It started with a newspaper and my father
I have been writing and editing most of my life. My love of language and growing knowledge started with a column on language in a Durban newspaper, which my father and I would discuss. I was constantly writing articles for youth groups, school magazines, community organisations, professional publications, universities and other groups. I was often in working groups developing professional position papers and policy document. The WHO publication on Secondhand smoke is one example.
It continued as a professional
As a professional you are always writing something. Whether a business letter or a long report, it must be done well. Indeed, it should be done excellently. As a broadcaster, I had to prepare programs and write content and scripts. Many people have asked me over the years to edit their research papers or PhD thesis submissions or articles which they had written. It seems that my language skills were known and recognised, but I was always doing it as a favour to someone or an organisation. Now I do it professionally.
Excitement, knowledge and fun
Both Writing and Editing are exciting. The writing process of researching, interviewing analysing and finally choosing words, structure and grammar, is exciting and rewarding. The editing process is equally so. It is an opportunity to help people improve their work and image. It is an opportunity to to help to get the best results and recognition. In the process it is an opportunity for me to learn something new. To be exposed to knowledge, which is an adventure. The bonus is that I get paid for doing what I enjoy and having fun doing it.
My experience, skills and knowledge are reasonably wide and deep. I cannot, however, do hugely sophisticated and deeply complex scientific and medical editing.