K.L. Stecyk: “I’m a world traveller, but one who typically stays in one place for a couple of months at a time. In this past year I’ve lived in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, and Spain. I don’t stay in hotels, but apartments, living what is closer to a local’s life than a tourist’s life. Cross-culturally, people express themselves differently. This stems not only from their own native language systems, but also from cultural values. For example, words in one language may not exist in others. Such observations influence my thinking process during editing. Where I suspect a hole in the accurate communication of an idea I will leave a comment for the author; sometimes I have an idea or two of my own to suggest, or I recommend that they check the translation.
My experience with studying the Japanese language for four years in university and then teaching in Japan for two years has also significantly shaped how I look at words written by individuals who have English as a foreign language. I recognize patterns in sentence construction and phrasing that are common in English learners from specific countries. For example, Japanese writers may mistakenly use “became” or “become” because of the use of “です” (“desu”) at the ends of Japanese sentences (meaning “to be” or “it is”). They also often miss articles because their language doesn’t have them. This kind of knowledge helps me extract an author’s intended meaning and edit their text with greater accuracy.”
Can you tell us a bit about your background; how did a creative writer, editor and gaming enthusiast from Edmonton (Canada) end up on the Peerwith website and at what point did you decide to sign up as an Expert on Peerwith?
I began editing for academic publications around the same time I started working on editing and writing video game scripts. Creative fiction, be it in novel form, as a video game, or anything else, has always been a calling of mine. Exploring and crafting other worlds is more than just a fun pastime for me, and as an academic you can guess that I’m certainly passionate about strong science fiction. Keeping rooted in the academic world allows me to constantly learn new things. I am privileged to be an observer at the scientific frontier. Every paper I work on sharpens my editing and writing skills, and inspires my creative fiction work. At the same time, I get to help authors become published. Their work shapes our present and our future.
I actually decided to sign up as an Expert on Peerwith as soon as I discovered the platform. I enjoy working one-on-one with clients rather than through a third-party. I wanted to build more meaningful relationships with clients, and Peerwith seemed like a great way to connect with authors.
Your main activities as an Expert are copy and language editing. How can you help peers to get published in English journals?
I bring my experiences of living abroad, studying foreign languages, and teaching English to my editing services. My services are comprehensive and elevate the text’s English to the level of excellence expected by journals. I flag all unclear text so that the author can reword or clarify, and also offer free follow-up edits on all projects. This allows authors to check all my edits, make corrections/clarifications where necessary, and have their new changes reviewed for free. Only rarely do authors need to do significant revisions and return for further editing. Their polished papers are then ready for submission to English journals.
What do you see as major benefits of the Peerwith platform? What made you decide to offer your services on Peerwith rather than any other researcher service platform?
The ability to communicate directly with the author, negotiate the required work when necessary, and quickly provide follow-up edits are some of the major benefits of working via Peerwith. I liked that Peerwith valued community, quality over quantity, and their payment system. Even now I appreciate that Peerwith is trying to improve the peer-to-peer experience.
Is there anything you want to say to people who are hesitant about getting support, or advice to people who are considering using the Peerwith Platform?
Support is there for a reason! To support you! Check Peerwith’s guides on how to use the platform, and if you’re unsure about anything just contact them. They also have some videos that provide guidance. I have used Peerwith Support many times and they always respond promptly.