Papaya Banerjee is a renowned Copyeditor and Proofreader in her community. Whether it editing for books or blogs, articles or newspaper’s news editing or editing academic writing she does it all. She had worked behind many successful writers and continuingly doing so. From her interview, one can learn how your passion can become your profession.
Hello Papiya Ma’am..
Tell me about how you decided of choosing this profession?
Papiya Banerjee: I was from a middle-class family and use to read a lot of English books, fiction, and non-fiction. I used to watch a lot of English TV serials and had ears for good listening. Therefore, I could understand English well, whatever the accent maybe, British or American. After my post-graduation, I came across an advertisement in which transcribing job was available with paid internship and they wanted people good in the English language. I appeared and got selected as a transcriptionist, in which I had to do the editing and proofreading of dictated files, which used to carry many mistakes. My internship training helped a lot and thus became a full-time editor and Proofreader. I never decided to become one, but I became one as I like reading.
Tell me about your journey in brief, how you made it to the position you are in?
Papiya Banerjee: I worked for the International Transcription company for 5 years, then I went to Delhi after getting selected by a multi-national company and worked there for another five years. There I became a senior Copyeditor and Proofreader. In-between, I used to get approached by people who wanted their contents to be edited and proofread. I used to do that without charging them. Gradually, I started to get more works. At that time I didn’t know that I was getting prepared as a freelancer. Four years later when due to family responsibility I had to start working from home, I started copyedited and proofreading as my self-employed job.
Now, whether it’s a book writer or a blog writer or it’s about academic writing people come to me.
Can you describe your approach to revising copy to ensure quality, accuracy, and clarity?
Papiya Banerjee: First I will go through the content and verify the correctness of the content, such as dates and statistics. Then I will check for the style of text, readability, and adherence to editorial policies and then rewrite the content to improve readability and clarity. At last, I proofread the content and correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
Share the memory of a time when you tasted success for you and your enterprise/company.
Papiya Banerjee: I was working in the International company E-Scribe, one day my manager called me and said that one International client wants to speak to me as I had done a wonderful job for that client. He is Doctor from the USA and wanted to speak to the person who had done the job. Two days later in the night, I got an International call from that the client for whom I had done the work. He appreciated me and he talked with me for 20 minutes. It was an honor for me to get appreciated by someone who can understand the quality of work.
My Boss took care of the fact that all International clients were given to me and I also got a raise in salary as well as position. I became Assistant Production Manager.
Give an example of a time when you have encountered and overcome a professional obstacle.
Papiya Banerjee: It happens everywhere, professional jealousy and rivalry, backbiting happens in every office and I was not an exception. I was very good at my work, but in the private company, there are certain factors that create an unnecessary obstacle. As I was good at my job, I was at times was given all difficult files to transcribe, whereas some people due to favoritism used to get easy work. But I use to work sincerely and do all those very bad files. But it turned out boon to me. My expertise went to the next level.
Tell me about your most successful proofreading and/or editing project.
Papiya Banerjee: I have edited and proofread for USA clients and to date, I count those as my best projects.
Can you tell me about a remarkable and challenging work and what you learned from it?
Papiya Banerjee: In Escribe, I got a chance, when my Senior had to go abroad, I got a chance to handle the entire project single-handedly and I took it as an opportunity and worked hard and extra hours too. I was nervous and tense but I used to cross-check everything twice and because of that, I could do the work efficiently. The staff under me also worked very seriously and it was good teamwork. My seniors could understand that I had the potential to handle projects single-handedly and efficiently. I think we all learn and work well in crises, but it is a rough time in which talent gets recognized. I too got recognized by my Senior and company in which I will a course on Copyediting and Proofreading to people who are interested in this field and take up copyediting proofreading works from national and international companies.
Any suggestions that you would like to give to the upcoming editors?
Papiya Banerjee: Copyediting and Proofreading is a behind the scene work. It demands high attention, commitment, and persistent work for long hours. A simple mistake can create issues. So, if you have a passion for reading, rewriting, working alone for hours then only choose this work.