So I decided right after college I wanted to start my own freelancing editing business, a little thing, nothing too extraordinary, just an on-the-side adventure that would allow me to wet my feet in the publishing pool. And allow me to use my skill set as an English major too, over the summer I wrote (which was lovely) but as much as I enjoy my current job it doesn’t really test the boundaries of the written word. Anyway, I called my little freelancing thing Edit. Revise. Perfect. because of all the steps one must take in completing a written work, as we all know you can’t just slap something on the page and call it golden. (Okay, some of us can but that usually ends in bad writing, folks, I want nothing of it!) Well, it worked; within my first few months, I managed to lock down a full-length manuscript and several PhD level essays too. I was basking my success – which looked suspiciously like a little happy dance in my kitchen – and enjoying every minute of it. I even made a website for it: … just a simple thing that lined up well with my needs. (Isn’t it pretty?)
After a time, work really took a toll on me, I wasn’t that familiar with the whole 8-5 deal that actually meant 6:30-5:30 when it was all said and done, so I stopped promoting my business and thus, business dwindled to death. I didn’t mind though. With the combination of work and moving into the new place hovering over me, life was busy enough.
But about three weeks ago, I decided to start up again. See, I had adjusted to the schedule of work (demanding it might be) and moved into the new condo (mostly) so I decided I needed a change of pace and posted on craigslist that my services were available. Within a week or so, I got two gigs! One was for a completed poetry anthology and the other a work-in-progress chapter manuscript, both of reputable sources. Thrilling to say the least, right?
I was back doing my little happy dance, much to the chagrin of my two cats who were eating dinner at that particular moment. I got some pretty angry stares.
Then the work began. And I gotta tell ya, it was quite fun.
Currently I finished the poetry anthology and am in the process of setting up a meeting with the client sometime soon –possibly even this weekend! I just started on the chapter manuscript and I believe that will take more time, considering it’s a work-in-progress deal and I’m at the mercy of the author penning the anecdotes. I hope to get more jobs sometime soon, too.
All in all, for me, freelancing works.
It’s a built-from-the-ground-do-it-yourself sort of gig. Of course, like most things in life, there’s always help – word of mouth, support from friends and family, the teachers and professors who taught me my trade, for instance – for which I would not be here to even do the freelancing. One of the things that I really like about it is its flexibility, I can edit anytime I want, or not at all, as long as I get the work done in the time allotted.
But there are downfalls too. Right now the pay is sufficient but it’s not like I can quit my day job. It’s not at all steady since jobs trickle in when they may. Plus, there’s always a chance of not even having any jobs lined up at all, which is scary.
For right now, I don’t mind at all, the experience will last far longer. But honestly, I’m hoping I can turn it into a regular thing in the future, with clients lined up and such, a schedule and solid hours, a good paycheck.
My main concern is thus: what if people don’t want to use my services preferring instead a certified big-wig at one of the publishing companies? After all, there’s only one of me, but there’s a hundred of them… and they have a ton of credentials AND a reputable publishing company behind them. I, simply, do not have those… yet.
It’ll be hard work, I’m sure, and nothing worth doing is ever easy so I might as well just plunge right in and see where I dive to, huh? For now, I’m happy to have these experiences, as light as a feather they may be compared heavyweights at the publishing companies, and I will display them proudly for all to see.
Until next time…