Evaluating the freelancing year
Time, I suppose, to take stock of the past year, focusing on the positives (a pox on late payers and non notice-givers).
♦ Gained two major clients via word of mouth.
There will be repeat jobs from these companies.
(‘Sylvia is quite simply an exceptional copy-editor. I’ve called on her a number of times over the past four years, and she has always done a fantastic job, whatever the project. Her attention to detail is second to none and even when deadlines have been tight, the quality of her work has never dropped. I’d recommend Sylvia to anyone looking for a dedicated proofreader or copy-editor. – Chris Senior, Studio Manager, Jaywing.)
♦ Gained several one-off jobs ranging from prospectuses to training manuals, also via word of mouth.
♦ Developmentally edited four novels: a novel – and satisfying – type of work for this copy-editor.
Again, word of mouth was my way in.
♦ Was offered a high-paying job in Geneva after being headhunted.
(Big Pharma? No thanks.)
♦ Worked for a world-famous football (soccer) club.
Got thanked. Getting thanked is unusual for a freelancer.
♦ Worked on several documents about the under-representation of women in local government in Turkey – for a Turkish translation company.
(‘Thank you for your great work; the English version is now much better that the Turkish one!’ – Halil Hacıalioğlu, Senior Translator/Interpreter, AS Translation, Istanbul.)
♦ Worked on documents relating to a high-profile court case in France – for a French legal company.
♦ Worked on a children’s book for a Norwegian writer.
♦ Worked for a global company with superlative green credentials.
(‘You’re editing skills are tip top and if you hadn’t picked up the colour issue we would seriously be in a whole world of horror. – Charlotte Bourke, Project Manager, Fluid.)
♦ Working on a PhD thesis for a young man from a far-flung country.
♦ Was found and used by connections of connections on LinkedIn.
♦ Learnt the basics of Irish Gaelic pronunciation. Had loads of fun in the pub process.
♦ Meeting my lovely Irish author on a sunny sea cove in Co. Cork and delving into his visionary brain.
(‘As a first time author, working with Sylvia has been an incredibly positive experience. Her love and passion for language and the written word has given my book a clarity and a flow that it really needed. Sylvia’s professionalism and detail to this project has given me renewed belief and confidence in the work I have done.
I started out with a proofreader and ended up with a friend and a damn funny one at that. – Paul Fenton.)
♦ Having my daft-in-a-good-way hometown-born author visit after a 200-mile journey and reminiscing about the old days – the template for his book
(‘Sylvia has been a dear friend for a long, long time and so when I asked her to proof read my latest novel I was slightly concerned that our friendship could make our professional relationship more difficult than necessary. I could not have been more wrong. Sylvia’s professionalism, passion for writing and ability to tell me when I was wrong made the process truly enjoyable and fulfilling.’ – Mike Tweddle.)
Which direction to head?
♦ Continue to work sensitively on copy: storybooks and feminist discourse are disparate beasts and need discrete approaches.
♦ Thank clients for their custom when I feel it’s fitting, adding pertinent comments when necessary.
♦ Ask for feedback and refuse to be offended when none is forthcoming.
♦ Commit to writing posts on LinkedIn once a week.
♦ Interact with groups and connections on LinkedIn.
♦ Pledge to write a language-related blog a month.
♦ Resolve to keep my workspace tidy (subtext: hide all the mess behind the working area).