Musings

Why I love what I do

This is my first ever blog post. There, I’ve said it. I have been a professional copy editor for around six years, and last year decided to incorporate a blog section on my website. I sit every day in my ivory tower (well, at my desk overlooking the garden), communicating with few people other than my clients, and I read the learned and informative blogs written by my professional clients, such as the inspirational Louise Harnby, knowing I couldn’t pull anything like that off myself.

But at some point I have to dip my toe in the water, and perhaps tell people a little about myself and my work, so here goes.

  • I love reading – I always have. Going on holiday used to be difficult. I would fill my case with the dozens of books I’d need for the trip, leaving no room for clothes and other essentials. With the advent of the Kindle (other e-readers are available) I can take as many books as I like in my hand luggage.
  • I love the fact that having been away from the world of going out to work and being paid, as opposed to staying at home bringing up four children, I have found a new career, the main requirement for which is a love of reading. Don’t get me wrong though. That’s not quite enough. Copy editors are trained professionals and those who are members of a professional body such as SfEP have to abide by a code of practice. This also means that one has to proofread everything one writes oneself, and be prepared to justify certain things – like the fact that copy-editing and copy editor can be spelled in two (three?) different ways, and that it’s ok to start a sentence with ‘but’.
  • I love owning my own business. My boss is a hard taskmaster, but I set my own hours (usually 8+ a day) and holidays. I have an editorial assistant in the shape of a geriatric chocolate Labrador called Fudge.
  • I love it when a potential new client makes an enquiry and describes to me just the book I’ve been waiting to read. I love chatting to that new client (by email, of course) and working out what they want (or need), and how I can help to achieve their vision.
  • I love it when that client’s book wings its way to me for my first read-through. I am passionate about retaining the author’s voice – this is their book, not mine. But the feeling when the wrinkles have been ironed out, the text is twinkling and everything flows is one of immense satisfaction – and pride in my client’s work.

Having mentioned the author’s voice just now, that is what I intend to write about in my next post. So, until then, happy reading.