Phew...we made it. Happy Friday, everyone!
It's been a roller coaster of a month, but we made it to Friday. I had my birthday on the 18th in Orlando—at Disney World!—so the day was filled with extra wonder! I'm still kind of blown away. I also squeaked by another month paying my bills and making a small (okay, minuscule) dent in the family debt I was saddled with a few months ago. Worry is already gnawing for October, but we'll deal with that next Friday, ha.
Despite working as a freelancer (and very much enjoying my job), there's always a tiny dread returning after a vacation. I worry about missing client e-mails or being out of touch with my larger contracts: what madness will I return to?
Among my messages are all the chats I missed in Slack and Trello (used primarily by my bigger clients, especially online magazines). I browsed through them just to make sure there was nothing urgent accidentally thrown into the group chat instead of privately messaged to me.
And then I found a little exchange that warmed my heart on a (getting a little colder) Monday morning and set up a great start to the week.
Managing Editor: So just click-and-drag the Trello card under the "Complete" header and we'll do the rest.
Writer: I noticed you use US English, I'm British, how much will I be docked in pay for spelling errors?
Managing Editor: You won't. It's a flat fee per article as outlined here: [link].
Writer: So no deductions for typos? I have the style guide, but it's different than what I'm used to.
Managing Editor: Don't worry about any errors. We have a copy editor.
The conversation actually went on further and I was A) horrified that this writer had apparently been penalized for spelling errors in the past and B) incredibly proud to be a copy editor.
If there is anything I can recommend to any author for any publication, it's always "get a copy editor." Even if you don't have a style guide to adhere to (though you should for consistency's sake), even if you feel totally confident in your content, you can lose credibility with a typo, especially multiple typos or even inconsistencies in style.
If the clients you work for don't employ copy editors, hire one. We often offer deals for long-term contracts and flat fees for short works.
I cannot express enough how important consistent and error-free writing can be to a writer's career. It's easy to miss double articles and wayward commas; things you can glance over when you know the story cover-to-cover...but that readers (and especially critics) will notice. And, apparently, if you're writing for certain publications, you may even lose some money from your paycheck!
As writers, we have enough to worry about. Don't worry about any errors, get a copy editor (shameless plug, woo)! ❤