Welcome to another Small Business Chat update from over the ocean! I’m delighted to be able to feature fellow-editor, Tammy Ditmore again this year. 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, August 2014 and September 2015. She’s had a bit of a tricky year, with some unexpected events, so I’m really glad she’s been able to sit down and go through my questions and let us know how she’s doing. When I asked Tammy about her future plans last September, she had this to say: “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.” Let’s see how her year has gone.
Hello again, Tammy. Lovely to feature you, as always. So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Not really. It’s been a turbulent year, to tell you the truth, in my business and in my family life. There’s been good and bad in both, including a death, a wedding, health issues, a fascinating book project, and a couple of working arrangements that did not work out as expected. Every time I think life is about to settle into a routine, something unexpected crops up. I did try a couple of very different work arrangements this year that I had expected to involve more writing, but neither wound up working out very well in the long run. One very intense book project kept me busy for months as I wound up doing a combination of developmental editing, copy editing, and project management. I loved the job and the author, but I was so busy that I stopped doing routine marketing and communication tasks such as blogging. I feel like it is taking me a long time to get back in rhythm. The good news is that I have not been without work for any extended time, but I’m not always sure where the next job is coming from, which is still unsettling to me.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
My workload changed early in the year toward shorter, day-to-day projects for a few months. But I soon realized that I prefer working on books and other longer-term projects, so I’ve moved back toward those types of projects. So I guess things both changed and stayed the same!
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
See previous question! For a while this year, I worked with an organization that needed almost daily editing of shorter pieces; I enjoyed it for a while, but it became tiring to feel like I was always on call. If I had known this a year ago, I could have avoided what became a very uncomfortable situation.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Don’t be afraid to try new types of jobs or new ways of working. At the same time, don’t be afraid to walk away from situations that don’t work out for you!
BONUS NEW QUESTION: What question would YOU like to ask other small business owners?
How do you find time to do your work and also keep up with social media or other marketing tasks?
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I really hesitate to answer this question. I am once again reconsidering what kinds of clients I really want to work with and how to attract those clients. So let’s just say that I hope I will continue to be busy and continue to have opportunities to do work that I enjoy.
I’m always particularly interested in what other editors are up to, and the different things they get up to outside of straight editing (although even that has so many varieties that you almost never meet two people who do exactly the same kind of work). I love Tammy’s tip about trying new working practices and learning what kind of working style you like to be involved in. I, too, have moved away from having too many “need it right now” clients to a mix of medium and larger projects, often pre-booked. I do have a couple of clients I still do small jobs for on the day, but it all fits together in a way that isn’t too frenetic. No one really wants to be frenetic, do they? I wish Tammy the best for an interesting – but not TOO interesting, perhaps – year working on jobs that she enjoys and with some predictability.
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.