Friday, March 8, 2013

Finding my Niche

I did not realise, when I started my business, how satisfying the work would be. It is a nice feeling to have finally found a way of putting my limited skills and abilities to use. I understand that I am a little peculiar. Hopefully we all are, in our own special way. It is not often that I blow my own trumpet. Like many of my generation – later generations don’t seem to have this problem – I feel uncomfortable extolling my own virtues. Nevertheless, having struggled for years to find a role for myself in this world, with these specific peculiarities/gifts, I feel justified in celebrating, just a little.

I do seem to have a capacity for spotting things that other people miss, be they grammatical/spelling errors, or plot inconsistencies. Of course, I don’t necessarily see these in my own work. It generally needs a fresh eye to spot these, the eye without the plank in it (note the subtle Biblical reference there). What pleases me is the gratitude that people express when I do point these out. Sometimes this is preceded by a degree of annoyance, and sometimes it is accompanied by a measure of embarrassment. Generally, however, I am finding that gratitude wins out. There is a sense, on their part, that I have saved them from making an embarrassing mistake. This is gratifying

As a writer, I know that we can often be dissatisfied with some elements of our own work. Not every sentence can be a masterpiece; but there are some passages or plot elements that we just cannot seem to get right. We poke at them and pick at them; we rant about them; we delete them and resurrect them. But they just will not bend to our will. How pleasing (and, yes, a little irritating) when a new eye takes a look, and a new voice says, “Why don’t you try this?” Suddenly the light dawns, the floodgates open. Sometimes, at least. When I can enable this, this, too, is gratifying.

Of course, the day may come when I receive death threats from a disgruntled customer. I will try not to let that sour my sense of satisfaction too much.

I am not a particularly helpful person by nature. Perhaps this is because I usually don’t have the skills needed to help. Building a house? Sure, I’ll help – I can hand you the… What was it called again? A hammer? Is that this pointy thing? Best to stay out of the way. But when it comes to helping people with their writing? Yep. I reckon I have what it takes. It’s only taken fifty-five years to finally find my niche.


All-read-E for all your manuscript assessment, copy editing and proofreading needs.

No comments:

Post a Comment