January is my anniversary month. As of January 2014, I’ve been a full-time freelance editor for seven years. I love my job! I do it because I have to—not to pay the bills but for my sanity. I’ve learned a lot in seven years. I have so much more to learn, but I have the patience and drive to continue learning and growing until I can’t physically do this any longer.
While I don’t make as much as a lot of freelance editors do, I do this by choice and for other reasons. I love working with people, and I love working with words. In another life I was a college English instructor. I’ve been working with words in one way or another for more than thirty years, and I plan to continue doing so for another twenty years or more. I do this because I have to. It’s a calling, and I’m called to do it.
My job provides the opportunity to share my love of language with kids in elementary school. For the past five years I’ve volunteered once a week in an elementary classroom. I love it! There is no greater thrill than walking into a classroom and helping a teacher. This year I’m working with a fourth grade teacher during language and reading. I gladly donate ninety minutes to two hours of my time once a week. I’ve talked to the kids about literature, cultures, and language. It’s been great. In January I’ll be helping them with their writing. I’ve already talked to them about editing but I’ll be working one-on-one with each student and teaching them to edit their own writing. I can hardly wait!
As an editor, I also donate my editing to two local nonprofits. They don’t call on me often but when they do, I willingly donate my skills to make their materials that much better. Donating my time this way gives me a real sense of accomplishment. I think of it as my opportunity to Pay it Forward.
This is the time of year when we all set goals for ourselves. I’m no exception. I have business goals, but I also have personal goals. I am taking time out of my schedule twice a week to exercise. I’ve taken two Tai Chi classes so far this year and plan to sign up for another one or two. The class it great! It gets me out of the house and out with people. I’m also walking more than I have in the past. Walking is a wonderful way to clear your head when things get a little stressful. I highly suggest incorporating exercise in your schedule. It’s a fantastic attitude adjuster.
Like other freelancers and business owners, I plan to grow my business this year. I was successful growing my business this past year, and I already have several new projects on the calendar, but there’s always room for improvement. Right now I’m evaluating what worked and what didn’t. Like Santa, I’ve made a list and I’m checking it twice.
All and all, I’ve had a wonderful year. I’m excited about what’s around the corner and what the New Year will bring. May 2014 be filled with health, happiness, and prosperity for all!
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