The Pleasure I Derive from Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading is an exhausting task. Yet, it’s exhilarating, as well. Can you believe it?

I’m pernickety. I like to sleep on a night, knowing that I have put my heart and soul into something and that I am beyond criticism. If there is a possibility that a comma may be out of place, it hurts, so I go through the work again.

So, where does that leave the work owner and where does it leave me?

For the work owner, it is the comfort of knowing that I have left no stone unturned, that I went through the whole document or book, as many times as was necessary for me to feel one hundred percent good. After three full edit and proofreading procedures, I then go back to the beginning, to check that the flow is correct, that there are no errors that I have missed, that spaces are correct between bulks of speech and scenes …. and then, and only then, will I make use of the spelling and grammar check, just in case I was blinded by an error, or there is a double space where there shouldn’t be one. Need I elaborate further?

It’s stressful.

Yet it’s exhilarating. I have reached the point where I know my client will be absolutely happy. I leave the final door open, so that the owner can say, ”yes, that’s spot on”, or “well, could you do this for me, as well (something personal to their needs that I was not aware of earlier)?”

So the rate I ask of ten pounds an hour / per thousand words can quickly fall to a lower hourly rate (I log all of my hours and, for work from non-native writers of English, I have seen my hourly rate fall to less than one pound an hour), as I dig deep and leave the work with a satisfied heart. If you’re not into editing and proofreading, this feeling may be difficult to understand. I’m in search of perfection, or close as anyone can get to it, though they do say that perfection doesn’t exist. On that score, I suppose we need to ask the most beautiful woman in the world if she is happy with herself and see what she comes up with.

Still, I love the work and, for me, a satisfied customer is a part of the payment.

Published in: on 06/10/2014 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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