My Time at The Editing Company: A Retrospective

by Nina Hoeschele

Published at 2013-07-26

Way back in December of 2010, I was fresh off an editorial internship and looking for a place to put my newly sharpened skills to work. Back then, The Editing Company consisted only of Beth and Nadine, and they had just moved from Bloor and Spadina to a new office at 27 Carlton Street. A fresh start, this time with windows — and to make it even better, they were looking for a third wheel on their editorial tricycle.


No doubt they chose me because of my (cough) brilliant use of metaphors.


I remember Beth’s enthusiasm about the new space when I came in for my interview — she informed me that the coat rack had just been installed, making me one of the first people to ever hang my coat on it. I savoured the honour appropriately, then proceeded to sit down with Beth and tell her all about what a nerd I am, hoping that might somehow win her over.


Luckily for me, first thing in the morning a few days later, the call came in: I had the job. I was so pleased that I woke up my boyfriend to tell him … which he tolerated with admirable restraint.


A Regular Working Editor


The first full-length project I ever worked on at TEC was an extremely comprehensive history of a small Ontario town, written by a historian with family roots there. As I edited away, two thoughts were prominent:


1. I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this!

2. What the heck is an apple evaporator?


The amazement of #1 has subsided over time, but the string of unorthodox questions continues. That’s one of the gifts of being an editor — every week you’re an expert on a new topic, if only until the next project comes along to take over your head.


Two years and seven months later, I’ve seen a lot of changes in this office. Projects continue to come in faster and faster — so much so that TEC needed even more editors. The tricycle is now a six-wheeled bus (?!), plus we also work with a wider network of collaborators than ever.


And I’ve edited, proofread, and indexed books and articles on even more topics than I could ever dream of. From the prevalence of diabetes in Alaska to the culture of blogging about motherhood, there’s no limit to the oddly specific facts I can spout — thanks to TEC!


Time to Move On


But alas, I’ve spent my life torn between a few passions, and paying too much attention to any one of them makes the others start screaming in jealousy after a while. So, though it was a hard decision, I recently realized that it’s time for me to focus on the visual arts for a while — I’ll take some courses, build up my neglected portfolio, and see what I can do in graphic design.


Wherever I end up, I’m sure the skills I learned at TEC will continued to support me well — editing, time management, cupcake eating — the lot of them.


For the sake of poetic bookends, I considered sabotaging the coat rack so its fall would coincide with my departure … but, for the sake of my colleagues, I decided to spare it. And I’m guessing it’ll be full of editors’ coats for a long time to come.



For more on Nina's new directions, check out two of her earlier blogs:

Editing Graphic Novels: A New Career Choice? and Editors Shouldn't Text