Copyediting Uncategorized

A dispatch from the editing coalface

a breakwater stretching out into the sea at sunset
I went away to the Norfolk coast for a few days. I set a tea-towel on fire and my mum got bitten by a dog. A good time was had by all.


I admit, I struggle to find a balance between working and blogging about work. The more work I do, the less time I have to blog! It’s time for me to redress that balance.

I haven’t posted news about myself for a while. You’ve had advice on getting your ebook ready for self-publishing, choosing an editor, working with an editor … you’ve even heard about what searches I’ve been doing. I’m currently working on a mammoth post, complete with screenshots, on how to use Word’s ‘styles’ function. But in the meantime, I’ve been up to a lot of other things …

Editing and proofreading, of course! Over the last few months I’ve been busy working on some history and sociology non-fiction titles, a dissertation, and a couple of charming novels – a comedy and a children’s fantasy book.

Training and continuing professional development. The Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) ‘Introduction to Fiction Editing’ course is incredibly wide-ranging and useful. I’m seriously considering branching out into developmental editing. As this would be a new venture for me, I’d offer a good discount for my first couple of clients, so if you’re interested in ‘big picture’ structural/developmental editing for your novel, now would be a great time to get in touch with me! 

Feeling like a schoolgirl again. I took the SfEP’s Basic Editorial Test, and the pressure was on, because despite the ‘Basic’ designation it was reputed to be pretty stringent, not to mention the fact that it was timed and you can make a maximum of two attempts to pass. If you fail on the second try, you’re doomed! After a couple of weeks of intense revision, I was relieved and delighted to get a mark of 95%.

Attending writerly things. Events, groups, call them what you will. The Leicester Writers Meet-Up is always friendly and welcoming, and on Tuesday I was at the Leicester Book Prize announcement where Rod Duncan’s The Queen of All Crows was revealed as the winner. I’ve also been to the SfEP East Midlands meet-up for the first time, connecting with editorial colleagues from all over the region.

Doing other writerly-worky stuff. Updating the Help For Writers website and blog. Delivering ebooks to online stores. Entering book metadata here, there and everywhere. Updating my directory entries. Creating a new Facebook page. Blowing my own trumpet.

Having a personal life. I moved house. My car passed its MOT. My child learned to jump. I went to the coast for a few days. I dusted off my bike after six years and attached a sprog-trailer to it. I had a good long sleep … no, wait. That didn’t happen. I have, however, eaten cake and drunk coffee. Sometimes even while working.

Because it’s not said often enough – and for many people it’s not true, anyway – I feel the need to shout from the rooftops … I love my job! I get to read lots of interesting things, both fact and fiction; I get to liaise with nice people who appreciate what I do; I learn a lot from the books I work on and the courses I take; even the aspects of the job I enjoy less, like marketing and promotion, provide variety and challenges which encourage me to develop in new and unexpected ways. I can’t wait to find out what the future will bring!

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