How to Cross-Train for Editing

How to Cross-Train for Editing

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Cross-training is the focus of today’s How To column at, as I continue my series on innovative professional development tactics for mid-career and senior editors.

Here are examples of cross-training I have done myself:

Man crawling through splashing mud in a race, by Kenny Holston used under CC BY-ND 2.0 license.
Cross-training can be great messy fun, and yield surprising insights.


Read a guide:

  • Screenplay writing and film theory. (A whole new way for me to think about words and communicating.)
  • Business guide for independent lawyers (as opposed to those who work for a firm).
  • Franchise business theory and best practices.
  • Basic XML so I could better understand ebook preparation and processes.
  • Garner’s theory of multiple intelligences that my teacher-authors had referred to so many times.

Take a course:

  • Through I took a course at OISE on Aboriginal worldviews in education, because it’s typical now to incorporate those ways of understanding into the science textbooks that I work on.
  • I also took courses in gamification and math and managing the company of the future.

Attend (another industry’s) conference:

  • Science teacher’s conference where they were sharing new theories in education and their best strategies for teaching various concepts.
  • Musician’s conference/auditions for folk festival circuit. Learned a lot about taxes, professionalism, and interacting with funders from presentations by the Canadian Council for the Arts.

Hire a tutor:

  • Taught me HTML coding back when it was done by hand.

Write about it:

  • Since asked me to write two weekly columns, I have been inspired to learn and expand my interests far beyond anything I think I will ever use. I and am constantly amazed by the links I find to my own practice, the light bulbs that go off in my mind, and what I can put to use.
  • Writing it down also helps me process the takeaways.


Link to my columns on

Read more in this series on unconventional professional development strategies for mid-career and senior editors.


Photo by Kenny Holston, used under CC BY-ND 2.0 license.

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