One of the reasons I decided to expand my editing business was so I could free up more time to work on my own writing. Of course it seemed risky to walk away from science (for at least a year or so), but worth it if working from home would also allow me to write more seriously.
But, like I mentioned a few weeks back, I've been so overwhelmed with editing (on top of working my full-time job that I won't leave until the end of June) that I've had not one moment to work on my practice novel. I've spent every free second editing other people's work.
I thought I'd finally finished with dissertation season (the end of the semester is basically here), but then last week a master's student hired me to edit their APA formatted dissertation. Then as I was finishing that job last night, literally minutes later another client hired me to reformat their manuscript for submission to another journal. Just as I thought I was free to take a little break, there was the PayPal notification alerting me that I'd already been paid for another job!
It's a tricky spot to be in. On the one hand, I don't want to be ungrateful that I'm getting plenty of jobs. I need the money to prepare for the upcoming job transition. But on the other hand, I can't realistically keep up this pace of working two jobs at once. Either I have to cut back on the editing, or I have to cut back on my research, and frankly the later isn't really an option. I'm under contract until June 30 and I made a commitment to my boss to get several things finished before I leave.
Ok, so for the moment, I need to turn more editing jobs down, especially if I doubt the client would result in repeat business. I did that this morning when yet another person requested that I edit their dissertation. I took a look at it and realized that whatever amount of money I might get for it was just not worth the exhaustion. Also, a dissertation is a one-time job. I need to build more connections with people who would hire me more than once. Maybe a student would pass my name on to another potential client, but I've not yet found that to be the case.
Anyway, I'm going to finish this last job and move back to editing my own novel. Even my husband, who'd encouraged me to take every editing job I could, has suggested I ease back. I don't think he, or frankly anyone, realizes how much effort I put into these papers. The last job I finished was just 40 pages of text, but I put in over 20 hours editing it. I had to! When APA guidelines prohibit the use of passive voice, and my client has written their entire dissertation in the passive voice, I don't have much choice but to rewrite the entire thing in the active voice for them. That's why they hired me. It's time consuming and it doesn't even take into account all the other formatting and regular proof-reading that has to take place.
I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining. These editing jobs would be so manageable for me if they were all that I was doing, but that's not the case. I'm still commuting 2.5 hours a day. I'm still working full time. But I'm also using my morning writing time, my evenings, and my weekends to edit, which leaves me no time rest. I guess it's no surprise I'm feeling a little unhinged.
I'm also getting to the point where it's physically hard to read. I'm trying to read Atonement before I go to sleep at night, but my eyes sort of dart around the page looking for errors without taking in a lot of the substance. My head aches. I know I need to put the book down and catch up on sleep, but then I'd really be doing nothing but working, eating, and sleeping every moment of the day.
Whinge, whinge, whinge.
Anyway, let's hope this increased pace of editing jobs continues on through the summer after I've officially left my research job. I've never had so many people request me to edit for them before, so I must be doing something right with my marketing and my new website.
I guess this is just what it takes to establish a business.