I originally posted this over at r/writers but haven't received any attention on it. I tend to hop back and forth between this sub and that one, and tend to find this one a bit more responsive/active. Apologies if this violates anything in the sub's rules – I didn't see anything on x-posting (Rule 1e might qualify, but I'm not trying to solicit work here, just advice), but I'm happy to create a new post if it will abide by the rules.

TL;DR at the bottom because I'm apologetically long-winded in written (and verbal) form.

Background to my questions: I've recently begun thinking about looking for the occasional freelance editing job as a bit of a side hustle (saving up for a down payment on a house, woohoo!). I've freelanced before (a bit, while in between full-time work) as a writer/editor and transcriber on the site Upwork (Odesk before that), but I'm looking for something a bit more informal and ideally more flexible, and different subject matter than I'm accustomed to.

I write and edit professionally for a client, but it's mostly technical documents, as well as official correspondence and memos, following prescribed/official writing guides. I'd say most of my experience editing actually comes from college (history/historic preservation research papers, etc.) and being a beta reader/proofreader for fanfiction. I'm also interested in completing my own fictional work, but I feel that experience editing fiction could only stand to make me a better fiction writer in the end.

Because of my hesitance to jump in with both feet and commit to a formal contract with a client on a large project that I'd be working on outside of regular business hours, I've thought of first looking for small projects to take on for free, just to see if I can really juggle a freelance workload on top of my job and personal life. The freelancing websites I've seen look – well, frankly, they look terrible. I'd much rather find a community and develop a relationship before accepting work.

Read:  How do you find the "spark" for your stories?

TL;DR: My real reason for posting:

  1. What expectations do you have of a freelance editor who is taking on extra work as a side job in addition to their full-time career?
  2. What has been your experience in working with informal editing "buddies" online?
  3. Would you be willing to pay a nominal fee to employ a freelance editor on a smaller/in-progress project (or beta reader) for professional-level edits and, if agreed upon, basic feedback/critique?
  4. What would you be willing to pay for such a service? (I understand this is highly dependent on a relationship built between the editor/client, and foremost on the contracted job's complexity/needs.)
  5. When there are plenty of online communities such as r/writers and r/writing where you can find people willing to provide free critique and feedback. What skills/traits/characteristics in an editor would make you more willing to pay for their services?
  6. Based on the background I provided, what recommendations would you give to someone like me interested in pursuing freelance side work?

Any and all feedback is most welcome and appreciated! Thank you!

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