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By Rachel Stuckey
I’m a digital nomad. For years I’ve told anyone who asked that I was a writer and editor (even though editing pays most of my bills). But lately, the way I work has been more interesting than the work I actually do.
But I’m still getting used to saying “I’m a digital nomad” (and sometimes, I confess, I often use air quotes when I do say it). I know what “digital nomad” conjures up: visions of twenty-somethings with no job prospects and an unnatural attachment to their smartphones.
Air quotes aside, such visions are really just the surface of this cultural phenomenon. (And thanks to Insta-influencers and click-bait web content, that surface seems both beautiful and vacuous). But there are plenty of Gen Xers, Xennials, and even grown-up millennials doing marvellous and fascinating things on the road.
I’d like to think I’m one of the grown-up digital nomads. For the last several years, I’ve been seeking out new temporary homes for me and my editorial services business, sometimes spending months in one place and sometimes changing it up every few weeks.
In 2012, I was a burned-out freelancer looking for adventure. After months of preparation, I headed out on a trip around the world, with stops in Thailand, China, Cambodia, India, the UAE, Spain, France, Italy, and the UK before coming home nine months later. Everyone thought that might be it, adventure had.
But I wasn’t ready to settle back into the same old same old. And I’ve been on the move ever since, spending some months each year in Toronto and the rest of my time in Europe, South and Central America, Thailand, and Vietnam. In 2018, I’m returning to Thailand, and then on to Southern Africa.
This wanderlust may have begun as therapy for my tertiary life crisis. But over the last five years of living and working abroad and living and working in Toronto, I’ve realized that there is a strong economic argument for tackling our gig economy as a nomad. After several months living at home in TO again, my pocketbook is itching to get the heck out of Dodge! (Also, winter is coming, and I hate wearing socks and shoes.) (more…)
by Michelle Waitzman
When you’re self-employed, saving for retirement is anything but simple. There’s no employee pension, no group RRSPs, and no steady paycheque to count on. I sat down with Aldwin Chin, a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Toronto, to get his insights on how to save for retirement as a freelancer. This is a very general overview, but you can use the links at the end of the article to find more information.
How much of my income should I be saving?
You need to prioritize your money to figure out how much you can and should save. Most freelancers should allocate their income like this:
- Pay for your current living and business expenses.
- Save three to six months’ living expenses in case of emergency or lack of work.
- Anything that’s left should go into long-term savings and investments for retirement or for other major expenses.
by Emma Warnken Johnson
When I first started full-time freelancing a little over a year ago, I worried about working from home. Would I feel cooped up in my little apartment? Would I end up editing from my couch? Would I ever remember to leave the house again?
Luckily, I started freelancing just as the weather got warmer. After years of life as a nine-to-fiver, it shocked me to discover that Toronto is a busy, bustling place—all day, every day. This is even truer in the summer: businesses bust down their doors and windows and spill out onto the sidewalks, and people take advantage of every inch of outdoor space. Once I figured out how to do the same, Toronto summers quickly became one of my favourite things about going freelance. (more…)
By Shara Love
There is little that I despise more than going out in crowds, especially at this time of year. With sub-zero temperatures, mounds of snow at every turn, and traffic everywhere, nothing sounds better to me than staying home and cozying up on a comfy sofa with a cup of coffee and a computer or a good book, while waiting for spring. Unfortunately, it behooves me to do otherwise. Winter may encourage my hermit-like behaviour, but I must not succumb to the negative side effects. My mental health and ability to function depend on it.
One of those negative side effects is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), up to 35 per cent of Canadians experience some level of seasonal depression. Of this percentage, seasonal depression affects roughly 80 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men. Knowing and raising awareness about this condition may help potential sufferers to take preventative action to dodge the blows of this debilitating mental disorder. (more…)
Did you join Editors Canada hoping to meet other editors? Are you finding it hard to start those conversations? You’re not alone, and Editors Toronto can help.
On Wednesday, January 25, Editors Toronto welcomes its membership to a speed-networking session. You’ll meet other members for short conversations—icebreakers provided.
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Ave., Room R202. The building is fully accessible, and coffee will be served at 7 pm.
Free for members
$10 for non-members
7 pm Mingling and informal Q & A session for new and prospective members
7:30 pm Announcements
7:45 pm Program
9 pm Mix-and-mingle
by Michelle Waitzman
As a freelance editor, you know that networking is an important part of marketing. But the prospect of networking is unappealing to many editors. Freelance editors generally tend to be introverts who are uncomfortable when surrounded by strangers and forced to make small talk. It can be downright nerve-racking! Joining Editors Canada is a good first step toward successful self-promotion, and you may have also explored writers’ groups in hopes of finding clients. But networking with writers and editors will only take you so far. Contrary to popular belief, however, extra networking doesn’t have to mean extra work.
Clients can come from unexpected places, and the more diverse your network becomes the more opportunities you will have to meet people who can expand your client list. A diverse network doesn’t mean a random one; by finding people you share common interests, skills, or philosophies with, you will increase your chances of working with compatible clients. Follow your passions and interests, and you may just find clients where you least expect them. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. (more…)
By Elizabeth d’Anjou
Looking for advice on editing the editing life? Whether you’re a beginner looking for tips on starting out or an old hand looking for another perspective, veteran editor Aunt Elizabeth is ready to address your queries. Submit them to [email protected]—you may find the answers you are looking for in next month’s column.
(1) Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
I’m a freelance copy editor in my early 30s, with a partner who also freelances, albeit in another field. We want to start a savings account and eventually a family, but due to the feast-or-famine nature of our work, we are not sure about where to start. What approach should we use to set aside money for the future amidst financial uncertainty?
My Clock Is Ticking
No wonder I never had kids—given the huge frustration I recall early in my career of just trying to plan a modest vacation (when I had the time I never had any money to spare, and when I had a bit of money I never had any time). I couldn’t even have imagined trying to arrange for a maternity leave. Since then, the government has introduced an EI maternity leave option for self-employed Canadians, but its restrictions are such that its appeal is severely limited.