Proofreading and editing? What are you thinking?

You've probably heard of at least one story where someone threw away their day job and set off in a completely new direction with their life.

From the reaction of my peers to my plan, now executed, to leave the engineering profession in favour of proofreading/copy-editing, you would have thought I was declaring an aspiration to become a pet-food taster or sewage-pipe operative.

Don't get me wrong, I love the problem-solving and complex analysis of engineering and it has been very good to me: it has enabled me to own a house; to publish academic papers; to work and to present in Sweden, USA, Spain and London; to form part of the international expert community; and to meet great people from all over the world. But still, it was time for something different, and time for something that re-embraces my love of words, of language, of knowledge, of people and communication.

So, I set about reassuring my friends, colleagues and family that I have thought this idea through, that it wasn't just a passing fad and that I was quite sure that I wasn't ruining my life, that I wasn't pursuing a naïve vision of becoming part of a literary intelligentsia or seeking a fruitless immersion into indulgent quasi-autistic pedantry!

I just about managed to convince them.