To that end, I’m excited to announce that I will soon be launching The Editor's Affairs (TEA), an integrated system of Excel tools for self-employed editorial professionals, allowing you to easily manage your income, expenses and project data. My goal with TEA is to help you keep your affairs in order – your financial records, your project schedules and your client relationships – all while your Earl Grey’s still warm.
More than just “reading books for a living”
I’m passionate about helping my fellow editors and proofreaders feel in control of their careers, boosting their confidence and saving them admin time. Do any of the following sound familiar to you?
- “You’re a proofreader? I did pretty well in English class — I reckon I could read books for a living too.”
- “You’re an editor? I bet you’re an author’s worst nightmare, delighting in pointing out every tiny flaw in their life’s work.”
- “You’re freelance? That’s living the dream! You get paid to sit at home in your pajamas and only work when you feel like it.”
- “You’re self-employed? So, you just pay yourself whatever you like and make everything a tax write-off?”
If I had a nickel for every time I or one of my fellow editors and proofreaders heard a line like that, I really could afford to pay myself whatever I like! And although the realities of being a self-employed editorial professional are nothing like those assumptions, it’s all too easy for us to internalize those messages that trivialize all the expertise, organization, self-motivation and conscientiousness we bring into our work.
How do we counteract this messaging? What do we do when publishers are breathing down our necks with impossible deadlines, when authors ask for a “quick proofread” of their unedited drafts, and when the wider world seems ignorant or dismissive of all our hard work?
Take a TEA break
I don’t know about you, but I have a tea break. I step away from MS Word and take a few minutes to remind myself about the clients who value my work, the hours I’ve put into training courses and learning from my colleagues, and my overall worth as an editorial professional.
To be more specific, I have a TEA break. I take a glance at the data, clearly laid out in front of me in the form of formula-powered spreadsheets, about: the projects I’ve worked on; the income I’ve billed for; the investments I’ve made in training, software and other business expenses; and the fruits of my marketing labours. The evidence of my hard work and professionalism is all right there, accessible any time I need it, without me having to get out my calculator and add up my hours and revenue each month.
I can’t wait to share TEA with the editing community and help editors and proofreaders cut down their admin time, combat imposter syndrome and take control of their business data. Now, where did I put my mug?
TEA is currently in beta testing and is scheduled for release in May 2020. Stay tuned for updates on my TEA web page, check out my Excel tips videos, and feel free to contact me to register your interest.