Monday 1 September 2014

How's the new job going, Alex?

I have been asked this a few times over the last month, so I thought it was time for an official update on my progress.

In early July I made a significant decision. Prompted by a trip to the Alps that changed my perspective on a few things, I decided to quit my day job at the Carphone Warehouse and begin work as a freelance editor and proofreader. The idea had been on slow burn for a while but as soon as I started thinking about it seriously the decision was an easy one to make.

I established Pinnacle Editorial in mid July and haven't looked back.

These are early days, but I'm glad to say that things are going extremely well. I've already worked on some tremendously exciting projects: dark science fiction, a conspiracy thriller, and a book for children. I have several projects in the pipeline and am fully booked until mid October. Best of all, two of my clients have already come back with offers of repeat work.

I must admit, it's a relief. Freelance editing is a competitive industry, and I was by no means certain of being able to attract so much work right from the start. I was prepared to heckle old colleagues and offer to do work for free in order to get clients, but none of that has been necessary so far.

Best of all, I love everything about the work itself. I've always enjoyed editing my own books, and I find a great deal of satisfaction in polishing a manuscript to the best of my abilities. I like the fact that I set my own targets. It's far easier to believe in a target I have set myself than an arbitrary number passed down from on high. I like the fact that I can structure my own day, work the hours I want, and — to an extent — pick and choose the work I want to do.

It is, in short, absolutely fantastic. I've always been aware that self-employment suits me more than being an employee, and I'm finally reaping the benefits of that awareness.

Of course, things won't be this great all the time. It's inevitable that I'll experience quiet periods, and it will take a while before I'm earning as much as I would like. I began this job with realistic expectations and I'm not going to start complaining the moment things get a little more difficult.

The only real disadvantage so far is that I'm finding it harder to find time to work on my own fictional projects. Other editors who write have warned me of this, and I'm still seeking the ideal balance between work and writing. David Wailing's strategy was to take the whole of August off to do nothing but write, and while I doubt I will be forced to take such drastic measures I have no doubt that it will take me a little while to find a balance. Have no fear: work is continuing on the second volume of Alpine Dawn, and I hope to publish it by the end of the year.

In general, though, things are going extremely well. I have every one of my readers and followers on Twitter to thank for that. You've helped make it happen.

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