Musings

Advancement

At the end of my introductory musing I mentioned that my next would be on the subject of the author’s voice. That is such an important topic, but it will have to wait a little, I’m afraid.
Instead I’m going to make an announcement:

My membership of my professional organisation, the SfEP (Society for Editors and Proofreaders), has today, 14 June 2017, been upgraded to Advanced Professional, meaning that I am ‘held to demonstrate a high level of professional competence and substantial experience’.

I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a member of SfEP, and how delighted I was to receive the news of my membership upgrade this morning.

It goes without saying that as an APM I will continue to uphold the SfEP’s standards to the best of my ability, and use my experience and training to work with authors and help make their novels the best they can be.

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.