Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines

After an article on work/life balance last week, this week I find myself up to my eyeballs.

People, remember … work deadlines aren’t the be-all and end-all.

Factor in voluntary work, coursework and saying yes to a lot of things.

Factor in those lovely winter colds.

Factor in all those things that aren’t work but that take time.

This week ran away with me, it happens occasionally.

I am now sitting with my feet up and my favourite Rock Rose Gin (it’s medicinal to fight away the cold, honest).

Tomorrow is another day … and I’m going to be working.

Editorial Assistants

Welcome to our home

No, this isn’t an article about sub-contracting work, or working within a team to become more efficient at stages of the editorial process.

This is a totally self-indulgent post about my two new editorial assistants.

They are called Minnie Munchkin and Daisy. They’re quite inexperienced, but we have high hopes for their future involvement in the business.

We picked them up on Friday (yes, it’s been a whole week, and so far we have all survived!). They are about to be subjected to extensive training, but we fully expect them to be integrated into the office within a short space of time (they do have issues with cables which need to be ironed out though).

*WARNING*

If you don’t like puppies turn away now!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I introduce …

Minnie and Daisy!

corgi pups

 

Minnie has markings that make her look permanently sad. I am disappointing her. She wants to play with the cables and really I should fulfil my part of the contract and let her do as she wishes.

Minnie1

 

However, I won’t let her play with cables, so she has to make do with her toys instead.

Minnie3

 

Daisy on the other hand (actually my daughter’s pup), is a little whirlwind.

Daisy

 

If she disapproves, she’ll just let you know

Daisy2

 

We’re in for a fun time, but so far our resident editorial assistant, Moss, has been very accepting. He does love his ‘me time’ though, and I believe he approves of the puppy pen.

Moss and Daisy (2)

 

So, forgive me if over the next few weeks, months or possibly years, I share their progress. I promise not to overload you all (but hell, aren’t corgis cute!)

 

(ignore the furry floor … I’m not going for a 70s look, I’ve just not vacuumed! We’ve been busy playing instead)

 

Brilliant Blogs

brilliant blogs for editors, proofreaders and freelancers

When you’re an independent consultant, freelancer, sole trader or lone wolf business person it’s very easy to get stuck in your ways. It’s also very easy to get bogged down with work, or the search for work, and forget that there’s a whole world out there that’s moving forward (or backwards if you watch the news).

You can keep up-to-date with courses and the like, but blogs and podcasts are a brilliant way to keep up with what’s going on in your business sector, without taking time out to attend a course every week.

As I’m insanely busy at the moment, so I thought I’d share my favourites with you.

Blogs for editors, proofreaders and writers:

SfEP Blog. The Society for Editors and Proofreaders is my ‘go to’ professional society, and not only does it have an informative and helpful website, it also has a blog too. It’s not just about editing and proofreading, all things publishing, freelancing and language are tackled in a friendly, inclusive way.    http://blog.sfep.org.uk/

fountain pen, writing

The next four are probably going to sound like an SfEP advert, but honestly, I love these blogs.

John Espirian is a technical writer, editor and copywriter, and one of the directors of the SfEP (he’s the SfEP internet guy).  His blog gives brilliant advice and tips. Everything from the perfect size for your social media banners to taking the long-term approach to business is covered in bite-sized pieces and long-form articles.  https://espirian.co.uk/blog/

Liz Jones is a predominately non-fiction editor, and also a member of the SfEP. Her blog covers editing, freelancing and writing, all with an honest outlook and a sense of humour. I often find myself nodding and going ‘yup, uh-huh, totally …’ when I read her blog. https://eatsleepeditrepeat.wordpress.com/

Denise Cowle is one of the Scottish SfEP posse. There’s lots of loveliness here. I especially like her latest blog on the difference between a dash and a hyphen, perhaps it should be paired with my damned apostrophe article – like a fine wine and crackers. Her worry-free writing is a great series of articles, but you’ll also get a peek into an editor’s life. It’s definitely worth stopping by her blog. http://www.denisecowleeditorial.com/blog

Louise Harnby has her Proofreader’s Parlour – a blog for editors, proofreaders and writers. If you want amazing advice and fabulous freebies this is one for you. She has Q&A pieces, observational articles and long-form pieces on all things writerly. Her latest article is a very good look at narrative point of view by guest Sophie Playle. https://www.louiseharnbyproofreader.com/blog

blog in scrabble tiles

Blogs for business:

The next bunch of blogs I regularly visit are less editor/writer oriented, and are more businessy but never boring (I just don’t do boring).

Andrew and Pete are a couple of amazing content marketers. They look at a traditionally less-than-interesting business area and deliver it in a fun, modern way. If you want to know about content marketing head their way, you won’t regret it (but you may lose a few hours in their content). https://www.andrewandpete.com/blog

The ProCopywriters blog is one I found when I joined the network. Aimed at copywriters (the hint is in the name) it covers all things needed by professional copywriters, but writers and business owners in general can learn a lot from it. There’s a great community vibe too. https://www.procopywriters.co.uk/the-professional-copywriters-blog/

One Hack Away From Wonder Woman by Lorrie Hartshorn is  the only podcast I have ever manage to listen to regularly. Twenty-one episodes of loveliness, wrapped up as baddass, no nonsense advice. I go back to these every now and then to remind myself of what’s important in business. It’s aimed at ‘freelance writers and creatives who want to cut the crap and win better work, better clients’.  https://onehackawayfromwonderwoman.podbean.com/

man-791049_1920

Blogs from outside the UK:

Grammar Girl is the blog of Mignon Fogarty that deals with everything grammar. If you want quick and easy tips on grammar this is the website you need to bookmark. It’s American based, but don’t let that stop you if you’re based elsewhere, the articles included are invaluable. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl

An American Editor is packet full of observations from Rich and his contributing writers. Although, this has an American slant (again, the hint is in the name), this blog is great for all editors, especially newbies. He puts a no-nonsense approach to the business on his blog, and reminds us all that we ARE running a business and need to remember that. https://americaneditor.wordpress.com/

Erin Brenner and Laura Poole have put together copyediting.com with quick lessons, information and observations on all things copyediting. Again more US based this is useful for UK editors too. https://www.copyediting.com/category/blog/

Blogs for your time out:

Finally two blogs that I try not to miss, that have nothing to do with work. We all need a little time out, and these are my favourite.

Claudia and Sue of Campari and Sofa have a lovely blog. Their tagline is ‘Life after fifty, one cocktail at a time’, but don’t let that put you off if you are not female, under 50 or don’t like cocktails. To be totally honest I can’t remember how I fell upon their blog so many years ago, but they are just wonderful. It’s a lifestyle blog that isn’t stupid or frivolous or patronising. They both lead interesting, honest lives and it comes through in their writing. If you love good food, check out their food and entertaining section. http://campariandsofa.com

And finally there’s Heide. If you want history, photography and nature, lose yourself for a while in her writing. Her photography is amazing, and like me she seems to have a love for interesting doors (don’t tell me you don’t notice the amazing architecture and doors in your neighbourhood?). Her latest ‘Louise Dillery: Eyewitness to history’ is a must-read. Honest, insightful and sometimes painfully raw, her blog is one everyone should subscribe to. https://heideblog.com

I’ll be taking a break for a couple of weeks now – conference calls. While I’m away tell me your favourite blogs and leave a comment below.