While learning (and reveling in) the intricacies of Associated Press style, I realized I’d found part of my calling as a detail-oriented person. This character trait goes back a ways: When I worked at a grocery store (my first summer job), my boss asked me to scan every item type in the store and compare its shelf cost to the price in the system to make sure customers weren’t charged incorrectly.
Was it grueling? Yes. But believe it or not, I found a great deal of pleasure in correcting the mistakes, so he saved the job for me every summer.
These days, I work with words, which is nice because I don’t have to shiver while verifying prices in the freezer section. Clarity and accuracy come first in every project I write or edit — I’ve failed if I haven’t presented the material in a comprehensible and truthful fashion.
I’m also not afraid to dig deep — sometimes a piece needs more than surface editing. That said, I firmly believe that with the power to change stories comes the responsibility of being accountable to those whose work I edit. No writer wants his voice slashed from his carefully crafted prose.
Finally, I’m a meticulous semantics lover, so I take word choice seriously. When thinking up headlines and other display type, I draw on my writing experience to compose creative, inviting blurbs that will encourage readers to find the story.