’re like, and we’re done.

Tara Whitaker: And we’re done. I have a marketing degree, which I don’t remember anything marketing-specific, so it’s not like it helps me with my business anyways. So what you need is specific training on what you want to do.

So if you want to be a developmental editor, go find classes or webinars or courses or whatever about developmental editing. You can always go to the Editorial Freelancers Association, ACES: The Society for Editing, Editors Canada, the Chartered Institute of -- oh shoot -- Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. That’s in Europe. Oh shoot, I messed -- or I forgot the one in Australia and New Zealand, apologies.

But there are professional organizations everywhere, and those have courses and webinars on anything you could possibly think of with editing. Or people like Elizabeth who are trusted, knowledgeable people working in the profession to learn from, doesn’t need to be a marketing degree or a bachelor’s degree. So that’s for that.

And then whatever you’re editing, you need to know your style guide, so that’s kind of your -- people call it a Bible. I don’t call it a Bible, but it’s a style guide. It’s kind of the rules, your book of rules that you’re going to follow.

If you do fiction, that’s going to be the Chicago Manual of Style. If you do things like business stuff or magazine or journalism, that’s going to be AP style. Know that front to back as much as you can. Practice it. They both have quizzes and worksheets and all sorts of things. And then you have to know how to run a business.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh gosh, yes. That’s huge.

Tara Whitaker: Which I know, Elizabeth, I know. You’re going to be like, yup.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I could talk forever about that.

Tara Whitaker: Yep, yep, and we both modeled our businesses around that portion because it’s so easy to focus on the skills, which are, of course, important. But it’s still a business. How do you pay your taxes? How do you charge rates? How do you work with clients? How do you give feedback? How do you create a style sheet? Which a style sheet is like a mini version of a style guide specific to that project.

So that’s where you list out word preferences, like do they like to write out okay, or do they use the abbreviation OK? Listing all the character names, listing out a timeline. Do the characters have green eyes and black hair and whatever? You’re listing all of those things that you would need to know and do your job well and especially for a series or an author who has multiple books so that they can stay consistent. That’s what that is. So you need to know how to do things like that.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So I love how you said -- because you don’t need a college degree for it. I mean, you have a college degree. I don’t have a college degree. We’re on opposite sides of that. But I love how you -- and it’s fine. I mean, both of us have made it work.

Tara Whitaker: Yeah, it is. It doesn’t matter.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I love what you said though about getting specific training because with college degrees, you’re expecting to spend the first half of your college career on stuff that you’re never in a million years going to use or care about. And then you get the last -- you cram the last two of your degree.

But with -- that’s, I think, one of the beauties of freelancing is -- and with the explosion of online work and the explosion of freelancing, people have created training specific to what you want to do. And you can get a college-level education or better, oftentimes better, by spending maybe $500, maybe $1000 and two, three, four, five, six months as opposed to four years, which is just…

Tara Whitaker: Yep, all of the above, all of the above. And I will say just to be on the flipside because we are in that space, right? We’re teaching other people how to be freelance editors and proofreaders. In the last few years especially, there’s been an explosion of online coaches and courses and whatnot that are not up to par perhaps. I’m not talking anything specific in editing or proofreading but just in the general online space.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I agree.

Tara Whitaker: So just be careful of vetting your people that you’re going to learn from, which that’s a whole other podcast episode too.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I was like, oh, we could talk about this.

Tara Whitaker: Just be careful. Just be careful. Talk to people they’ve talked to. See what they’re all about. Look into them. Everything is online. You can find out anything about anyone online. Just Google.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yeah, Google. Email them. See what kind of response you get, how personable -- I mean, you could even have -- there are great instructors out there. I’m not just talking about the proofreading and editing space. I’m just talking in general where I’ve followed them for a while on Instagram, and I was like, you know, maybe I’ll buy one of their courses. And then our personalities don’t mesh, or we have different focuses in life.

And their focus and their personality, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just they -- I don’t feel like they would be a learning style I could benefit from. And so it could even be just is there somebody else that I connect with or I feel like, man, their story really reaches out to me. I love their personality. I mean, there’s even that too.

Tara Whitaker: Exactly. No, for sure. Well, you don’t want to learn from someone you don’t like or don’t jive with.

Elizabeth Wiegner: You’re not going to learn very well very fast.

Tara Whitaker: No, probably not, and then you’re going to be very unhappy with money spent, and then you’re going to be a headache for the person you bought from.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That could also be a whole other topic.

Tara Whitaker: We -- okay, we’re going to have like a 20-episode series here by the time we’re done.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I hope you all are ready for -- I need to change this to the Tara and Elizabeth Podcast because we could talk for hours about all this.

Tara Whitaker: Oh my gosh, hours, hours.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That would be amazing.

Tara Whitaker: Hours. Put that on the list.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So would you say that -- because, for instance, like with transcript proofreading and really with general proofreading too, you need to have some level of experience before you start working with clients. Do you feel like that is appropriate for editing as well?

Tara Whitaker: Yeah, and it’s a tough one, right? It’s like you need experience to get a client, but you can’t get a client until you get -- like chicken or the egg, what have you. And there are different approaches to this, and I know -- I think we actually differ somewhat in this too.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And that’s fine. That’s the beauty of podcasting is you can have both, yes.

Tara Whitaker: That’s right. Well, the reason I say this too, and I’m jumping ahead. Everybody is going to be like, what are you talking about? Of course, because Elizabeth and I know. You can offer free work, or you can not offer free work. That is how I started, so that’s why I’m not going to be like, you shouldn’t do it, because that’s how I started. But I always -- wait, what was the question? I just got off track.

Elizabeth Wiegner: No, you’re good. You’re like, oh, I got another good topic.

Tara Whitaker: Oh, getting experience, getting experience.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes, getting experience.

Tara Whitaker: I know. We keep getting all these other ideas. Okay, getting experience.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: There’s always this point where the people I’ve worked with want to be like, well, when can I call myself an editor, or when can I start offering my services? And there’s no magical sign that appears or thing that happens. Most of the time, you just have to do it. I don’t want to say just go out there and start editing, whatever you want, when you have no training and no -- nothing to speak for.

At least get a little bit of training to know what you’re doing. At least have your business basics set up so that you’re not just throwing things out there. I’m in the boat of you need a website. Some people are not. I think you need a website. Do you -- wait, do you…

Elizabeth Wiegner: I teach you don’t need a website, but that’s the beauty of having two different people --

Tara Whitaker: It is.

Elizabeth Wiegner: -- where we’re both very skilled in our fields, but we both have different -- and it’s totally fine.

Tara Whitaker: And that’s the thing, right? And that goes back to finding someone that resonates with you because someone might be like, I don’t want a website. They’re probably not going to want to learn from me. They’ll want to learn from you, right?

Elizabeth Wiegner: And that’s totally fine.

Tara Whitaker: And that’s great. That’s the beauty of having choices. Anyways, but I sometimes suggest to start where you’re at with editing. So if you volunteer with an animal shelter or you work for a nonprofit or something like that, you can always volunteer -- part of your volunteer services can be doing their editing for their newsletter or their blogs or what have you.

But it’s really just starting to tell people that you are an editor, which a lot of people, including myself, have a hard time doing. And I don’t have a specific trigger, so to speak, of, like I’m an editor, or I can start editing because you’re never going to feel ready enough.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Absolutely.

Tara Whitaker: You’re never going to know enough. You will always have something to learn. I learn something new every single day, every single day, and I will continue to.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: You just have to do it. Just do it, and trust yourself enough that, if it’s not perfect, which it probably won’t be, and editing is not perfect, you will take what you learned from that project and put it toward the next project, and you’ll keep learning and keep growing and keep getting better. That was a very long, drawn-out answer.

Elizabeth Wiegner: No, it’s good. It was good. So if you have someone who approached you and was like, hey, I’m really good at grammar. I love to read. I know that I really want to specifically proofread -- or not proofread, copyedit legal thrillers, or I know I want to edit, but not even copyedit. I just know I want to edit legal thrillers.

What would you -- but I’ve never done it before. I’ve played around with Word tracking or Google Doc tracking. But what would you -- would you tell them just start offering your services, or would you tell them go to Editorial Freelance Association? I jotted down some of the ones you mentioned, and I’ll link them in the show notes. But how would you -- like if someone was saying I want to get started, what would you say?

Tara Whitaker: So personally, I would first start out with getting to know them and if freelancing period is a good fit because sometimes people focus again on the editing part and not the business part. And for a lot of people, the business part is what is the difficult part. It’s -- and as you know, marketing is a big hang-up for a lot of people. And some people do not want to market, and you cannot run a business without marketing. I hate to break it to you.

Elizabeth Wiegner: It’s true.

Tara Whitaker: But it’s true. And I teach my coaching clients and my club members how to do it in a non-icky way because I think that’s part of the issue is that it feels gross and salesy and whatnot. But I would take them through -- I have a framework that I use on if freelancing is a good fit for them. Does it fit into their lifestyle? Does it fit with them financially? Because you’re not going to make a million dollars your first year of business.

Elizabeth Wiegner: You’re never going to make a million dollars as an editor or a proofreader.

Tara Whitaker: Solely editing no, you’re not. You’re not. But let’s just curb that right there.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes, I agree.

Tara Whitaker: Perhaps if you start doing other things on top of it.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: But purely editing, if there is a job out there that pays a million dollars to purely edit, sign me up. I am there in a heartbeat.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Forget about everything else. Tara’s gone.

Tara Whitaker: I’m gone. Sorry. Sorry, coaching clients. Sorry, everybody. I’m out.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Same. If there was a million-dollar proofreading, I’d be like, psh, bye!

Tara Whitaker: Right? But most likely that does not exist, so it’s curbing some expectations and making sure that financially they are able to do it. And unfortunately, in the US, healthcare has to be taken into account because we don’t have -- we have to pay for that ourselves.

And so some people have been like, oh yeah, maybe this is something I do on the side to start with, or maybe I shouldn’t just up and quit my job with full benefits before I do this. There’s some things to that. After we determine if freelancing and freelance editing is the right fit, then we start talking a lot about mindset. I’m a big mindset person, not like -- I’m woo-woo adjacent, not like full on blah-blah. I prefer woo-woo paired with action.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes, yes, you and I are the same. Yes.

Tara Whitaker: I’m not going to sit here and be like, I’m just going to say I’m successful, and it’s just going to rain down upon me.

Elizabeth Wiegner: It would be nice.

Tara Whitaker: You’ve got to put in some effort. Right? Let’s make that happen too.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Right?

Tara Whitaker: Oh my goodness. But yes, we talk about mindset, and then we talk about what they specifically want to edit and why they think they want to edit it because, again, sometimes we think we want to edit something, but we’ve never done it. And we do it and realize we don’t like it.

I always give the example of I love reading historical romance, absolutely love it, will not touch it editing wise because I did it once, and I don’t -- I want to be immersed in the story as a reader doing that, not as an editor, and I missed things because I got too wrapped up in it, and I didn’t -- I don’t want to check if the language is appropriate, and I don’t want to check if the clothing -- I just want to read it. But I wouldn’t know that had I not tried to do it.

So I’m always of the opinion of trying different things when you’re first starting out and figuring it out from there. Maybe it is legal thrillers. Maybe it is romance or mystery or whatever. But you don’t know until you actually do it, and you can do that by just practicing on a book you read. Obviously, we would hope that it’s been copyedited if it’s been published. We all know that that’s not necessarily the case. But see if you enjoy reading it as an editor as opposed to a reader. Those are two very different approaches.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh, huge, huge, yes.

Tara Whitaker: Very different. And then see from there, and then we can start talking about, okay, where’s your skill set? Maybe I can recommend some things to strengthen a certain piece that they need, and we can start running. We can start building the business portion of it too. So there’s a lot that goes into it, but the big thing is to figure out -- people want to go fast into it and like, okay, I’m going to do legal thrillers. Here we go. I’m going to start marketing. How do I get clients?

Elizabeth Wiegner: First question always.

Tara Whitaker: We all know it’s how to get clients.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Let’s back up.

Tara Whitaker: Yes. You’re on step 42. We need to start at step one.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: Or even a couple steps ahead. Let’s -- I'm very big about building a foundation. That’s how I teach. I think that’s how you teach too.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yep.

Tara Whitaker: Let’s get the building blocks in place. Then we can build from there. I will show you how to find clients and show you different approaches. We are not there yet. You don’t have rates. You don’t know what you’re offering. Let’s calm down. But people get excited. People want to know that it’s going to be financially feasible.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: I totally get that. But you’ve got to step back and start from the beginning.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I couldn’t agree more about all that. I wrote down things like, oh, I need to talk about this and this and this. But you’re absolutely right that -- before you go spend time and money on a new skill, you want to know if you can make money off of it.

Tara Whitaker: Yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I mean, that’s -- and I’m totally happy to answer that question as are you. Like how much can you make as an editor? And of course, that varies too, but it also -- once you know how much you can make, then be willing to step back and learn because if you don’t lay the right foundations, you’re going to crash and burn. You’re either going to make mistakes that kind of tarnish your reputation and it’s hard to build back up, or you’re going to burn out and think, well, I’m a failure because I -- you're not expected to know how to run a business. Nobody -- even if you took a business --

Tara Whitaker: All of the above.

Elizabeth Wiegner: -- in college, you’re still going to be like…

Tara Whitaker: Exactly, exactly. My degree is a business degree. Did I learn anything about starting a business? No. Or if I did, I don’t remember.

Elizabeth Wiegner: It’s just -- it's not -- yeah, we could talk a long time about that too.

Tara Whitaker: Yep, yep, yep, and part of it too is treating it as a business and not a hobby unless that’s what you want to treat it as. Those are very different things too. I teach people who want to do it as a business.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Same.

Tara Whitaker: But there’s -- there are people that want to do it as a hobby. They’re not my people, which is fine, no -- that's cool. But it’s acting like a business owner.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes, which can feel intimidating, but that’s why people like you and people like me have our years of experience, and we’ve made the goof-ups and the things that keep us up at night because we just suddenly got embarrassed that we remembered we did something. And you can stand on our shoulders and go from that instead of wishing -- getting five clients in and wondering what terrible life decisions you’ve made, which you’ve not made bad decisions. It’s just you didn’t go in the right order. Like getting the client wasn’t a bad decision. You just didn’t lay the foundation.

Tara Whitaker: Yep. And a lot of it is you don’t know what you don’t know too.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Exactly.

Tara Whitaker: And that’s why -- go to the EFA and take a $50 webinar before you buy a $6500 editing certificate and then figure out during the first class that this is not for you, low cost. The barrier to entry to editing is getting cheaper and cheaper, which is amazing, and making it more accessible. Start small. And then if you want to do something bigger, I mean, now you can get master’s in publishing and stuff. If that’s the route you want to take, rock on. But you don’t have to start way up there. Start with the introduction and the basics and build from there.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And you’re not dumbing yourself down or passing up opportunities by doing that. You’re being actually smarter than the people who want to start big honestly.

Tara Whitaker: Exactly, exactly. The people that start big skip so many steps, and then, just like you said, they find themselves in a not-good situation. And I will say the editing world is a small world. Even though there are lots of editors and proofreaders in the world, the industry is still small. And again, another episode, but about your reputation and your ethics and how you run your business, people will know how you do that and what you -- they will know all of that. So if you start off big, like you said, and then start messing up or not communicating appropriately or missing deadlines and doing the no-no’s, it’s going to come back.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh, it bites you. It is -- making those mistakes are not the death knell to your career, but it is incredibly difficult to come back. And it’s funny, you think of the -- I don’t even know how many books are published, but like the -- how ever many millions, billions of books that are published, and that’s just books. We’re not talking about blogs or websites or -- I mean, transcripts are a totally different ballgame too. And yet, it’s still a small world. Your reputation --

Tara Whitaker: It sure is.

Elizabeth Wiegner -- that's why you never want to start out -- don't be a jerk on social media, posting an asterisk with the correct spelling or sending someone a highlight with no comment. It comes back and bites you. It really does.

Tara Whitaker: It does. It sure does. And if that’s what you want to be remembered for -- is it?

Elizabeth Wiegner: When you could just -- you can still be helpful with people with their errors, and I mean, we could talk a huge amount about that. But you and I have worked together with people. Even when we have worked together and people have -- other proofreaders and editors have responded not as professionally as they should have, and we still remember that. And it’s been years. And those are -- and I -- it doesn’t -- you and I don’t mean we’re not going to refer somebody just because you were mean to me. But it was like we don’t want to pass on somebody who’s not kind to us to have that experience with somebody else.

Tara Whitaker: Well, yeah, exactly. Why would we do that? No, you’re exactly right. Be nice, people. Be nice.

Elizabeth Wiegner: It’s not that hard. It’s really not. And if you need to take a course on how to be nice, then by all means, do that. I mean, hey, at least you realize that you need it.

Tara Whitaker: You know someone offers a course on how to be nice. There’s a course on everything. I’m sure it exists. I’m sure it does.

Elizabeth Wiegner: You can win so many more clients by just being nice. That’s a new Instagram post I have coming up.

Tara Whitaker: There it is. There it is. You’re going to have Instagram posts and podcasts up the wazoo after this.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I mean, Tara, I’m just going to bring you on, and we’re just going to do this together. But there was one other thing you said, and I’ll wrap this up with another question was I loved that you said you don’t know until you try. That -- and I’m sure you get this too in your inbox.

So many people email and ask how do I know this is right for me? And that’s a perfect question. I mean, my workshop is called How Do You Know if This is the Right Money-Making Business for You? So it’s a perfectly legit question, but sometimes it gets to the point where it’s like they need confirmation that this absolutely, without a doubt, before I even start thinking about trying it is the right thing. And until you actually give it a shot, you don’t know.

Tara Whitaker: Right. You can sit and think about it and procrasti-learn until it’s 20 years later and you haven’t started. But you don’t have a clue until you actually try it, which I know that bridge from thinking about it to actually doing it is tough, which we talk about in coaching and stuff. I have a process for that. But it is. You’re right. You can’t know until you actually do the thing. You have to do the thing to know if you like or dislike the thing. We can sit and talk about it for hours, but you’re never going to know until you do it.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I couldn’t agree more, and I would -- I have bought I don’t know -- and I know you’re the same way. We have bought so many courses and spent so much. I mean, I don’t even want to add up how money we’ve spent on courses.

Tara Whitaker: Don’t, no. We are not going to talk about that.

Elizabeth Wiegner: But it’s not a waste because we realize what we like to do and what we don’t like to do. And to me, finding out that I don’t like to do something is just as awesome as knowing what I want to do.

Tara Whitaker: Exactly. And if you -- I mean, I have courses that I haven’t touched, but I also have a lot of unfinished courses. And even in the unfinished ones, you do learn something.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: Even just a teeny tiny nugget that you can take to whatever else you want to do instead is still worth it.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Absolutely.

Tara Whitaker: Not a waste. That’s a good point.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Absolutely.

Tara Whitaker: My course graveyard is -- we're going to skip over that.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That will not be a podcast we’re going to talk about.

Tara Whitaker: No, it is not. That is off limits.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And you know, I love how you said even just a little bit in a course that you find. It’s like even with editing or proofreading, even if, for some reason, you just do editing for a couple years or proofreading for a couple years or even just a year, the doors -- it has opened for both you and I. I mean…

Tara Whitaker: Yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: It’s amazing. Like you would have never thought when you started part time working downtown Chicago that you would be…

Tara Whitaker: Never, never, and especially with the way the online space is now, even editors aren’t just editing. They’re doing webinars and workbooks and courses and Patreons and podcasts, and the sky is the limit. You don’t have to do all of those things, but you certainly can add to the services you provide and become not just -- "just an editor.” But you can do so many -- look how many people are on Booktalk, and it blows my mind. It’s changed so much since we’ve started even.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh yeah.

Tara Whitaker: What’s it going to look like in the next 10 years, the next 20 years?

Elizabeth Wiegner: So get in on it now so you can keep…

Tara Whitaker: Yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And you don’t have to feel like I have to do it all. Like oh I’m going to be an editor means I’m going to start a podcast. But be open to the possibilities and the skills that you learn about how to work with clients, how to give good feedback, how to run a business, and how to market are skills you can take and apply to anything that you want to add to it.

Tara Whitaker: I’m going to insert one sentence.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Tara Whitaker: Because this could be a whole other podcast, and it was on mine. But I also got an email about this too. Editing is not going anywhere. AI is not going to take it over in any short term. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. I don’t tell the future. I wish I could. However, I do feel that there will always be a need for human editors. So I am not being irresponsible in telling you that you should get into editing right now and then it just disappears just like court reporters were supposed to have been obsolete years ago, and yet here we are still. So that’s just my little interjection on that.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I am so glad you said that, and yes, that could be a whole other podcast.

Tara Whitaker: Oh yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I have that on my -- I think you actually have a podcast about that.

Tara Whitaker: I do. I do.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I will link to it. I’m making a note to link to your AI podcast. And then I was actually planning on doing a podcast on that too because --

Tara Whitaker: Yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: -- personal -- it's just like people thought Google was going to replace a billion different things, and all it does is it’s just made -- it's just been a tool to help us be better at what we do, and AI is going to -- is the same thing. It’s just a tool to help us, but it will never replace. You talked about preferences like -- I said court reporter, author preferences. Like you never -- AI is never going to be able to do that.

Tara Whitaker: AI also uses copyrighted material.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And that’s a whole other topic.

Tara Whitaker: And that’s a whole other topic, whole other topic.

Elizabeth Wiegner: We will be back, y’all.

Tara Whitaker: I will just say that we are not telling you you should be editor -- either an editor or a proofreader and your job is going to disappear. It’s going to be okay.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Because if we were -- honestly if I really thought that my job was going to disappear, I wouldn’t be spending time working with one of my students and sitting here on a podcast. I would be sitting here talking to you about lots of other things, but we wouldn’t be wasting our time on this.

Tara Whitaker: And learning a completely different skill set so that we have jobs.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Exactly because our jobs go if we really thought, and so I…

Tara Whitaker: We’re okay for now. We’re okay.

Elizabeth Wiegner: We’re good. I’m glad you brought that up because I know that is a good question. So multiple times -- I want to wrap this up because you’ve been very generous with your time.

Tara Whitaker: Sorry. I know. We said before we need to keep this under 10 hours.

Elizabeth Wiegner: No, don’t apologize. I just so appreciate the time that you are extending beyond what I had asked for this.

Tara Whitaker: You know me. I could talk for hours with you.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So to wrap this up, you mentioned you have your coaching process where you step people through, and then I don’t think we’ve mentioned this yet, but you have this awesome Freelance Editors Club. So if people want to get into editing, that’s not my sphere. I can help you with all the things proofreading, but editing is not my sphere. So anytime anybody asks me about editing, I always send them to Tara. So, Tara, if somebody wants to work with you, tell them how they can do that.

Tara Whitaker: Yes. You’re so sweet, and I always tell people about you too. It’s a two-way street. That’s part of being a business owner and collaborating and elevating community over competition. That’s another podcast episode.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh, yes, yes.

Tara Whitaker: But I will be brief. Yes, I do offer one-on-one coaching, and then I also have the Freelance Editors Club, which is a community for freelance editors that did not exist when I was starting out and what I so desperately needed. So I decided to create it myself down the road.

But we have editors from all different types of editing, all different types of -- fiction, nonfiction, medical, scientific, academic, across the board. It doesn’t have to be a fiction editor or a copyeditor. We have writing coaches, book coaches, beta readers, dev editors. We didn’t even get into some of that, but all sorts. Anyone looking for a supportive, nonjudgmental group of editors who uplift each other and help each other learn and grow.

So we do all sorts of things. I won’t go down the spiel. If you want to learn more, it’s TaraWhitaker.com/Club. But we do education and training and a book club and Q&A calls with me and coaching and coworking and all sorts of fun stuff. So it’s 50 strong right now.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Wow.

Tara Whitaker: At this time of this recording. Yes, we’re at 50. I know, and I’m partial, but they’re pretty amazing.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Well, y’all, if you follow -- you need to follow Tara. I will link to Tara’s Instagram on her -- on the show notes here, but if you’d see at the beginning of the month, Tara always talks about what they’re going to be doing in their club. And she always has a theme for the month, but you don’t just have to focus on the theme.

She said she has coworking sessions and coaching and all these people in the club to be able to communicate with each other and support each other. And I mean, you can just tell by listening to Tara on this episode, but she’s just a very -- she's a no-nonsense person. She’s going to tell you if you need to get your mind in the right -- the butt in gear, some tough love. But she’s also so willing to listen and be supportive and be like, yes, I know it’s hard. And just because it’s hard does not mean that it’s impossible or you’re in the wrong place. Tara will get you -- get your butt back in gear.

Tara Whitaker: I’m a good butt pusher.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Butt pusher.

Tara Whitaker: No kicking.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I like it.

Tara Whitaker: A gentle butt push. But I’ve been there just like you have with your students. We’ve been there. We’ve done that. We know what to do, what not to do, what can happen. And that’s what I needed when I was starting out. I didn’t know who to go to or where to turn, and so…

Elizabeth Wiegner: And you make a lot of goofy mistakes that you could have -- you'll make mistakes whether you have top-of-the-line coaches or whether you’re doing it on your own.

Tara Whitaker: Of course.

Elizabeth Wiegner: But you’ll also make a lot fewer and feel a lot more confident and progress your business so much faster than you would trying to do it on your own, so much faster with so much less stress.

Tara Whitaker: Yes. Freelancing is a solo endeavor, but you still need people on your team, whether that’s just coworkers in a sense of other freelancers, community. You still need -- we still need people. As much as sometimes we don’t want to be around people, we still need it.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Well, the nice thing about the club is you can choose when to pop in and choose when to leave, and nobody judges.

Tara Whitaker: We meet you where you’re at. You should hear some of the things I’ve said inside the club. I mean…

Elizabeth Wiegner: I can only imagine.

Tara Whitaker: You can only imagine. No, you can’t because you’ve heard part of my ridiculousness, but yeah, that’s the club.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So see, you can have fun while elevating yourself, and I will put -- Tara has provided so many good, helpful links. I will put them in the show notes, and then her website, TaraWhitaker.com. She links to her podcast on there, her social media, her one-on-one coaching, her club, all the good stuff, and I’ll also link that in the show notes for you too. But, Tara, this was such -- this was so fun.

Tara Whitaker: It really was.

Elizabeth Wiegner: You have to be back. We have so many good things to talk about. Y’all, you’re going to have to come back for more Tara and Elizabeth talking.

Tara Whitaker: Yep, and you’re going to have to come on my podcast when I start it back up. Yes, we have much more in store, much more in store. Thank you so much for having me. You know I always love talking to you, so this was a real treat.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Same here.

Outro: Thanks so much for joining me today. Make sure that you’re subscribed so that you get the next episode that comes out, and if you know somebody who is interested in proofreading or starting their own side hustle, make sure to share this podcast with them. And I will see you next time here on The Proofreading Business Podcast.

Subscribe and never miss an episode!
Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandoraStitcheriHeartRadio

Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth Wiegner is a work-from-home proofreader and business coach who teaches other readers and typo fixers how to build a life of freedom as a proofreader. Her energy, love, and personalized support are second to none in the proofreading world.