18 May, 2015

The Reader's Lament: Post-Grammatic Stress Disorder.



What I if told you...


...because you probably did. Don't worry; we all do it. Our brains are pretty amazing--they process and correct errors without us even knowing what's going on. Unfortunately, our brains can't change the errors on paper...that's all on us. 

I catch errors alllllll the time. Anywhere, everywhere. Online, at the grocery store, random ads, postcards, scripts, published novels...you name it. I often wish I could get paid to proofread everything. 
Not everyone is good with grammar and spelling, and that's fine. That's why proofreaders exist. (Seriously: use them.) Part of my job at Deluxe is proofreading, and I love it. I love my job--there are so many good things about it and only a couple bad: 1) While it's still in the business, it's not performing. 2) There probably will not be any raises any time soon, and I have got to pay down some debt...that way, I can stop being so stressed and start doing the things I love to do...like TRAVEL AGAIN.

By the way...it should be noted that I do not spend the way the average person spends. I rarely treat myself. No eating out, unless I have to (guests in town, etc.). No fast food. (Well, "no" fast food isn't accurate. Maybe 6-7 times a year.) No coffee trips (mostly because I don't drink the stuff, but no tea, either). I don't get manis and/or pedis...I wait to get my hair done until the last possible minute, when I'm fighting knots the size of Luxembourg and the only way to salvage my hair is a ponytail. I don't get anything waxed or tinted or dyed or massaged or exfoliated. Many of my clothes are hand-me-downs; I don't go shopping except for household stuffs, and I take my lunch to work every single day. 

Sooo...while thinking about everything and wondering what I should do...researching financial tips and part-time jobs and ways to bring in some extra income without wasting what little energy I have left, I came across an article talking about ProofreadAnywhere. It obviously caught my eye. I can make money proofreading from wherever I want, and I can make more than I would on Fiverr or Elance? 

WHAT'S THE CATCH?

I started looking into it...researched it, trying to see if it was a scam...came to the conclusion that although the website is in need of redesigning (my own opinion), there was nothing scammy or scary or fake about it.

I signed up for Caitlin's free 7-Day Course. Because I don't have an abundance of time, it took almost 2 weeks to finish. In the meantime, I kept researching the program, finding reviews, thinking about whether or not this is something I could do...and reading Caitlin's blogs, as well as testimonials from students (taken with a grain of salt, of course). No red flags, no uneasy feelings...and I followed other commenters and bloggers to see how they were doing during and after the course.

This is not a way for me to get rich quick and run off to buy my summer cottage on PEI. (That's still going to happen, mind you, it's just going to take a while. ;)  )
"Just plop it down somewhere in the middle out there, please--thanks."

But this is a way for me to earn extra income on the side by doing something that not only am I damn good at, but I also enjoy. So I took a deep breath and signed up for the full course. (It's affordable and not over-priced, but every penny counts for me. I should also mention that the fee goes up in another week or so. Not by a huge amount, but if you're considering the course, I'd sign up now instead of waiting. UPDATE: Apologies if you're reading this after the fee went up. It's still a good price for everything that you're getting in this course--and that includes just about 24/7 help from Caitlin and the community of PA proofreaders--whether former students or current. Not only that, but you can get a coupon code for $50 off through her 7-Day free e-course, or in one of her blog posts. I can't remember which one, though! If you're interested, I can find that for you.)

This is a very intensive course on proofreading court transcripts. You go at your own pace; most people take 1-3 months to complete...I would absolutely love it if I could complete it in one month, but I'm aiming for two, realistically. (ANOTHER UPDATE: *sigh* It might be closer to 3. But things are starting to calm down again, so I think 2 - 2.5 is fairly realistic for me. :) )

There are nine modules with 42 course units, and I'm currently on the 5th unit of the 1st module. (I've been on that same unit for 4 days now. It's all of a page, but with out-of-country guests and cleaning and working and basic life getting in the way, it's taking me that long to read one page. (UPDATE #3:  I'm now on the 2nd module, 2nd unit. Huzzah--progress! {However small.} If you knew my schedule, though, you'd understand this is a bit of progress. :) ) I plan on dedicating at least one hour after work each night, more on weekends when possible. 

There are over a thousand pages of practice transcripts in the course, so it's a doozy. It's not a few pages to read and a couple of grammar quizzes and Bob's your uncle. It's WORK. But it just doesn't feel like it to me, and that's the important thing.

I'll keep you guys updated as I progress. I'm excited to delve more into the course as soon as I can, and I'm really excited to start the search for clients.

Interested? We can do it together!!! Just click the cat above to find out more, or here:

P.S. Remind me if I haven't updated in a bit and you're curious to see how it's going! :D