I think if you maintain any kind of blog, you are more or less required to post a “what I’m grateful for” list at Thanksgiving. My life is filled with blessings, and I could fill several screens without coming close to counting them all. But in this space, I have decided to focus on how grateful I am for this space and what it represents to me.
Last year at this time, I was taking tentative steps toward establishing eDitmore Editorial Services. I was scared and not very confident but stubbornly determined. I had one long-term contract lined up and some vague ideas about where to look for clients, but I wasn’t really sure how well my years of experience would translate into finding work.
Today, I am able to report with not a little amazement that it has been a great year. I hung out my digital shingle in January with the launch of this website and left my staff job a few days later. Eleven months later, I have been without work for only a few days at a time and have had to turn away several prospective clients. I had assumed that I would have empty weeks that I would fill tinkering with my website, updating my resume and making contacts. Instead, I have been learning on the fly how many balls a small business owner needs to juggle at all times—keeping records, maintaining a website, looking for future potential clients—while actually performing the editing work I have been hired to do.
Not that I’m complaining. It has been an exhilarating experience, even if it is sometimes exhausting. In the past 11 months I have found clients through unexpected avenues and discovered tools that have helped me hone my skills and learn new ones. I have realized that the Internet has shrunk the world so that I can edit papers for Eastern European authors via a contact in New Zealand. At the same time, the Internet has exponentially expanded the amount of information and services available at my fingertips any time of the day or night.
Thanksgiving seems like the perfect opportunity to express my gratitude to the people, organizations, publications, and services that have been so important to me this year. I especially want to say thank you to:
• Thomas Graham, of Crosswind Communications, for encouraging me to take this step and providing the expertise and help to make eDitmore a reality.
• Gayla Graham for creating a memorable logo.
• Cassondra Ladd of Crosswind Communications for designing and creating this website.
• Jill Mitchell of Nu Concepts Business Services for legal and tax advice.
• Countless friends and acquaintances who have spread the word about my new business and passed tips about potential clients to me. Several of my current contracts came to me from these types of interactions.
• My husband, Michael Ditmore, for naming my business and for endless hours of encouragement, support, and sound advice.
• My family, for rarely complaining in the past year while putting up with a dirtier house, more takeout meals, and a more distracted wife and mother.
In addition to the help I have received from people, I have gratefully gleaned advice, employment, and information from a number of organizations, websites, publications, and services this year. Some of the most helpful:
• LinkedIn and its invaluable advice available through user groups and contact lists.
• Professional organizations such as the Editorial Freelancers Association; American Society of Indexing; Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network; and the Ventura County Writers Club.
• Websites and blogs that cater to editors and/or freelancers, including MediaBistro, Copyediting, and Freelance Switch. These sites in turn have led me to other helpful services, including FreshBooks, ChronoMate, and Lulu.com.
• Books and e-books, including The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller; Freelancing 101: Launching Your Editorial Business by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter; Making Word Work for You: An Editor’s Intro to the Tool of the Trade by Hilary Powers; and The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia.
And, of course, I am grateful to the people who have been willing to trust me this year with their papers and publications, projects and prospects, including: Janet Davis of Pepperdine University; Scott LaMascus of Oklahoma Christian University; Jenny Hunt and Diane Smith of Baylor University Press; Annette Gysen of Reformation Heritage Books; Karen Billipp of Eliot House Productions; Julia McClenon, managing editor of CTX: Combating Terrorism Exchange; James Morrison; Janet Baghoomian; Elena Melendez; and Farnaz Tabaee.
I’m grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned this year and am already looking forward to what 2012 might bring.