Letters from the Editor is a monthly post about behind-the-scenes events at Acres of Ink.
Topics include personal experiences relevant to editing, news about upcoming books, blog articles, opportunities for freebies and more.
June is for… endurance.
I won’t sugar-coat it. May was a rough month at Acres of Ink. Clients who have contacted me recently will already know that I suffered a family bereavement, which was promptly compounded by my mother having a heart attack. Add to that a newly adopted toddler, a teething puppy and a sick spouse, all living under a roof where no one sleeps through the night… reality often seemed too glaring to ignore in favour of fiction.
But you know what? It happens. Life does get in the way sometimes.
So I put my Out of Office on, which is something I hate doing. Editors who work with publishing houses have colleagues to fill in if emergency leave is needed; as a self-employed editor, my reputation and accessibility is the only business assurance I have.
Fortunately, all of my clients were very understanding–and now I’m back!
That’s why the topic of this month’s Letters from the Editor is: Endurance.
Writing can be a balm. It can be a safe space from reality, equal only to losing yourself in a good book. Yet, I know that some of my clients also find it draining–and no wonder! Writing is work. It isn’t just a hobby: it takes commitment, time, craft, energy… the latter of which is in short supply these days.
The last thing you want is for writing to become a chore that adds stress to your life instead of relieving it. So, whilst popular writing advice (“Write every day; write whenever you have a spare moment!”) certainly promotes endurance, promotes writing through the pain, exhaustion and lack of creativity… sometimes, you just need a break.
If you’re at that point, you should take one.
Energy is finite and the true meaning of endurance is being able to get to the other end of an unpleasant situation without having lost yourself along the way. For that to happen, you need to conserve your energy, both physical and mental.
Health comes first, always.
I wrote a blog article on how to Pick up a Pen (Post-Pandemic) for those of you who are beginning to emerge, blinking into the sun, after the longest two years on record. For those of you who aren’t ready yet–or for whom the pandemic is the least of their problems–waiting a bit longer is OK.
Nothing bad will happen if you don’t write for a day.
Nothing bad will happen if you don’t write for a week, a month, or even a year.
The same applies to those who are already back to writing (or perhaps never stopped) but other personal events are beginning to get in the way. Although I will always recommend attempting to write, as I personally find it a soothing way to spend my time, it is not the same for everyone.
Health comes first. Always. The journey to publication is a very long one and burning yourself out never made that royalty cheque come any faster.
What’s new for June?
Every month, I’ll be using Letters from the Editor to broadcast any changes or opportunities that are happening soon. This month, I have several exciting things to mention! I was a busy bee in 2020 and it is finally time to apply the ‘New Normal’ to Acres of Ink.
1) New services available–and revamped old ones!
You heard it here first: Line Editing will soon be available through Acres of Ink!
For those who don’t know, this is the next step after Developmental Editing–for when all your broad strokes are perfect but the words need some fine tweaking to really make them pop. I’m honing the service this month (and beyond) and will make it available to clients from September 2021.
I will also be making a change to the Editing Sample service this month. From July, I will be increasing the sample size from 3,000 words to 5,000 words, and offering it to clients for a nominal flat fee of £15.00. If clients then book a full developmental edit with me, I will knock the cost of this sample off the final project cost–effectively providing it for free!
2) Turnaround time is decreasing!
Who likes waiting? Not me, that’s for sure. I suspect you don’t either. That’s why I’m restructuring Acres of Ink to decrease project turnaround to 3 weeks. That’s right. You can get your book baby edited and wrapped in a shiny bow in less than a month!
The new turnaround time will come into force in September (a big month for change). I will also be offering up to 3 developmental editing slots per month, as I’ve noticed a distinct increase in requests over the last few months. (Some of you were clearly creatively motivated in 2020.)
3) Payment plans will be available for everyone
Lump sum payments are a thing of the past at Acres of Ink. At least, they are if you want them to be. Once reserved for repeat customers, I now offer payment plans of up to 3 months for new clients as well. Repeat clients have this plan allowance extended–they can spread payments over six months if they so wish. If you wish to take advantage of this, just let me know when you book in for an editing slot.
That’s it for this month’s Letters from the Editor. If you have any questions or comments, drop them below, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.