YOU Are the Rocks
We've all heard the time management or prioritization analogy of rocks, pebbles, and sand. Place your highest priority or key items ("rocks") into a glass jar first, intersperse with "pebbles" (slightly less critical), and finally fill in the rest with "sand" to add any "small stuff" of life. This resonates with me on many levels.
When Are You NOT a Rock?
Admittedly, there are seasons in life. If you are a caregiver of wee ones, older generation, or anything in between, those responsibilities tend to be your biggest "rock." But make sure you are at least one of those rocks! If you don't prioritize some measure of self-care, you will not be an effective caregiver. Remember what they teach us before every airplane take-off? Mask yourself first, then others. Burn out is real.
Lead with Your Rock Self
That aside, if you're here, you're at a time in your life to consider starting your own business adventure. You're ready to feed your soul, be an entrepreneur, strike out on your own, and learn to fly! We're here for that!
Work on Mindset
Boy, is this key!
These ideas are merely scratching the surface.
Leave a comment!
We All Have A Story
Correction - we all have multiple stories! Stories are what bind us. Humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time. It is how we share our history and heritage. It's how we simply catch up at the end of the day.
Stories Are Important
It is what makes us human. We share stories by written or spoken word. Sometimes even a whisper of a story comes with the touch of a hand sharing "I care."
Stories Connect Us
We find our "tribes" through stories and discovering common interests. Families have age-old stories brought out for every holiday. Families expand and new stories are built in. Cities and cultures share their stories with any who will take the time to listen. (go to any museum or coffee shop!) Listening - that's a key feature.
Even Businesses Have A Story
Share Your Story
Let's bring it into the open for all to see!
What story do you have to share with the world? We're ready to hear about it!
Here's the Short Answer
You can certainly do a darned fine start on your own! You can even pass your work around to friends and family for extra eyes. All of this will get you closer to your finished, ready-to-post product. But ultimately, you also get what you pay for.
But I'm Pretty Good with English & Grammar!
Awesome! You'll be able to get your work that much closer to the finish line quicker! We reviewed in No Red Pens the myriad of editors eager to help you with your project. Do you realistically need all of these editors? Nope. Would it be advisable to get at least one proofreader or editor on your team? Admittedly, I'm biased, but I'd advise "yes."
But My Mom (or Aunt Suzy) is An English Teacher!
Fabulous! Family and friends are a great first step to polish things up. But they also love you, are (blessedly) incredibly biased, and think you do amazing work. These aren't particularly critical or fresh eyes for you, especially if you're talking about a project that's really important to you, like a book or new website.
But What CAN I DO on My Own?
Don't worry - you can do plenty on your own! Let's look at some ways you can really improve your own work before you consider hiring someone.
What an amazing tool!
Items to Routinely Check
This is just a start, but you'll get the idea.
A Step Above Word
You may wish to check an amazing program called PerfectIt. It's a proofreading software program. They offer a free trial opportunity for you to run Word docs through for 14 days and a 30-day money back guarantee. It's a very powerful program that saves you a lot of using "Find" in Word. It depends how much you may decide to self-edit for whether you decide to purchase this tool.
A word of caution - it catches many errors but not all. As with Word, you'll find this AI tool won't allow for your voice to necessarily shine through. You really can't beat ultimately working with a human for that final touch.
Can I Edit Myself?
Sure! To an extent. It's always best to have a fresh set of eyes on your project, especially someone who has training in what you're writing and isn't biased to love what you write, no matter what.
It's like asking if you need to hire a lawn service, housekeeper, or mechanic. What are you willing or able to do on your own? Editors and proofreaders are all over the board with rates. You may wish to check a national organization such as the Editorial Freelancers Association for more on average rates to expect and more considerations when hiring an editor or proofreader.
How much do you edit on your own? Are you a whiz with Word or other programs to maximize your time and expenses?
Love to hear your process - leave a comment!
Podcasts to Learn & Grow
I adore podcasts! I listen to them on my daily 3-mile walks or to keep me company during household chores. I love these as they're simply audio - no video - and require no wifi; just download and go.
Top Podcasts for Editors & Proofreaders
This seems a rather niche topic with few podcasts available. I'm grateful for those who bother to create content! These are all very informational, educational, and often introduce me to other resources. I'll link the websites as there are a multitude of podcast players available. Click the underlined titles to head to their websites.
The Editing Podcast by Louise Harnby & Denise Cowle - These ladies are definitely top of the heap and at the top of their genre! They've been podcasting for 4 years and have over 115 episodes. They continue to post content roughly every 2 weeks or "fortnight" as one is from England and the other Scotland. Harnby specializes in fiction topics, Cowle specializes in nonfiction, and they both cover content marketing. I highly recommend this one!
The Modern Editor Podcast by Tara Whitaker - I recently binge listened to all 25 of her episodes. She's on a seasonal break but promises to return. Great, real content about freelancing, editing, marketing, and mindset sharing her 10 years of experience.
The Proofreading Business Podcast by Elizabeth Wiegner - New to podcasts with 8 episodes so far, Elizabeth covers topics for proofreaders in general and transcript proofreading. She posts about every 2 weeks and is featuring guest interviews in recent episodes.
The Confident Freelance Editor by Malini Devadas - Malini has been doing podcasts since 2020 but took a break for a year, only recently returning to podcasts approximately every 2 weeks. She has over 70 episodes at this time with a very no-nonsense, down-to-earth style covering freelancing, editing, marketing, and mindset topics.
The Editor's Half Hour by Nadia Geagea Pupa - This is a new podcast with 8 episodes so far. These focus on interviews with those in the book business covering a wide range of topics.
The Independent Editor by Stuart Horwitz and Madison Utley - This podcast is on hiatus currently but I highly recommend it! These two have a great chemistry with something of a mentor/mentee relationship coming through in the interview style as they share their experiences in the freelance editing/publishing field. Stuart has been editing and ghost writing for years, whereas Madison is new to the business. Lots of great information here. I hope they bring it back! Definitely worth a listen.
What podcasts do you listen to? Do you know others focused on editing, proofreading, or marketing?
You've Got to Jump In Sometime!
I just finished (re)listening to Episode 66 of The Editing Podcast with Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle. They offer some great advice for those of us just starting our own business or considering it.
Stop the Comparisons
It does no one any good to be mired in admiring the work of others and feeling too paralyzed to start. Admire! Learn! Adjust to suit your style! But then DO something!
But I've got NOTHING!
Well, we all have to start somewhere. With time, you (and I!) will have oodles of blog posts, marketing content, and customers under our belts to look back and "Remember when...?" When (not if!) we get there, we can begin to coast a bit in content creation and move toward "recycling" or "repurposing" - re-sharing! - "old" or prior content. We'll be able to share past information as it will be new (or a reminder!) to someone. We'll be able to pull pieces together to create a "resource library" of information to share with others - multiple blog posts can become a booklet, slideshow, or even a video or podcast for you!
Let's DO this!
So make today the day you START! Let's jump in! No one but you can bring your unique perspective, vision, or project into the world! Let's Engage our audience and market out there. Let's start today! I'm here to help you bring it to life. Let's Chat!
What will we dream together today?