A roundup of a wonderfully unspectacular year with 728 hours of editing. I am fantasizing about a split mechanical keyboard and a healthy and fulfilling 2023 for you all!
Going with my custom to compile a freelancer’s annual report… It’s nice to stake stock, reflect back and plan (and dream) forward.
[A Canva slide show is embedded below with highlights of my report. The full text follows in the body of this post.]Annual Report 2022 by Ema N
A quiet year of reemergence
This year was less spectacular, less dotted with accomplishments than last year. And that’s just what I needed.
- I stopped checking Facebook every day (ok, so Twitter became my preferred space…and that’s gone well, hasn’t it) and lost steam scheduling social media posts.
- I’m experimenting with ways to streamline and improve my work processes.
- I’m more likely to suggest getting together over some coffee and be more curious about other people.
- I’m determined to be a better advocate for plain language and accessibility, to set aside my insecurities and speak up.
Thank you to everyone who helped me grow and gain confidence. I can’t be happier pursuing my passions through this profession and to be working with you.
May 2023 be a healthy and fulfilling one for all!
—Ema Naito, The Clarity Editor
p.s. Quiz: How many Word macros do I use on an average editing day? Answer is hidden somewhere on this page 🕵️♀️
Thank you for entrusting me with your written words. Your confidence and our relationship mean the world to me.
I am proud to serve my regular/repeat clients.
UNITAR Division for Prosperity. Enjoyed working with colleagues from outside my division.
Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore. Concluded a two-year project on nuclear governance.
VoxEU.org and Centre for Economic Policy Research. Four years and counting 🙂
Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research. Reconnected with an organization I worked with 30 years ago!
Individual scholars. Loving the chance to work with more scholars.
J-CLINIC. Applied plain language to healthcare-related website.
Others. Reviewed training materials for clear & inclusive language. Reviewed an inclusive communications guide.
When I have to turn down inquiries, it makes me happy to refer them to someone else. I’d love to expand my networks more to get better at referring others.
Trainings & talks given
Doing the Tandem Nomads podcast was without a doubt the farthest I’ve ever been outside my comfort zone.
And the other “regular” trainings:
- Connecting through the written word: Clearer, more inclusive English for our global lives (FIGT2022 Conference “kitchen table conversation”)
- How to write and edit content in an effective & inclusive way (Tandem Nomads podcast)
- Making accessible Word and PowerPoints (UNITAR webinar)
- Structuring your writing (UNITAR webinar)
- Using clear English with diverse audiences (training for FIGT conference presenters on clear communication)
Being the writer makes me feel vulnerable and reminds me to be kind and helpful with feedback.
- CIEP 2022 summary of “Websites that win clients,” a session by Pauline Wiles (and my Tweet got quoted in the CIEP conference round-up post 🌟)
- A 2-part post for FIGT on “Using Clear English with Diverse Audiences (part 1)” (and part 2)
- A one-pager with tips to write clearly (an e-poster for FIGT2022)
- Plus 16 posts for this blog (and another 10 drafts! I have ideas but am a frightfully slow writer)
🔑Answer: I use about 20 Word macros on an average editing day. My favorites are Paul Beverley‘s HighlightPlus and HighlightMinus, TrackSimplifier, and VisibleTrackOff4, and Jay Freeman‘s CycleMarkup.
Learning and professional development
I would never dare call myself an “expert” (deeply ingrained “feminine humility” there … sigh). That’s why I love these words by Wendy Wagner-Smith, professional trainer and plain language expert:
An expert who never stops learning because no one can know everything? That sounds more attainable.
I was grateful that CIEP kept their conference hybrid—access for the win!
Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) 2022. I especially appreciated Margaret Hunter’s session on creating accessible PDFs and Hester Higton’s session on working more efficiently. Both have made me change my work processes.
JPELC Plain Language 2022. I was nervous as heck but thoroughly enjoyed my first Japanese conference, which was originally supposed to be Clarity International Conference.
Families in Global Transition 2022. Apart from briefing presenters on English for diverse audiences, I hosted 30-minute discussion sessions on clearer, inclusive English. Moderating informal discussions was tough, especially at 11 pm.
I completed the fantastic CIEP Plain English for Editors course and watched some great webinars.
- CIEP Plain English for Editors
- Accessible Publishing Summit 2022: User Perspectives (session recording)
- Design for Readability (Editors Canada webinar)
- Language Prejudice and the Documentation of Minoritized Varieties of English (Oxford English Dictionary webinar): Despite its very formal title, this was a fascinating and lively discussion that had much to do with rights and representation.
- Positioning Yourself as a Plain Language Editor, by Wendy Wagner-Smith (Digital.gov and US government Plain Language Community of Practice webinar)
- Writing & Editing for Non-profits: Making an Impact (Editors Canada webinar)
I learn so much from books, blogs, articles, social media posts, and the occasional podcast.
- plain language
- inclusive language
- web accessibility
- basics of design
- non-fiction writing and revising
But here are my top books from 2022.
Amy Einsohn and Marilyn Schwartz. The Copyeditor’s Handbook and The Copyeditor’s Workbook. 2019. Still working on these 🙂
On plain language
Martin Cutts. Oxford Guide to Plain English, 5th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.
On accessible publishing
Robin Seaman, Elaine Ober, and Bill Kasdorf (eds.). BISG Guide to Accessible Publishing. Book Industry Study Group, 2019.
- My favorite 2022 fun read: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (affiliate link) by V. E. Schwab.
- Notable mention: The Starless Sea (affiliate link) by Erin Morgenstern. The language was gorgeous and I’m in utter awe of her editors who worked with such a complex story.
(See my favorite books on plain language, writing, and presentations and 2021’s highlights.)
Wishlist of an editor
Just for fun, here are a few geeky things I fantasize about…
- An inexpensive subscription to an online Brian Garner’s Modern English Usage (Edibuddies: don’t get excited; it doesn’t exist. Yet.)
- An elegant, upright wooden chair that looks 18th century but has a firm seat (but not too firm) and proper lumbar support. And maybe comes with a massage function?
- A split mechanical keyboard. With tilt. And programmable keys.
- A safe Twitter whose use isn’t a moral issue. Sigh.
Hopes for 2023
The top three things I hope to do in 2023 … are exactly the same as what I hoped for 2022.
Brushing up on grammar is high on my list for 2023 and some ideas I had last year for writing resources are still to be made into reality.
Above all, I want to SIMPLIFY!
That’s a wrap! May 2023 be a healthy and fulfilling one for you and yours. I look forward to being of service to you again 🙂
If you would like to discuss whether we might be a good fit for your writing project, please send me details via the contact form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover image by Ema Naito (me). Taken in Koh Yao Noi, Thailand, in the first few days of 2022.