KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Helpful Tools for the Self-Employed

A discussion on one of the editing-related e-mail lists I subscribe to began with talk about how much and what kind of lighting freelance editors need while editing onscreen, then turned to other tools. I share this information here for those of you who are self-employed.

In my office, which is my very small kitchen (I suppose some would call it a breakfast nook), I sit under a light fixture that uses three 100-watt lightbulbs. There is also natural light from two windows on the wall behind the computer and from a long, narrow window on the wall perpendicular to the computer on the left side of the room. With all of that light, I rarely experience eye fatigue.

It also helps to have highly technical tools called children to protect your vision. These handy items, of which I have three (but one of them has metamorphosed into an adult and now tools around on her own), cause me to look away from my computer screen quite frequently—and often to blink in amazement at how they operate—which decreases wear and tear on my eyes. They are expensive to maintain, however, and require an investment of approximately 21 years of heavy-duty maintenance. But they do provide reassuring background noise, which can be a comfort to those who don't like the isolation that comes with self-employment. They can be persuaded to act as temporary lap-warmers in cold weather and are good at keeping their owners mentally alert.

Then there are feline tools. I have two of them. Quite useful. They help prevent repetitive-stress injuries, requiring that their owners remove their hands from the keyboard to perform lengthwise stroking of the furry outer covering and scratching under the roughly triangular front-end protuberance. These varied hand motions give overworked wrists a rest.

One colleague recommends also having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), which "forces the editor to get up and move around a whole lot, especially when working on booooorrrrrrring manuscripts."

Indeed. I cannot claim to have that particular tool myself, but I take advantage of it peripherally. My spousal unit, middle-child unit, and father-in-law unit, all of whom are stored in my abode, have AD/HD. Their verbal flights of fancy and tendency to forget my requirement for quiet while I work keep me mentally alert and keep my vocal cords warmed up as I strenuously and repeatedly request a return to quiet. It is because of that tool that I have taken multitasking to supreme levels, allowing me to work while also keeping them on task.

1 comment:

Imperatrix said...

Oooof, those boooorrrrring MSs! What's worse is when you combine one of those with a tantalizing computer game like Solitare or Tetris.

The, you're a goner, for sure.

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