About Me

Name: Janice Salvame
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Full-time Occupation: Accounts Receivable Clerk (evident from the Billing & Payments page)
Part-time Occupation: Freelance Editor and Writer
Post-Secondary Education: Diploma of Technology in Financial Management, Professional Accounting Option, British Columbia Institute of Technology; Undergraduate in B.S. Statistics, University of the Philippines Diliman
Writing/Editing Education: Courses in the Certificate in Editing, Simon Fraser University Writing and Communications Program

You're an accountant? Why are you editing and writing part-time?
Well, certain skills I acquired and/or developed from my training in accounting are useful in editing and writing too. The main transferrable skill is keen attention to detail. In accounting, if numbers aren't adding up, you need to figure out where it went wrong and fix it. In the end, the numbers have to make sense. Same with editing. If the structure of a document feels strange or wrong, you'd need to move words, sentences, or paragraphs around in order to fix it. If a certain word in a document has confusing or double meanings, you'd clarify it with the author. If the incorrect spelling of a word changes the context in a sentence of paragraph, you'd fix the spelling. If you feel that a sentence or a paragraph could be written better, you'd attempt to rewrite it and include it in your queries to the author. If you read a statement of fact that differs from what you know, you'd verify the statement of fact from multiple sources. If you still see typos or incorrect placing of graphics, you'd correct them. Same with writing: you'd want to get it right the first time.

How are you qualified to edit and write for clients if you don't have the education?
I have been reading since I could read. Granted, those books are mainly fiction, but I've also read memoirs, biographies, feature articles, news articles, textbooks, business signs, text messages, e-mails, letters, memoranda, contract documents, closed captions, user guides, captions, and other documents. I've seen a variety of written work and I've noticed some kind of pattern, such as the usual sections and common formats in these documents. I am also a grammar and spelling nazi, and commonly misused or misspelled words irritate me so much. I've also been writing mostly fiction, but also essays (academic and blog posts), user guides, letters, and even poetry. Plus the Canadian, British, and American English dictionaries (print and online) are my best friends.

How did you get started in freelancing your editing and writing skills?
Three years ago, I edited an academic paper for a neighbour and friend. After I returned the document, she and her mom sent it off to their editor friend in NYC (I believe). Apparently, their friend said that the second draft (i.e. my edited version) looked as if a professional editor worked on it. That's when it clicked that I could market my editing and writing skills. Also, the economy was down and I needed some extra money.

Have you published anything?
My short stories and poems have appeared online and on various UP Variates newsletters. Unfortunately, I've lost the link to them, but if you want to read a couple of my short stories, you can go to my Writing.com portfolio. You can also read my musings on the blog. I do hope to get a novel or a short story collection published in my lifetime.

Do you plan to get a degree on editing and/or writing?
Yes, I do. I have been taking courses on editing in SFU. I hope to apply to the Certificate in Editing in a year or so. I also would love to take writing courses.