Name: Mollie Turbeville
College & Majors/Minors: I graduated from North Carolina State University with a major in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing.
Current Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Current Form of Employment: Full-Time Editor
Where do you work and what is your current position?
By day, I'm a content editor for a digital marketing agency in downtown Raleigh. By night, I'm a freelance book editor. Through my editing business, Mohr Editing, I work with indie authors, small pubs, and editorial agencies. I also freelance with Kirkus Editorial and INDIE Books Gone Wild. I mostly edit middle grade and young adult novels, but I've worked on many different kinds of books for kids and adults. You can't keep me away from a good story.
Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).
My first job was as a customer service intern in college for a nonprofit organization, where I interviewed people and contributed to a local newsletter and helped develop a youth curriculum. I began working with the nonprofit through my internship class, and what started out as class credit turned into a paid summer gig. I loved to capture inspiring stories and share someone else's voice through my words! I became a copywriter for a literary consultancy and learned more about content marketing.
Over the years, I discovered a new passion: helping others refine their own words to tell the stories they've always wanted to tell. I pursued editing classes and a network of professionals through a few wonderful editorial associations. I became an editor because I loved watching a better product emerge. There's nothing more satisfying than helping someone's story come to life. After a few years of book editing, I decided to edit for content and digital marketing agencies for a change of pace. As a content editor for a digital marketing agency, I get to help businesses develop their brand identities and tell their own unique stories. My two editing worlds overlap in more ways than one.
What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?
A copywriter position at a content marketing company taught me that I don't have to go looking for writing inspiration in spurts; I don't have to wait for creativity to "strike." With enough practice, I can harness creativity in an everyday routine. Demystifying the creative process has helped me overcome writer's block and fear. It is possible to commit to creative deadlines and longer projects. Perfection is overrated, and being a mature writer (or editor) is all about accepting the fact that you will always be growing; you will always be learning.
What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?
My experience as editor-in-chief of N.C. State's literary arts publication helped me learn how to work in a creative team and meet deadlines while balancing a CRAZY schedule. Promoting the magazine and thinking outside of the box was also helpful in my approach to becoming a freelancer.
What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?
Specialize. Become interested in one or two areas and go for it. If you want to set yourself apart, look where your passion lies and make yourself an expert. That, and always devote time to learning. I probably learned more about editing in my continued education courses through other programs and associations than I did throughout my whole college career. If you go after what you really want to learn, you may surprise yourself!