Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Brother, Can You Spare a...Freelance Editing Gig?"

Being unemployed is hard work. No, really, it is. After working for so many years, and nearly twenty of them with one company, I have had to learn what to do with myself, how to fill my days. There is so much to do, I just don't know where to start.

I thought that this was what I wanted. I used to tell people, "I'd perhaps like to work part-time or just freelance from home."

And for a while, I did freelance -- mainly alongside my full-time job, and starting to do my editorial freelance work usually after 10 p.m., when the kids were in bed and the kitchen was cleaned up for the next day. But it kept my mind occupied and my skill set sharp.

It's over a year that I lost my job...sort of paving my own way out. I did get a severence package that was not great, even though I'd worked for so many years for the same company -- but I'd had a lowly job, nothing managerial.

And for a while after the job ending, I did have freelance gigs from time to time -- they kept my mind alert, and gave me a reason to find excuses not to do the morning dishes, not to do the laundry, etc.

But for some reason, those gigs have dried up. And I truly miss them, along with the cash they brought in.

When I first began to freelance circa 2000, I'd been very resourceful, and found myself a couple of publishers to do work for. Because I had a full-time job, I had to take on editorial jobs with far-off deadlines, which would allow for the work and courier travel time for the manuscript to get to and from the publishers. But my work was good, and the books were rather similar to those of my regular 9-5 job.

My name was also given out by someone with high recommendations, for which I'm thankful. But those high recommendations as well as the most flattering compliments after doing my first job for the person to whom I was referred made my ego swell somewhat. After all, being told that the person had never seen such a professional, excellent job of copy editing, and that "you're the only copy editor for me...we're going to be doing a lot of stuff together" would lead one to bank on it, don't you think?

Apparently, I'm not the "only copy editor" for this person because I've seldom seen a manuscript from them, when it was implied that it would be a regular gig.

I've been looking not only for freelance but for full-time editorial and / or social services work (my volunteer experience over the years has been in that field), and I'm starting to feel pressure. I really don't want to settle for just any kind of job that is meant to bring in a pay check, but that might be the route I have to take.

I have beautiful trees on my property, but a money tree is not one of them!

If anyone has any need for an editor/copy editor/proofreader/speech writer/copywriter/researcher, or knows someone who does, please contact me. I'd like to think that I'm good at what I do -- because I've been told that; not because I think so -- and would like to share my skills and knowledge with others.

10 comments:

marallyn ben moshe said...

dear my dear pearl...oy do i know what you mean...my gut feeling is that good things are coming your way very soon...and that said, i will put out my feelers here and there too...we get by with a little help from our friends...ps i loveddddddddddddddd the pictures of you and yours...wish you lived next door...sigh

Elie said...

Hatzlacha! Hope something comes your way soon.

A Simple Jew said...

Pearl: I don't know what to tell you other than I am sitting here and wishing you the best.

Miriam L said...

Wishing you the best. Do you have any interest in learning web programming? There seem to be a lot of freelance jobs in that field (and it's not as hard as it sounds).

Rhea said...

I'm in the same biz. Here are few good online job sites:
http://www.journalismjobs.com/Search_Jobs_all.cfm
http://jobs.copyeditor.com/c/search_results.cfm?site_id=502

muse said...

good luck
sorry I can't help

torontopearl said...

Marallyn: Okay, I'm hoping your gut feeling is speaking the truth!
Thank you for sticking your neck out for me.
And indeed, it would be lovely to be your neighbor. Perhaps I'd join your writing circle and share in your ethnic dishes.

Elie: Thank you.

ASJ: Thank you. I know you are.

Miriam: Thank you. I have to upgrade my computer skills knowledge first. Basic word alone just doesn't cut it anymore. If you could even suggest online tutorials for the major computer program skills, I'd be happy.

Rhea: Thanks so much. www.copyeditor.com was my first source of getting freelance work. Thanks for the heads-up about the other site.

Muse: Thank you.

Miriam L said...

Pearl - I got my start in building websites with the Austin Community College "Webmaster Certification" program . You can take the courses online and have a teacher's guidance as you learn.

Kanani said...

Have you thought about running workshops?
Seems to me that with everyone writing these days, that someone with your editing experience could be a great, great help.
My first writing teacher was an editor. MARVELOUS.

(I found you through Neil)guy2250

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

wishing you luck. maybe you'll edit my books that are waiting to be written?