I always like featuring my fellow editors in this interview series. As I’ve said many times before, I approach other editors in a spirit of cooperation, not competition. It’s important to me to support new editors, learn from more established editors, lean on and support my peers and have great people to recommend prospective clients on to when I can’t fit them in or know they would be a better fit. And it’s great to see all the different things we all get up to! So it’s with great pleasure that I come back to Tammy Ditmore for an update. Tammy’s business is called eDitmore Editorial Services. We first met Tammy in June 2012, and she updated us on her progress in June 2013 and most recently in August 2014. When I asked her then where she wanted to be now, she replied, “Probably in about the same place as I am today. I recently stepped back and took stock of my current family and life responsibilities, and I realized I just need to focus right now on keeping my business steady so that I have the time and energy to take care of these other obligations. I do have some dreams for expanding into other areas at some point, but I don’t think this will be the year for that. Admitting that I needed to take a step back — or at least not try to move forward — was hard at first, but it’s given me a greater sense of peace and helped me focus on what’s most important to me right now. I believe there are seasons to life, and I don’t want to miss this particular season by trying so hard to launch myself into the next one.” Now, Tammy has had, it’s fair to say, a tough year, but she’s learned a lot about her business and how it works with the rest of her life during that year, and is generous enough to share those lessons with us today.
Hi, Tammy, and welcome back Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Yes, pretty much. It was a year of transitions for my family, and because of that I have focused a little less on my business during this time. I’m grateful that I’ve still been able to work steadily through the year with little income dropoff. I have overloaded a bit in some months so I could step back in others and spend more time with my family.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I’ve had less work from some of my steadiest clients from the past few years, mainly because of turnover at those clients, I think. But I have continued to pick up new editing clients from other sources, and I’ve reconnected with a few clients from the past. The type of work I’ve been doing has remained a mixture of copy editing and developmental editing for books and other projects. But I also did a bit more writing this year, and I think there may be some opportunities soon for me to do even more writing, which I’m looking forward to.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I have learned that a large project with a number of writers and specialists involved can offer some real challenges, despite all my efforts to keep things on track. I wish I had been more confident that my business really did have enough of foundation that it would not collapse if I gave it a little less attention. I’m very glad to have learned that—although I know I can’t take the business for granted either.
Any more hints and tips for people?
I think it’s important to remember that we run a business; our businesses should not run us.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I’m looking forward to this year. I’m headed into it with some renewed energy and ideas, and I anticipate having more time this year to concentrate on developing some new opportunities. I’m co-hosting a webinar on editing soon (this is airing live on September 30 and will be available for replays after then: follow this link for information), and I’m going to be on an editing panel at a writer’s conference in November. I’m talking with some potential clients about doing more writing, and I’m learning a new program (InCopy) for another client. By this time next year, I hope I will have some solid writing projects along with my editing projects. And I may even begin offering some consulting services this year; I’ve been doing more and more of that informally, so I’m thinking about how I could make that a part of my business services.
A rather unpredictable year for Tammy, then, but she’s pulled out that important point: “It’s important to remember that we run a business; our business should not run us”. I’ll be excited to learn how her new ventures into writing and possibly consultancy go – it’s interesting to see how our careers shift and change shape as we go along – personally, I’ve ditched the writing work and have segued calls for mentoring into some new products to help people self-mentor, but I love to see how other people face those challenges.
Tammy’s website is at www.editmore.com and you can of course contact her by email. She’s based in Califormia. And here’s the event on September 30 again: How to Team Up with the Perfect Editor for you.
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.