Editing can be challenging if both parties aren’t on the same page*. This creed is basically just my personal philosophy spelled out so that potential clients can make an informed decision about hiring me. If you have questions about this post or want to discuss rates, please use my contact page or email me directly.
The Liberal Freelance Editor’s Creed by Emily Suess
- For a fee I am willing to edit or proofread your documents.
- As an editor, you’ll find me opinionated and judgy**. I might even hurt your feelings, but I promise that’s an unintended consequence. In this capacity, I might suggest you stop using triple exclamation points at the end of every sentence. Not because a person can’t use triple exclamation points if she wants to***, but because I personally think your writing is better without them.
- As a proofreader, I am not going to judge the content or style of your writing. I’m just going to try to catch the things you would change yourself if you had the time to look them up and your eyes weren’t already bleeding from your first thousand readings. I’ll let you keep your triple exclamation points and will promise not to touch any part of your writing that is clearly part of your voice, no matter how much it pains me.
- Regardless of what you may have learned in middle school, there isn’t just one way to write. Take the serial comma, for instance. The AP Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style don’t agree on its use****. Assuming you’re not obligated to follow AP or Chicago or whatever, just pick your favorite and enjoy the opportunity you have to call the shots. I’ll go along with it.
- My editor’s marks are not insults; they are suggestions. You are – at all times – free to ignore them. It’s always your piece.
- I don’t like red ink either, but blue ink doesn’t offer enough contrast and no one is taking my glitter pens***** seriously.
* Ha! I’m such a hoot.
**It’s a word now. I’m a liberal freelance editor, remember?
*** I believe in breaking the so-called rules, particularly if you have a good reason to do it.
**** A quick note on stylebooks: If you’re writing in an industry that requires you to adhere to one particular style, you should tell me that before I start working on your document.
***** I don’t really have glitter pens. I was just trying to be funny.
image credit: jdurham