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Monthly Archives: February 2018

Small business chat update – Amelia Wilson

Small business chat update – Amelia Wilson

It’s time for a chat with Amelia Wilson of The Editing Shop who offers copyediting, translation review and localisation services. We first met Amelia in November 2014,and had our first update in January 2016 and then in January 2017. When I asked her then where she wanted to be in a year’s time, she replied “My course will have launched! I hope to have increased and diversified my revenue streams, and to have continued to grow my audience via my blog and newsletter”. Let’s see whether those exciting things, or indeed other things, have happened …

Hello again, Amelia. Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

No – and I’m noticing the consistency of this answer to this question! I love to plan and set goals and challenges, and meeting them is important, but I also love that working independently means being able to adapt and grow and say yes to new and unexpected opportunities that crop up along the way.

I’m involved in new, but related, areas of the industry, and even spent six weeks working in Italy teaching English to non-native children. I’m finding that my interests are diversifying, and my skills are growing and changing alongside them. To me, that’s the definition and the beauty of the freedom that comes from running our own businesses.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

What’s stayed the same are my core offerings – I still provide copyediting, translation review and localisation services, and I’m still really happy with my branding, which I put a lot of time into changing and getting just right last year. I love the work I do and I feel happy with how my business is represented and the personality it has.

A big goal for me was increasing my revenue streams, and that’s become more important as I’ve realised how effective it is. It’s sort of like spreading a wider safety under my business; if one area slows down, I know that all my eggs aren’t in the same basket, and I have other income streams to smooth over any dips in client work. This has been really helpful in avoiding the whole “feast and famine” side effect of self-employment, which is something I’m sure we’ve all been through!

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I’ve grown in confidence in business in general, and in diversifying in particular. I think when you start, you put so much energy and focus into doing one thing really well, and I feel that I’ve got that nailed down. Having my core services as a base, I now feel better able to build, grow, and see what I can add that’s different. I don’t have to stay in one lane in my business, and I’m getting better at blending in new interests without worrying that it will detract from other things.

I don’t want to jump ahead and pinpoint anything I wish I’d known; I’m really enjoying the journey and I think that we can all read the best advice, but for it to really sink in I think it has to come from experience as you go along, as you make mistakes, and as you celebrate successes.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Say yes and figure it out later! Don’t hesitate to diverge or branch out just because it’s not necessarily something you planned to be doing. The best experiences and the best lessons – and the most fun – come right at the edge of your comfort zone.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

Personally, I’d like to invest in professional development in the areas that are taking my interest, and find ways to blend this into my business and my services and products. I love that deep learning about my own interests can be rewarding not only to me, in terms of growing my business, but also to my clients and the community I serve. It’s the biggest privilege of self-employment.

In a year’s time, hopefully I’ll have had the opportunity to dig deep, expand my knowledge, and find ways to reflect my growing skillset in my business.

I completely agree with Amelia’s point about diversifying. Like her, I’m not just an editor, in fact, a lot of the time I’m doing more transcription than anything else right now, and, indeed, when I branched out into that area originally, I was very much at the edge of my comfort zone (or back in a very old audio-typing one!). I have customers around the world and in different fields, plus a small income from my books, which helps keep things safe and even.

Amelia’s website is The Editing Shop and you can find her on Twitter @editingshop.

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. 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. 

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2018 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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How do I know when Track Changes is turned on? Word 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016

This article quickly explains how you know when track changes is turned on.

Do also read these articles to find out more about track changes: what Track Changes is, why we use it and where to find it, and how to customise Track Changes to suit our own preferences and learned how to work with a document that has Tracked Changes.

We turn on track changes to make sure that whoever else is using the document can see what changes (additions, deletions, moving text) we have made in the text. If you are working with an editor, they will typically turn track changes on so you can see what they have suggested. When my clients send me back amendments to a text they’re working on, I ask them to turn track changes on so I can see easily what they have done to the document.

How do I know when track changes is turned on in Word 2007 and Word 2010?

Word 2007 and Word 2010 look a bit different from later versions.

When track changes is turned on, you will see the button highlighted in orange:

This means that every change you make will be displayed in Word and other people will be able to see them if they have the correct view in their version of Word.

If the button is white, like the rest of the area, track changes it not turned on.

How do I know when track changes is turned on in Word 2013 and Word 2016?

Word 2013 and Word 2017 look different and the highlighting is more difficult to see, in my opinion.

When track changes is turned on, you will see the button highlighted in blue-grey:

This means that every change you make to the document will be displayed in Word and other people will be able to see them if they have the correct view in their version of Word.

When track changes is off, the button will be white, like the rest of the area.

If you want highlighting to be in a different colour, you will need to change the theme, and that’s for another article!


This article has taught you how to check whether you have track changes turned on in your Word document. See the links below for more track changes articles.

If you have found this article useful, please share or “like” it using the buttons below, or leave me a comment to tell me what you think. Thank you!

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents.

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Relevant articles on this website

Track changes 1 – why use it, where can you find it, what can you do with it?

Track changes 2 – customising Track Changes

Track changes 3 – working with a document with tracked changes

How do I accept one reviewer’s changes?

Why are my tracked changes changing colour?

 

 
 

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Small business chat update – Jane Badger

Small business chat update – Jane Badger

Hello this morning to Jane Badger from Jane Badger proofreading and editing (and she’s a writer, too!). Jane’s been with the interview series for a while now: we first chatted in November 2013 and updated for the first time in December 2014 when she’d gone full time with her editing work. After another update in January 2016 , we caught up most recently in February 2017, and at that point, this is where she wanted to be by now: “I’m hoping to have some local clients. The SfEP courses I did were really worthwhile, and my plan is to work on upgrading to advanced membership through doing more training courses, looking in particular at developing my editing skills. I will get the rights back to Heroines on Horseback, my book on pony books, later this year, so am investigating how I’m going to proceed with that. Whatever I do, it will be a steep learning curve, so I’m looking forward to that. The Society of Authors runs workshops on e-book publishing, so I’m planning on doing one of those.” Let’s see how she’s getting on …

Hello again, Jane! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

I do have some local clients, though there’s still more work to be done there.

I have done some of the training towards Professional membership of the SfEP (and passed the copy-editing exam, to my relief), but still need to do another course. I have an editing course run by the Publishing Training Centre in my sights. That is the one thing I need to do to upgrade as I have all the other requirements.

I was slightly side-tracked as I also did practical and theory exams in singing. They went well, thankfully, and I shan’t have to do any more music theory unless I find a sudden deep, burning desire to do so and can persuade my singing teacher that it will not be agony for us both. On balance, I think I’ll stick to the practical side.

I went to the Society of Authors workshop on e-book publishing, which was excellent – I can highly recommend. I also did one of their social media workshops, which was also very well worth doing, as it focused on doing things from an author’s point of view.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I have even more corporate work, which wasn’t quite the plan, but I’m going with it for the moment while I sort out the publishing side.

I’ve started up a local branch of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, which has been really good. It’s got me out of the house, for one thing, I’ve met some lovely people, and have learned a lot about both proofreading and self-publishing.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I’ve learned a lot on how to produce an e-book, and the differences between producing one that is fiction and one that is non-fiction (basically – pictures. The more pictures you have, the more Amazon charge you to upload, with a corresponding effect on your profit margin. I’m still experimenting with this). That and the cover are the last things I need to sort out with Heroines on Horseback, and then it’s off to beta readers with it to test out how it works on various devices.

I outsourced the design of my new pony book encyclopaedia website. I’m glad I did this, as design is not one of my strengths, but the project has not been problem-free. I’m still waiting for a major glitch to be worked out, as my plan was (and is) to launch the new website and the new version of Heroines on Horseback at the same time.

On the blogging front, I learned that a Buzzfeed-type blog post that I wrote in ten minutes managed 4,000 views in a couple of days. The carefully crafted post I did on railway women and horses, which took weeks to research, has 2,500 views. I guess I’ve learned that a balance of things is a good idea! And that all the years of research I’ve done into the horse does mean that I can pull something together very quickly. And that doing so does seem to produce something people want to read.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Don’t be afraid to try something new, having thought out the implications.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

I hope I’ll have managed to get Heroines on Horseback back out into the world, and the new website, too! It’s frustrating to be so close but have to rely on other people to achieve what I want. But balanced against that is the fact that the end result will be much better than anything I could have done on my own.

I’m also hoping that I’ll have been able to focus on new writing. My plan for this year is to do less corporate and editing work for other people and carve out more time for me to write. It’s so very easy to do stuff for other people which pays within weeks rather than spend the time doing my own stuff, the payoff for which is months, if not years, down the line!

So, I’m hoping that I will have an income stream from my books, have a sensible plan to develop it further, and have acquired a couple more clients.

I love Jane’s sensible Top Tip – do it, but think about it first, in essence. And I can empathise with her blog post findings – one of my most popular posts is still the very first one I jotted down to remind myself how to sort something out! I did go back and add more text and screenshots, but it’s funny how something I did for myself ended up helping thousands of other people! I do hope that this time next year I can share links on where to buy the new Heroines on Horseback (it’s a great book – I have an original copy): good luck to Jane with that final push!.

Find Jane’s website at janebadger.com

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. 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2018 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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Hassock or cassock?

Hassock or cassock?

Inspired by a good friend sharing a photo of her husband and their son in matching church choir garb, in this article I’m covering a bit of an ecclesiastical theme. Now I’m wondering if everywhere around the world even has both of these things – maybe some non-UK people will let me know in the comments …

A cassock (a word which probably comes from Turkish, through Italian and French: thank you, Oxford Dictionaries) is a long article of clothing which is worn by some members of the Christian clergy and members of church choirs (not all wear them, but you’ll recognise it when you see it).

A hassock is a little cushion that you kneel on in church: you find them in the pews and choir stalls, often decorated in tapestry by church members. Interestingly, in America it also refers to a footstool – so does this indeed mean other countries don’t have the classic hassocks in their churches? The second meaning is a clump of grass or other plants found in marshy ground – I always thought that was a tussock and now I feel another Troublesome Pair coming on …

So, don’t get your hassocks and cassocks mixed up, or you might be insufficiently clad and kneeling on something far less comfortable than it should be.

You can find more troublesome pairs here, and here’s the index to them all!

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2018 in Errors, Language use, Troublesome pairs

 

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