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Ask Aunt Elizabeth: Help me navigate the stormy seas of financial insecurity!

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.

Ask Aunt Elizabeth: Help me navigate the stormy seas of financial insecurity!

(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?

Sincerely,

My Clock Is Ticking

Dear Clock,

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.

(more…)

Freelancing: Dressing up for the occasion

By Vanessa Wells

Freelancing: Dressing up for the occasion

Two years ago, Whitney Matusiak offered some good advice on BoldFace about wardrobe considerations for freelancers. Today I’m going to sing the praises of dressing up for working (mostly) at home. I am amazed at those who work in their jammies. Amazed in wonder, not judgment. The only things I can accomplish in my nightwear are scrolling through Facebook and drinking my first coffee.

My POV is about preparation, discipline, and focus. I am hyper-organized. I love lists. They are my modus operandi for life and work. In order to be productive, though, I must be “ready for my day,” and the physical must precede the psychological. (See the first point on Emma Gannon’s blog post about being self-employed.) (more…)

Event reminder: Take Your Business to the Next Level!

Event reminder: Take Your Business to the Next Level!

The freedom of freelancing (and other ironies)

By Judy Ann Crawford

The freedom of freelancing (and other ironies)

When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, “Okay. Okay. I’ll come.”—Dr. Maya Angelou

It’s the freedom. Freelance writers say that’s the best thing about their job. They sometimes even gaze dreamily into the middle distance as they say it (drama goes with the territory), but just give them a few seconds. Their smiles soon dissolve and their faces cloud over because, ironically, the freedom can also be the worst part.​

Personally, I’ve found that being the boss of my own time is really awesome. For example, if I want to celebrate that new assignment with a Starbucks venti vanilla latte and browse through Chapters for a while, that is entirely my prerogative. (more…)

Five thoughts on getting and keeping new clients 

By Denyse O’Leary 6iyX7LL4T

Things have changed a lot from the days when a computer took up a large room, instead of a zipper case in a backpack. But fortunately, good business practice has not changed. Here are some concepts that have helped many of us stay solvent over the years:

  1. Specialize.

We don’t get face time with clients just by saying we need work; we get it by building confidence over time that we can solve the specific problems they identify. For example, one area I specialized in early was indexing. Indexes add greatly to the value of non-fiction works, but most authors can’t write them, and most editors are too busy to do it when it must be done—in the last stages of publication.

Other old-timers have made editing for science journals or checking a foreign language translation their specialty. Over the years, an editor’s reputation grows among clients who need the specialty—because, no surprise, those people tend to all know each other. (more…)