I have written here about my struggles with editors: The better writer you are, the better editor you need—and the more complicated relationship you'll have with any editor.
I have not written here about my comparatively un-complicated relationship with copy editors—or my perfect relationship with Vital Speeches copy editor Cindy Hutchinson.
I think of myself as a pretty clean writer, and I look down my prose at other writers who make lots of typos even, in email correspondence. But "pretty clean" writing is, to a good copy editor, a punch bowl with just a few turds in it. (Speaking of which, a grammar columnist who wrote for a newsletter I edited as a young man once sarcastically thanked me for my own "sub-fecal copy editing job.")
Cindy Hutchinson—who it should be noted is not employed to work on this filthy blog—makes whatever she looks at perfect. But that's table stakes for a copy editor, and it's to be expected from one who has worked as long and as successfully as Cindy.
What sets Cindy apart is the erudite, good-humored, wise and practical approach she brings, which feels like the precise opposite of the pedantic, smug, "gotcha" attitude that some other copy editors bring to the job. As I testify on Cindy's new website, “Over the decade I’ve worked with her, Cindy Hutchinson has proved herself to be the most reliable, reasonable, thoughtful copy editor I’ve worked with. She catches our errors, improves our prose and—quietly and with good humor—teaches us to be better, more careful writers and thinkers in the process.”
After years of working in newspaper journalism and then for top content marketing firms, Cindy has hung out her own shingle.
She is: Cindy the Copy Editor.
If I were you, I'd get on her gathering calendar before it fills up completely.