I need advice/help.
I’ve been circling around this problem for a while now and for whatever reason I didn’t see that the solution was (probably) right in front of my face. The best audience in the world to ask is this one. Why I didn’t realize that sooner, I’m not exactly sure.
A little background.
I’ve always been fascinated with reading and writing. My first major in college was English, with the goal to be a teacher or technical writer. About halfway through the program I hadn’t really learned anything important. I had taken numerous “essential” classes where I sat on my butt and listened to people debate what (insert dead author’s name here) really meant when he wrote about a white lamb instead of a black one. I realize that that sort of thing really turns on some people, and I enjoy it as well, but I’d always say the same thing when the teacher asked my opinion: “I’m not sure. Let’s dig him up, perform a seance and ask him what he meant. Maybe he just really liked white.” Seriously, how many classes do I need to take that discuss the same things over and over again?
I got to the point where I didn’t see how these classes were furthering my career goals. Then the economy crashed and I realized that health was where it was at. I ditched my English degree and moved over to Health Promotion and Nutrition Education. I love my major, don’t get me wrong, but I will always regret ditching English. My true, passion is all things literary. I wish I had sucked in my complaints and just rode the program out. Especially now that my reviewing and blogging has started taking off. I watch other successful bloggers make a move into editing and it’s shown me that I could have probably actually done something with an English degree, or maybe I could do something if I could somehow get experience in the field and an opportunity to apply the experience somewhere.
The thing is, I’m going back to school. I am either going to get a master’s degree in Education (I love teaching), or I’m going to get another bachelor’s degree in a field I’d perhaps enjoy a bit more (like English, if I can actually do anything with it). I have these thoughts floating around my mind. I want to figure out what my next educational/career step and I really, really want experience with editing. Really badly. Painfully bad. I want to know more about it and I feel like I have some hidden talents in that area I would really enjoy using if I knew how. I know my blog doesn’t showcase my grammar skillz to their fullest, but I do actually know how to use punctuation properly, believe it or not.
So here are my questions.
1) Is a degree necessary to be an editor, or is it a field where experience is more important?
2) Is there a way I can get editing experience without having a degree? Freelance? Volunteering? Etc?
3) If I decide to get a degree that will further this really-want-to-be-an-editor goal of mine, what degree is best? English? Something else?
4) I realize publishing is a very competitive field. Is there any hope for a career in it?
Honestly, I’d really appreciate any insight anyone has to offer. I’m at an education/career crossroads right now and I really need to limit my options. I really want experience with editing, and to learn more about it, but I’m not sure if that’s a possibility, or an option I should even waste time pursuing.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts and advice!