Copy editing, sub editing – whatever you want to call it, I’ve been doing it for years, having essentially fallen into a subbing job over ten years ago.
Of course, as someone who professionally picks out mistakes in other people’s writing, my own work is always going to have a massive target slapped on it by folk who are eager to take me down a peg.
Professional pedant though I am, I don’t think that’s particularly helpful. As I’ve always said, even editors need editing.
Nevertheless, I can say with confidence I’m an above-average sub editor, not just because I’m good at spelling (although that does help, of course). I’m also someone who knows the importance of consistency, how to follow a style guide and how to chop an article right down without it losing its meaning.
And I’m obsessed (possibly unhealthily) with punctuation and grammar.
Want to know why the word ‘however’ should never be used as a coordinating conjunction or why adverbs ending in ‘ly’ don’t need to be hyphenated in compound modifiers? Probably not, but I do – and that’s where I think I stand out.
Am I perfect? Of course not, but I do understand the importance of continual development.