Where have I been this time?

I explain—or maybe excuse—my recent absence with this explanation:

Over the past two years, four events have caused a distraction in my life: the death of my father, relocating from Orlando back to Raleigh, returning to more-than-full-time work at the state Museum of History, and disappointing a major client. Along the way, I’m afraid I also lost my motivation to write.

The shocking change

My father passed away unexpectedly during the holiday season two years ago. Like most—at least, I think most—fathers and sons, we had a sometimes-rocky relationship. But, my father did always support my freelance endeavors: first, Freelance Library Services; then, the evolution of that business into the-freelance-editor. His first gesture of support: buying me a hard-sided briefcase with gold latches and a lock, because the stack of folders and drafts that I carried to meetings was “not very professional looking”—yes, that was back in the days when writers and editors still carried around pounds and pounds of binder-clipped paperwork and accordion files instead of computers and flash drives; but, I digress (with a smile).

Years after I moved to Orlando, he decided to start wintering near Frostproof, about an hour away, and we visited frequently. Among other topics, he always asked about my business, and we bonded over discussions of writing, family history, the general business climate, and technology. More than he ever realized (and more than I realized at the time), he was an inspiration for many of my career dreams, as well as a motivation for my efforts. When he passed away, I missed that support more than I ever expected I would.

Refocusing

Moving on . . . my relocation in early 2013, was a pleasant experience but I still gave the change license to block my writing.

During my first experience at the museum, in the 1990s, I fell in love with the process of writing, researching, rewriting, and refining words and concepts—and with working in teams of subject specialists and experts, educators, readers and reviewers, and designers to create and package a product to be the best possible. While that passion was one of the many attractions that encouraged my return, over the years of my absence, budget cuts, staff losses, and poor management had come to impede that process. The remaining staff continues to turn out the best product it can, but the intensity of long hours and multiple frustrations and roadblocks along the way took its toll—and affected my after-hours creativity and drive.

Disappointment

Which leads directly into my final reason for disappearing. For the first time in my professional career, I failed a client. I entered the project with all the right intentions and I persisted with the project because of a passion that the author and I shared . . . but, then, I stayed with the project far longer than I should have because I didn’t want to renege on promises made and established, on the author’s dreams, and on my own expectations. In the end, I had to back out of the project because I came to realize I could not have met the project’s deadline—and I disappointed my client because I left him with few options and too little time to make alternate arrangements.

That was the final blow to my motivation and I’ve done nothing with my business since.

Revival?

Now, however, I’m edging back to a revival—probably not a return to working with clients with large projects, yet (I’m still way too skittish for that), but at least a return to some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of running a business in this century. At least I’m getting to the point where I want to start again. And, that’s a good first step, I think . . .

Thanks for your support and, I hope, your understanding.

 

Stephen, the-freelance-editor.com
e-mail: editorial –at– Im Your Editor –dot– com
text: 832-233-0041

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One more chore off my lists!

So, I’ve finally finished updating my new website, and this is it!  After two life-changing decisions—moving to Raleigh in January to return to work at the state Museum of History and deciding to re-establish my editorial services business—several lists of chores followed.  Getting a website back online was near the top, of course, but it just kept sliding from the top.

Today, however, I am proud to announce that I’ve finished fine-tuning most of the pages and that I feel confident enough to announce they’re ready for review.  So, take a tour and let me know if you find any mistakes, major or minor.  I still have a couple of pages to post, including a payments page and the “‘instant’ help” page, so you can skip those—I’ll announce when they are ready—but, as they say, have at the rest!

One of the delays in getting a presence back online was the debate over continuing to use an HTML-based website or following the industry and moving to a content management system (CMS).  I finally opted to switch and to use WordPress (which I’ve used for years as my blogging platform) for this version of my website.  In addition, I decided to promote my blog address, “anEditor’s Blog”, to serve as my home on the web instead of reviving the old “the-freelance-editor” URL I’d been using since the late ’90s.  In line with those decisions, I will, however, be keeping my formal business name as the-freelance-editor.  Enough change is enough!

Key to the new site are my specialty pages  (you can access them with “Why use a freelance editor?” on the main menu bar, above, and then sliding down to “My specialties” and hovering for the page line-up  or  by using the more-standard menu list at the bottom of the page) (or you can be lazy and simply click the following links)  for the so-called divisions of the-freelance-editor:  the-blog-editorthe-history-editorthe-young-adult-editor,  and  the-freelance-ghostwriter.  I’ll be adding more detailed sub-pages under them eventually, but these get the point across for now.

I guess the race has begun!  Thank you, all, for your patience and continuing support.  And, let me hear about those errors—you know I’d let you know about yours!

Stephen, the-freelance-editor.com
e-mail: editorial –at– Im Your Editor –dot– com
text: 832-233-0041

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You just never know . . .

You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but the-freelance-editor is once again located in Raleigh, North Carolina!  No, I never thought I would be back, either (I never even thought I would leave Orlando), but when a good opportunity knocked I could not resist the temptation.

The whirlwind that brought me back began shortly before Thanksgiving last year, after finding out that an editorial position had opened up at the Museum of History. This was not the same position I vacated roughly thirteen years ago, when I left to help care for aging relatives outside and around Orlando, but it was a comparable position—working primarily with the museum’s events and programs staff, its membership and fund-raising arms, and its Web presence.

After lots of encouragement (and just a little pause), I applied for the position, and a week before Christmas, I was driving to Raleigh, not just for an interview but also to revisit the setting and its current players. In what I gather is a customary feeling, I did not feel I had interviewed well; however, I had been able to see how the museum and the city had changed and to catch up with a friend or two. Surprisingly, I did get news&#0151and just a few days later: I had made the short list and the decision would be contingent largely on the comments of references. While I took that as a promising omen, I was beginning to wonder what those references had said as Christmas week . . .  then New Years week . . .  then another week dragged by. But the call—the text, actually—did come: “How many days would you need to get here?”

I’m not sure they expected me so quickly, but I booked a hotel room for the following week and drove back to start the next Tuesday, January 15!

What this means to my existing and future clients is that I’ll be more in tune with the editorial world, again. While I will be working as a full-time editor at the museum, I will no longer have to change gears from accounting during the day to editing at night; I’ll be editor-oriented at all times. And, while I’ll be getting back into the swing of things for a few months, I do plan to get back to you—slowly at first, by working with bloggers and business clients, I suspect; then, graduating back to lengthier, more in-depth projects.

Thanks for all the help, all the support, and all the patience during my transition. I’m as anxious to get back to my passion as all of you!

Hoping you’re finding yours, too,

Stephen, the-freelance-editor.com
e-mail: editorial –at– Im Your Editor –dot– com
text: 832-233-0041 (temporary)

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