I learned a lot this past weekend at my first National Conference of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES). I learned that people look up the words affect and effect in the online Merriam Webster’s Dictionary more than any other words—although qi is often tops at 11 p.m. on a Friday (“Words with Friends” fans will know why.)
I learned how to find out which SEO keywords can be most effective. I learned that the Copyediting newsletter is worth its annual price. I learned about the hub and spoke method of building a social media network.
And I learned—or rather I re-learned—that copy editors are smart, funny people who are generous with their knowledge and passionate about their work. I met people who are editing for newspapers, encyclopedias, corporate publications, universities, websites and—according to all the freelancers I met—anything anyone will pay us to edit.
That’s because editors in general love language and enjoy the challenge of editing. So we are all looking for a way to make a living working with the words we love.
Thanks, ACES, for giving so many people who usually work in the shadows a chance to gather in the sunlight of St. Louis for a few days. I’m already looking forward to next year in Las Vegas.