by Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE
Dear Santa: Please can I have a big pack of “normal” for Christmas?
Do you feel like that? Breathing a big sigh of relief that we’ve come through a couple of years of lockdowns, terrible illnesses and many deaths through COVID-19, and looking forward to a festive season and a future when we can start to return to something like the “old normal”?
But will it be normal for editors? We’ve learnt a lot: how to work at home online, how to combine work and schooling kids, how to make technology work as well as possible for us and more. We won’t forget that, and “the new normal” is likely to include much more working at home and still being cautious about not catching or passing on any sort of bug.
The upside for the IPEd Mentoring Program is that a lot of editors at all stages of their careers want to be mentored in upskilling their basic command of editing, or want to add new skills to their repertoire or have a complete career change, or want to understand how to set up and run a freelance editing business. Our coordinators all around Australia and in New Zealand are often rushed off their feet trying to match prospective mentees with mentors who have just the knowledge and skills that mentees want.
And this is where our system gets severely tested. We don’t have nearly enough mentors on our books whom the local coordinators can contact. We don’t want to overwork anyone, but some mentors really need a good break. As a treat to all of us, please think about a skill you have that you would be willing to share with another editor: it might be advanced copyediting, fiction editing, new technology that you’ve found helpful, a new take on an old skill like using track changes better, or getting organised in your office, or … anything. You don’t need teaching skills, just good chatting skills and good listening skills. A mentor is a guide and friend — not a teacher.
We’d welcome you on board as a mentor. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you an info sheet to help you decide. Go on … you’ll be really welcome, particularly in this season of goodwill to everyone.
Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE
Co-Chair with Ted Briggs AE, IPEd Mentoring Program Standing Committee