Last Updated on August 5, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
Hello, loves! Did you know that this month, Thoughts Stained With Ink Editorial turns 3?! *throws celebratory balloons* I can’t believe it’s already been three years since I took the plunge into freelance editing. It’s been an endeavor filled with amazing opportunities. To help in celebrating my freelance editing anniversary, I wanted to write a bit here, filled with lessons learned and lessons sought. Plus, there might be a giveaway at the end. 😉
So, without further ado, let’s celebrate!
- My Journey
- Lessons Learned
- Lessons Sought
- In Sum
I opened the virtual doors to freelance editing officially on August 1st, 2019 (!!). But, the work started long before then. Some of it was purposeful, like getting advice and mentorship from the incredible creative minds and expertise of Laura Hughes and Jeni Chappelle. I owe you both so much and you’re both so wonderful. Thank you.
In other ways, though, I’d been preparing to become an editor without even realizing it. There were many things that helped me understand writing and the business of publishing like I do now. Things like:
- My wonderful internship with the incredible Naomi Davis (I love you)
- The fantastic mentorship I received with Sione Aeschliman
- Participating in numerous events, like being a judge for SPBFO for two years, Writers In Motion and others
- My background in English, both a BGS and my (currently in progress) MFA
It’s been a wonderful journey, filled with great mentors. I am so beyond grateful to everyone who helped me first take the plunge and supported me throughout. I want to especially thank all of my clients for their amazing trust in me. You all have been such a joy to work with and I am so grateful! 🥰
In the vein of being cheesy, I thought, in honor of celebrating my freelance editorial anniversary, I’d share three lessons I’ve learned–and three I seek–due to turning, well, three.
(I told you it was cheesy.)
So, what have I learned in three years as a part-time professional editor? Well:
I’m good at it, so fuck you, imposter syndrome
I put this in the lessons learned section, but I think it’s really more in the “in progress” reality, to be honest. Imposter syndrome and I go way back, so it’s not a surprise that it has been ingrained within me in this endeavor, too. Oftentimes, when I get a new client, it rears it’s head and tells me lies: like I’m not qualified to edit their work, I’m a fraud editor, I don’t know enough, I don’t deserve their hard earned money.
Now, to be clear, I can always improve. Mistakes are human, just am I (unfortunately). But those can both be true and having confidence that I’m a good editor with worthy insights can also be true alongside it. It’s okay to celebrate that.
Money trauma is definitely real
This is something else that is definitely more of a lesson-in-progress. But, I’ve had a lot of realizations about how my upbringing and its relation with money (which wasn’t positive) has tied into being a freelancer. Promoting services is hard, because I’m asking for money. Despite offering a service, I struggle with the idea that someone else is paying me their hard earned money.
Yet, this is a personal trauma I need to work through. If someone is reaching out and wanting to hire me, then they feel comfortable spending money on editorial services. And, they might not have the same trauma-inspired relationship with finances that I do.
So, for anyone else offering a service: it’s okay to be paid for it. It’s okay to ask for what it’s worth.
Promotion is necessary, not annoying
Okay, so why are all of my lessons learned truly lessons I feel the need to learn? Because I’m three for three with this one, too, in that I recognize it, but don’t quite believe it yet (see points about imposter syndrome above). But, it is true. This is a business, regardless of being part-time or freelance, which some might denote means “lesser” (not true). As a business, you must promote to get people to know about you. And that’s okay. It’s okay to promote. You’re not annoying people (I hope).
Despite “learning” a few lessons the past three years, there is still plenty in store for the editorial life! I have no intentions of stopping yet, so I’m always looking towards the future. Within the next three years, I’d love to manifest the following into existence:
Continuing growing in knowledge, clients and confidence
This is a business, after all, and it’s very much part-time, at the moment (with, at times, it feeling more quarter or less time, especially since the later stages of the pandemic into now). Ideally, I’d love to have more clients. I also always want to improve as an editor, so I’m hoping that, as I continue to build and grow, I’ll take opportunities to learn more, too!
Form a supportive community with other freelance editors
This is super important to me. I’m not sure about bandwidth (since I still have a full-time day job and other commitments), but this is something I’ve been considering more seriously, recently. I’m not sure what this will look like quite yet, but I hope to figure out ways to make it a reality in the future.
In that vein of lifting up other editors, I do want to shout out a few you should have on your radars, especially if working with me a) doesn’t work out or b) our tastes don’t align or c) want to compare options before booking!
So, if you’re looking for an editor, you can’t go wrong with any of the following:
And there are even more editors on my freelance editors list on Twitter!
Find more ways to support the writers who hire me
Obviously, my core at Thoughts Stained With Ink Editorial is editing. That’s not changing. However, I’d like to find other ways to support writers. It might be expanding to offer other services (like coaching), perhaps creating seminars or trainings. But, I’d really like to explore more low cost or free options, since I know editing can be an expensive service. (While, of course, you should advocate and get paid for your work as a freelancer. However, I still recognize that price is a barrier for many and a privilege not all can have access to.)
There are some bold goals there, but, if you read my blog post from Wednesday, you know I struggle with anything but being bold with my ambitions. 😅 Still, I hope to continue to grow in pretty much every way. I’d love to have more regular work (the idea of doing this full-time someday will always sound so, so appealing). And, I always want to become a better editor! But, first and foremost, I always want to support writers and other editors, too. We’re all in this together and I never want to lose sight of that.
Thank you for celebrating my freelance editing anniversary with me! To help continue the celebrations and give back, I wanted to offer two different surprises: a discount and a giveaway!
Any writers who book a full manuscript edit during the month of August will get 10% off! The edit itself can be completed any time this year, but simply needs to be booked this month. Contact me for more details!
Second, I’m running a query critique giveaway, for 3 lucky winners! You can increase your chances of winning by entering in a few different ways. See below for more details and to enter!
As always, thanks to the writers who make this passion worth it. This second job gives me a little bit a breathing room, financially, which means the world. But, getting to engage creatively with other writers and support them through editing and elevating their stories?
It doesn’t get better than that. 🖤