A blog for copyeditors and for students who want to develop proficiency in copyediting
Satisfy yourself as a reader first, then copyedit. I usually make three passes through a manuscript: the first casually and the last in utter seriousness.One of the major benefits of copyediting is that you learn how to edit your own work. That is, you learn to see your work as something that will exist in the world apart from you. That doesn't prevent you from making composition errors, of course; it simply reduces them—while increasing the likelihood that impartial readers will benefit from engaging with your writing.I tend to copyedit mentally while reading the newspaper, magazines, catalogs, et cetera. I even read, as a copyeditor, the flyers that are posted in my building's elevator. This week there is a hilarious one about the closure of the pool. I'll try to take a picture of it and send it to the class. I think it'll make everyone smile.
So this might be a little personal, Pat, but can you "turn off" copyediting mode? It seems that you enjoy your work so thoroughly, you don't necessarily want to. I don't mean to over-analyze your style, just to understand more clearly.
Oh yes, I can turn it off—at least consciously. Then it switches back on when I come across an error.This is just part of being a craftsman, I think.
Pat, I consider you a true craftswoman!
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