I'm lucky to be working with a press that still does real copyediting, as many now do not--and since I used to work in academic publishing, I take a geeky pleasure in reading through the copyedits and learning the right way to cite a particular kind of source or discovering that someone caught my inconsistent capitalization of a particular term and standardized it. Though I'm surely fussier about consistency and formatting than the average writer, I know I'm not a professional. It's reassuring to have someone else scrutinizing every sentence, every usage, and every punctuation mark.
At the same time, that scrutiny involves a peculiar intimacy:
-Your copy editor knows all your darkest secrets, including exactly how often you begin a sentence with "However" or "But although." Worse, he wants you to change. Why can't he just love you the way you are?
-Your copy editor flags and rewrites any unusual turns of phrase. Some of them are genuinely better his way. But others--you think, defensively--have a better rhythm or effect as originally written.
-But you don't want to be that writer: the academic who believes herself to have a marvelous, original style and clings to her irritating tics and precious locutions.
-And when it turns out that your copy editor is someone you know and like and used to work with--a very experienced senior editor whose first query bubble is actually a sweet little note re-introducing himself and congratulating you on the book? Well, you really can't write him off as some fussbudget in a green eyeshade.
Guess it's lucky I have a blog audience on whom I can continue to inflict my worst writerly indulgences and bad habits.