Going on holiday? Leave your publication in safe hands with your regular trusty freelancer while you jet off into the sun. Who’s that? I hear you ask. Well, if it’s not me then I’m sorry. For both of us. Perhaps you should add it to the holiday checklist for next year – buy travel insurance, start beach diet, check your passport and hire me.

This is the season when I’m advised: “Your usual contact is on holiday so the newsletter has been prepared by someone else. It’ll require additional time to edit/proof as the consistency will be different. Sorry.”

And the balance of power shifts in my direction as I become their quality control. It may be the client contact’s first time working on the project, whilst I’ll be familiar with all its quirks and foibles. For one client I have edited regular newsletters, annual reports and so on for the last three years. I know the history. I can point out repetition not only within but between issues. For example, if Bob claims to enjoy spending his spare time ‘working overtime because I just love to help my team’ readers may suspect the firm hand of the PR department when Jane said the same thing in the last issue. I can also suggest topics to avoid – I’ll remember the chief executive previously rejected a similar item, and therefore won’t give final approval.

Basically I’m thinking across issues. The colleague providing holiday cover is focused on getting this one out and back to their own job pronto.

Often as the deadline approaches content will be missing. My experience means I can suggest ways to fill it with minimal effort – perhaps by revisiting a feature and providing a quick update. What has happened since last summer’s campaign?

And although you may have hired me as an editor or proofreader, I’m flexible. I’m a writer too. I can write  or tweak your content. I’m your spare capacity to cover absences, including holidays.