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Proofreading 101: No Job Too Small (or too "Hugh")

When I talk about the work that I do and mention to people that most of my time is currently taken up working on book-length manuscripts, I often am met with "So do you work on shorter things?"

I understand how this could come up if we were talking about writing, because there are certainly different skills involved in writing a 500-word newspaper op-ed or a 50,000-word science fiction novel. I also know that there are editors who have very specific skill sets and specialize in one genre or another. (And, again, they would be looking for different things in short works versus long ones.)

So the fact that I edit pieces that are 125,000-word manuscripts, and also 125-word postcard mailers, is a little odd. I get that. And I definitely do kind of psych myself up in different ways for each of those tasks.

For proofreading, however, the task is pretty much the same whether the piece is a one-page blog post or a thousand-page magnum opus.

I mean... I'm guessing this is wrong - though there is the possibility that the person having the sale is named Hugh...

Proofreading is all about looking for the minor details that have fallen through the cracks along the way. The period that didn't make it at the end of a sentence. The incorrect homophone when their replaced there. Or maybe the paragraph which has a wonky indentation at the start.

No matter what length the project is, those pieces are going to need to be fixed. The only difference is how long the fixing will take.

So, yes, I'll happily work on pretty much anything - whether the project is really small, or the project is... well... "Hugh."

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