Happy 1st Decade to Me!
Ten years ago this month, I first sat down to work under the (virtual) banner of eDitmore Editorial Services. I was excited and nervous, unsure if I would be able to sustain the effort for even ten months.
But here I am in 2021, still tracking changes under that same (virtual) banner.
In the last decade, I’ve edited hundreds of thousands of words for more than 110 distinct clients. I’ve written 104 blog posts and learned how to maintain a website and an online profile. I’ve learned business basics and advanced Microsoft Word skills. I’ve corresponded with hundreds of writers and editors and met scores of others at local writers clubs and national editing conferences.
In 2011 I had only vague notions of where I would find clients or what kinds of material I would be editing. A decade later, I can look back and see that my clients have come from LinkedIn and Facebook and writers groups; from listings in editing and publishing guides; from the Editorial Freelancers Association and ACES directory listings; and from the references of friends, former co-workers, and past clients.
I’ve edited 30-word product descriptions and 500,000-word history texts; press releases and private investigator reports; memoirs and grant applications; company websites and World War II novels; dissertations and devotionals; college curriculum and academic catalogs. Through my authors I’ve learned about Puritan history, obscure rock musicians, counterterrorism tactics, techniques for dealing with trauma, active aging, smart investing, and better decision-making.
Finding a Community
When I left my office on a university campus, I wondered how I would ward off the isolation of working from home. And then I discovered the online company of editors all over the world through LinkedIn groups, email discussion lists, (such as Copyediting-L), and Facebook groups. In these virtual settings, I have met hundreds of editors who are quick to share knowledge and puns and pet pictures and a passion for words. I found editing newsletters and blogs, such as LibroEditing, where Liz Dexter was kind enough to allow me to participate in her Small Business Chats for years.
I don’t remember how I first learned about Katharine O’Moore-Klopf’s Copyeditors’ Knowledge Base, but it proved to be one of my most valuable finds. Katharine’s gold mine of information related to editing tools and running a business and networking and finding work were invaluable to me in my first few months. So I was delighted to meet Katharine in person a few years later at the 2014 convention of the American Copy Editors Society.
I had no idea in January 2011 how many local, regional, and national events were dedicated to writing and editing and publishing—or how much I would enjoy attending these events.
I’ve been to Saint Louis and Las Vegas, San Francisco, Austin, Orlando, Ventura, Ojai, and spent many hours in a booth at the Los Angeles Times Book Fair. I’ve found clients, made friends, learned new techniques and discovered new tools, and even presented at a few of these meetings. Of course, COVID has ended those in-person forums for the past year, but it has presented new opportunities to join online forums and Zoom presentations.
Running my own business has been rewarding on so many levels—and exhausting on many others. I’ve delighted in the flexibility that allows me to set my own schedule and to be freer to travel and take care of family obligations. But I’ve sometimes despaired because this work never ends—there is always another email to answer, a blog post to write, an invoice to submit, a new program to master.
Even so, with one decade behind me, I can truly say that I am so very grateful that I took a chance in 2011. And I am so grateful for all the people who have given me the chance to work with them on their books and articles and dissertations and reports. Can’t wait to see what the next years bring my way!