SD/PEN regularly selects members at random and profiles their background and experience in an interview-style blog post. These are valuable opportunities for members to introduce themselves to other members and prospective clients through this newsletter and on SD/PEN’s website and social media outlets.
This month we feature Heather Pendley, a line/copy editor and indexer at Pendley’s Pro Editing & Indexing.
How do you describe what you do to someone you’ve just met at a networking function?
I offer editing, proofreading, and indexing (back-of-the-book and embedded/hyperlinked) services. I specialize in business, finance, memoirs, self-improvement, health, and educational texts.
Give a little background on you.
Growing up, I loved writing but never dreamed I could make a career of it. I earned a degree in accounting, but it wasn’t my passion. About eight years ago, I decided to find something I could do remotely, and editing fit perfectly. Upon the suggestion of a professor I happened to sit next to on a plane, I added indexing to editing and enjoy my work every day.
What made you decide to become a professional editor and indexer?
I started by proofreading but could only make limited improvements to a text; copy/line editing is so much more satisfying, and creating indexes (especially embedded indexes) gives me my OCD fix.
What accomplishment are you most proud of professionally?
My tagline is “I’m not happy unless you are,” and I mean it. I’m proud of the feedback many amazed and satisfied clients have given me.
What do you enjoy most about being a member of SD/PEN?
I’ve been on the board for a couple of years now and enjoy the down-to-earth yet professional comradery of fellow editors—local or not.
Which quality would you most like your clients or professional colleagues to remember you for?
“Going above and beyond” is the comment I hear most often, and I aim to continue earning that praise.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned as an editor? Is there anything you would change in your editing journey?
I wish I would have started twenty years earlier. But life experience is enormously helpful, and even without a master’s degree or PhD, you can be a successful editor.
What do you like to do to get away from editing and refill the well?
Taking my dogs for walks at the park a block away from my home and smelling the jasmine bush right outside my office window. It revives me. I also read voraciously, often until early in the morning.
What is the number one item on your bucket list and why?
I have visited only two European cities but would love to tour all of Europe, or at least the entire UK—maybe this year for my 20th wedding anniversary!
Describe one thing about yourself that most people don’t know.
I am an amateur lepidopterist and volunteer Bible teacher.