Blog

  • Quick, quick, slow: the science of reading

    ‘How long will it take?’ and ‘How much will it cost?’ are two common questions from clients. I’ve developed a fairly reliable way to estimate the time needed for various editorial and writing tasks. But come what may, all the words need to be read, and that takes time. Now there is scientific evidence that… Read more »

  • Standing up for editing

    No, not a post about the many good reasons to employ an editor. (Sorry to disappoint: I’ll happily write that one some other time.) This is a post about office furniture. I am only 5 ft tall (approx. 150 cm) and have always had problems with desk and chair height. For years I’ve had elaborate workarounds, but… Read more »

  • Lessons from #sfep16

    The annual conference of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) took place at Aston University, Birmingham, from 10–12 September 2016. I have been to several SfEP conferences, but this was by far the most enjoyable. I learned a lot and had a great time meeting familiar faces and making new friends. Here are my… Read more »

  • Tips from #NUJdigitalskills

    Here are 15 great tips from the speakers at the NUJ Digital Journalism Skills workshop I attended on 13 February. There were many more, so if you get the chance to hear any of these guys give a presentation: GO! Inspired by @documentally – Christian Payne Don’t think ‘digital’, think ‘networked’ Own your own stories… Read more »

  • The practice of practising

    I’ve always had a bit of a downer on the word ‘practice/se’. It’s not just because I need to remember to check and recheck for the correct spelling; it’s the negative connotations of the word itself. But then I had a revelation – all thanks to Downward-facing Dog.   ‘Practice makes perfect’ – a phrase… Read more »

  • Out with the old

    This year I turned 50. I’m not planning any dramatic changes or challenges, just a few tweaks here and there. So here’s my end-of-year round robin, and details of this year’s seasonal donation. Dear Clients and Colleagues It may be a while since some of you have heard from me, but now’s the time of… Read more »

  • Thinking style with Steven Pinker

    There are many important lessons to be gleaned from Steven Pinker’s book The Sense of Style, and I don’t just mean pointers on usage conventions and grammatical quirks. His book is not only an invaluable resource, it’s also a jolly good read. But you don’t need to read between the lines to get the idea… Read more »

  • Time for a new hat?

    In a few weeks’ time I will be leading a seminar at the 25th Annual SfEP Conference entitled: ‘Time for a new hat? Expanding your business into consultancy, training and other publishing services’. But this post isn’t about that. (I’m keeping the details … erm … under my hat.) Instead, here’s a quick catch-up on… Read more »

  • That was the year that …

    What would an editor write in a seasonal round robin? Here’s what. [Warning: be prepared for Stilton-strength cheesy bits and a light sprinkling of links to my favourite things.]       Dear Clients and Colleagues I hope you are all well and prospering. It has been good to escape from my little office to… Read more »

  • Twenty-five years and counting

    This is an exciting time of year for many young people who, if they are lucky, will shortly be entering the ‘real world’ of work. It’s twenty-five years since I took the same tentative steps, and in this post I share a few thoughts for would-be editors, proofreaders and journalists, and some reflections for those… Read more »