Hello and welcome to a lovely editing-inspired update with Sophie Playle, editor and trainer of editors from Liminal Pages, We first met Sophie in December 2013, and got updates in January 2015, March 2016, March 2017, and April 2018, where this was her plan: she wanted to be “Where I am now, but better”. Good plan! Let’s see how she’s getting on now …
Hello again, Sophie! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
As always, I think I can do more in the time I have than is realistic, so I’m a bit behind on where I’d hope to be – but I’m working on it, and trying not to beat myself up about it!
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Most things have stayed the same. I’m still offering editorial services to authors and publishers of fiction, and I’m still offering online training to editors. The main difference is that this year, I’ve set the dates for when my courses will run in advance (rather than launch them as and when). This seems to be working well – it helps me and my potential students plan our schedules better.
Oh, the other thing that is about to change (at the time of writing) is my website. It’s been nearly two years in the making, but I designed a new website for myself from scratch (learning new software and design skills) and had it coded by a professional web developer (*cough* my spouse *cough*). I’m currently in the process of transferring all the content, but it should be going live soon.
Since my business has reached a point of stability, I felt it was time for a custom-built website. I’ve been using WordPress themes since the start, and those have served me well, but now I want to take my business to the next level. The new site will be much faster and look super-slick.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
Teaching others teaches me so much. It forces me to find holes in my knowledge and solidify what I know. I’ve learned even more about story structure and types of narration recently, which in turn has improved my services.
At the start of the year, I detoxed from social media and learned that it didn’t have much impact on my business and that I felt more creative and less anxious. I wish I’d done it sooner.
Social media is full of other people’s successes and ideas, and I feel this can make you feel less enthusiastic about your own business, and crowd out your own thoughts and ideas. On top of that, it’s a time-suck – time that would be better spent elsewhere.
I’m not saying removing yourself from social media is right for every business (and I certainly haven’t totally removed myself from it), but I do think we all need to take a good hard look at how we’re using it and the true effect it’s having.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Get out of the house every day, preferably somewhere green. You’ll feel better for it.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
My new website should be up and running, as should my latest course on copy-editing fiction, Tea and Commas. I’m hoping to incorporate more video into my business, too, and this is something I’ve already started experimenting with. I’ve just moved house, too, and so I’m looking forward to getting into some new routines. I find regular structure to my day makes me happier and more productive.
I always love reading Sophie’s interesting newsletters (especially as she works from all over the place, which makes me a bit jealous sometimes) and I always appreciate her honesty. Having a website refresh is a great idea and I’m glad that’s all going well. And she’s completely right about getting outside every day, into natural surroundings if you can. I’m fortunate to have my running hobby to help me do that.
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