Being an Advanced Human

Society for Editors and Proofreaders, SfEP, Advanced Professional Member

I’ve been so lazy recently.

Well, actually I haven’t been, I’ve been working my arse off. But after so many lovely people decided to share my ‘Editors matter to business’ article I decided to let things lie for a while, just hoping more people would see the post. It’s important that we get the message across to as many businesses as possible. Businesses need editors. Keep sharing, people!

But this week I have cause to celebrate, so I’m going to be self-indulgent.

You see, when I joined the SfEP (now the CIEP) one of my main aims was to become an Advanced Professional Member.

I love the community feeling and the availability of professional development that you get with the society, but I like to have goals. APM was my goal.

winning, professional advancement

I’ve talked before about imposter syndrome. Despite what some professionals believe, I think it’s important we talk about it. Everyone has it (well, unless you’re super-duper confident or a bullshitter). And if you’re self-employed it’s a challenge that most people will come across. It doesn’t mean you can’t do your job, and it doesn’t mean that you aren’t fantastic at your job – some of the most brilliant people I know have struggled with the feeling that everyone else is better and you’re going to get found out soon.

william shakespeare
I’ll bet even Shakespeare had imposter syndrome.

I certainly don’t think talking about imposter syndrome puts clients off. We’re human, and if they don’t get that, well they’re obviously looking for an automated service. I like to share my humanness. I talk to people (ok, they probably wish I’d shut up, but hey, that’s who I am). I’m bloody good at my job, but I do have my wobbles. It comes from working with words for the past 30 years – I forget that I know stuff other people don’t.


A few months ago I decided that the time was right, and I should just go for it. I gathered together all my certifications, my project records (and my courage), and submitted my application for Advanced Professional Member.

I then tried to forget about it and got on with life.

props table coloured

Every now and then the imposter monster came and sat on my shoulder. I knocked him off with the occasional glass of gin and a reminder that I’m good at what I do. Then I shut him in the cupboard and told him to go away.

Freelance cupboard monster

Well, the little man is still in the cupboard, and I hope he’ll stay there for a while.

This week I was informed that I’ve been granted Advanced Professional Membership of the SfEP!

Or, as I have been telling my family, I am now an advanced human.


Advancement shows potential clients, and the world at large, that I have a high level of professional competence and substantial experience. It also shows that I value professional development and take my business seriously.

And it’s just that extra bit of validation for me that, despite what the monster on my shoulder says, I should be proud of my achievements.

I doesn’t mean that I’ll be resting on my laurels though. As I can’t make the SfEP Conference this year, I’ve booked my CPD in the form of Bloody Scotland. I’ll be attending the crime writing masterclass (because I write, as well as edit, this will consolidate my skills in the crime genre rather nicely) and I have a full itinerary of talks booked up.

Let’s see if I can keep thinking of myself as an advanced human right up until then.

winner's trophy

14 Comments on “Being an Advanced Human

  1. Well done, Sara! So delighted to see this. You’re the best!

  2. Congratulations on a job well done, Sara! Good to see you’re using the badge already. Show *that* to your imposter demon! 😀

    • Thanks Sue. I actually went onto the website to check something in my directory entry, and saw that the badge was there already. Honestly, if I didn’t do it now I’d forget 😂

  3. So happy for you. 😁 (Now when I finish my WIP I can be even more sure it’s going to be in good editorial hands.)

  4. Well done, Sara! That’s a great achievement and much deserved. I’ve just got the new SfEP members and upgrades details for the next EM and there you are, mentioned in dispatches in the list of newly minted APMs!

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