Libraries revisited via The Library Book by Susan Orleans

In March 2018, I wrote a blog post called Proofreaders, libraries and a love of reading. It was about my introduction to libraries from a very early age and my continued use of them, about the decline in the use of libraries and, sadly, about the closure of many of them across the UK. Libraries Continue reading

Proofreading, copy-editing and dreaming about vegetables during lockdown

The early days – a proofreading shortage turns into busy weeks and months So it’s 26 August 2020 and we’ve been in lockdown for five months. I’ve barely left the house, apart from a few trips to the supermarket early on and a walk every day. I’m very grateful to have a garden, which I’ve Continue reading

Proofreading and copy-editing: enjoying good relationships with clients

  Every week I meet up with a good friend who lives locally for a chat and a coffee. She’s self-employed too, so the conversation inevitably turns to work at some point. My proofreading business is very different from her cleaning business, but we encounter many of the same challenges and enjoy similar aspects of Continue reading

How to check for repetition in your writing

When I’m copy-editing non-fiction, which I specialise in, one of the things I check for is whether any aspects of the writing are so repetitious that they’re likely to annoy the reader or look like a poor style of writing. I find repetition easy to spot and fix, but that’s partly because I’m looking at Continue reading

Proofreaders, libraries and a love of reading

During the last few months, various articles about beautiful libraries around the world have caught my eye, and I’ve posted some of them on my Facebook page and on Twitter. Something weird happens to me when I see pictures of shelves full of books. I feel happy and positive, as well as nostalgic, and generally Continue reading

The ellipsis – how to use it in non-fiction

The ellipsis You wouldn’t think three innocuous little dots would cause too many problems, but it’s clear from some of the texts I work on that some clients find that using the ellipsis properly and consistently can be a headache. Does it need a space before and after it? Should there be a space after Continue reading

Proofreaders and the paparazzi: getting headshots taken

Every two months, members of the South Warwickshire and Coventry local group of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (formerly the Society for Editors and Proofreaders) meet at a pub in Leamington Spa. Our discussions include all sorts of work-related topics, and I think we all find the meetings a very valuable resource – Continue reading

What are the benefits for proofreaders of meeting clients face to face?

You might have read my last blog post about many proofreaders enjoying getting out of the office now and again, even if they love their job. So while the dominating features of many self-employed proofreaders are spending a lot of time alone working, doing admin and marketing, and generally running a business, another, for me Continue reading

Why it’s good to escape from the office – the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading 2017

The proofreader’s office I wonder what people would say if they were asked to describe the sort of office a self-employed proofreader might work in? Would they describe an isolated, minimalist office overlooking a well-tended garden with an amazing view of distant hills? Or would they picture a dingy back bedroom cluttered with junk, piles Continue reading

Theses and dissertations (part 2): How to avoid inconsistency of style

  In part 1 of this post, I suggested an easy method to avoid being inconsistent in the use of tense in your thesis or dissertation. This post considers a quick and easy way to avoid inconsistency of style. Examples of such an inconsistency could be applying italics to only some instances of the same Continue reading