Monday, November 4, 2013

A few, small steps

"Gold, Green, Red"


I spent part of this past weekend working on a project that I’ve been thinking about and talking about for a while but not making much progress on.
That project is my desire to start a freelance editing business.
When I pulled out the notebook I had dedicated to this project, I was appalled to see that my last notes were dated April 21 of this year.
That means that for over six months, all I’ve done is think about the project. And the thinking has been sporadic.

I want to start such a business for different reasons. I’d like to earn extra income. I’d like to eventually be completely self-employed and not dependent on an employer. I’d like to do something that fits closely with what I love doing the most.
What I love doing the most is writing. But I’m not looking to become a freelance writer, at least not in the sense of getting assignments to write articles for magazines.
I want to write about things that I’m passionate about and interested in. I’ll always do that, whether I have a traditional job or am self-employed.
That kind of writing, even if I get published, doesn’t always translate into money. And I do need to make some money.

Second to creating the words, I love editing the words of others.
I love the challenge of smoothing out writing, making it consistent in style, organization, punctuation, grammar, spelling, while keeping the writer’s voice in place.
I love the power of words and helping others find just the right ones to convey their meaning.
I love weeding through words, finding the ones that have to be cut to fit a certain word limit, again, keeping the writer’s voice the same.
When I edit, I lose track of time, become totally absorbed in the task at hand.

So why have I held back on moving forward with my business idea?
Procrastination, depression, perfectionism, fear—the same things that dog me in other areas of my life.
I think they’re all tied together. When you’re depressed, you may lack motivation to do much of anything. It just seems too exhausting and useless.
The OCD is a party to all this, too. It’s easy to fall into the trap of obsessing about not doing things perfectly, of making a mistake like not filing taxes correctly, not doing a good enough job at the work, not being able to do the work.
Even with the treatment I have received, even with the improvements I’ve experienced in both depression and OCD this year, they both still have their influences.
But can I edit? Yes. Can I do a good job? Yes. Can I provide a service to others? Yes.

I found that just taking a few, small steps helped. I did some research. Reviewed some information about starting a business in Virginia. Learned some things that made me feel better.
And I decided that the best step to take at this point was to set up an appointment with the certified public accountant that does out taxes and have a talk about the requirements for setting up a sole proprietorship in Virginia. Why worry about what I didn’t know when I had a source of information to begin with?

So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll call this week and try to set up an appointment as soon as he’s available.
And I’ll keep taking the small steps that I need to take until I am ready to start my business.


What project have you been working on lately?

40 comments:

  1. I seem to have the opposite problem, if you can call it that -- jumping into new projects before thoroughly investigating them, which generally leads to failure.

    Great that you are moving forward with this Tina -- you just never know where this will take you. xo

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. I've jumped into things, too, so I'm trying to find a happy medium. :-)

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  2. It's a perfect job for you, Tina. You write so well. I love reading your blog.

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  3. I always worry about the grammar police shutting my blog operation down! I hope you achieve your editing business goal. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. And you don't need grammar police. I enjoy your blog so much!

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  4. I'm sure you could have a great business! Good luck!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. I appreciate your support. :-)

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  5. Congrats on taking that small step....if you love something, have a passion for it, and especially if it will provide you with extra money, then continue to take those small steps while you accomplish your dream. You have a true writing talent, one that I enjoy reading!!

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    1. Thank you, Deanna. I appreciate your kind words!

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  6. You go girl...You are definitely headed in the right direction and to achieve a goal is just taking one step at a time.....I will look forward to hearing more about your adventure in the future.....

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    1. Thank you for your support and encouragement, Nancy. I appreciate it!

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  7. oh, that's awesome, tina! i'm very excited for you!

    no projects for me. no dreams, either. guess i'm supposed to tread water for a while longer. :)

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    1. Thank you, Theresa. I think treading water has its purpose--it prepares us for what comes next.

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  8. Tina, your photo is lovely. I am really happy for you!!! I am certain you will do very well!

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  9. Good for you! One suggestion: it might help if you take an editing class. The education might be helpful but also getting involved in it through a class might help you have the motivation to continue pursuing it. I took a class last year through ed2go. It's online. But the steps you have decided to take of course might be enough to get you going--it's just a suggestion.

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    1. Thank you, Kristina. I appreciate the suggestion. I think it's a good idea, and I will check that out.

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  10. Oh I have no doubt that you will succeed Tina. Good for you maybe someday I will need your services:) I know pushing through those doubts will make you go far my friend. Hug B

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    1. Thank you, B. Yes, the doubts can weigh me down, but I have to push through them.

      You know that I think your writing is great!

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  11. I'm so happy for you in this decision, Tina! Best of luck to you in this venture. :) I feel the same way about writing and editing as you do. My first loves. I'm glad you're getting back into the logistics of creating what you want. But i also understand what it means to have the fear you've had. So hard to get started on things sometimes! Hugs to you across the miles.. You can DO it!

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    1. Thank you, Mary, for your encouragement. It helps! Yes, fear can wreak havoc with our dreams, but I won't let it stop me for good.

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  12. Proud of you! This is RIGHT up your alley! There is a lot of great information on the http://thewritelife.com that is perfect for those wanting to do freelance work. Very, very useful. My friend Rachel has her own business (http://www.prolificpen.com). I know that she found great success in networking with graphic designers-- she writes the web copy for them!

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    1. Thank you, Jackie. You are so encouraging. Thanks for the tips, too. I will check those out.

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  13. I would think many writers are crying out for a good editor. Speaking of wordiness...it's right here. I'm too lazy to take a very good look at my writing. Whenever someone has looked at my writing I've learned a lot. My daughter and son are two of the best editors I've had.

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    1. Thank you, Red. I enjoy your writing! But I think all of us writers can stand a second pair of eyes sometimes. :-)

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  14. Good for you, Tina! That's one of the two kinds of businesses I would open (and probably the more lucrative, the other being art-oriented). During my PR career I had to write, but I also edited a magazine and other people's work and I'll tell you, it was way more fun (and sometimes more challenging, too) to edit someone else or even my own work. Especially when it was long (which was quite often! I am very good at cutting!). So I wish you the best of luck -- it seems like you are doing all the right things and starting first from a business sense. Probably the best place for a perfectionist to begin (and mind always!).

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    1. Thanks, Jeanie. I enjoy the challenge of editing even my own work, too. Once I have a draft, I lose myself in reading over it and changing/smoothing/shortening/expanding as needed.

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  15. Congratulations, Tina. You are SO right for this. I know you'll do well as an editor. Small steps, my friend. You're going in the right direction. And we're here to cheer you on.

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    1. Thank you for your support, Grace. It helps me so much to concentrate on the small steps.

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  16. this does sound exciting, you'll be dynamite once you are up and running, I am a true believer in baby steps and pauses, for what ever reason they are essential...look forward to your next step installation.
    :-)

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    1. Thank you, Lynn. I like the idea of pauses--I agree with you that sometimes they're essential. Thanks for sharing that.

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  17. i wish u well on jumping n. i hope u can step slowly & get there soon. u work here on the blog is written beautifully & very heartfelt... prayers. hugs too. ( ;

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    1. Thank you, Beth, for your support and kindness.

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  18. YaY Tina, your going to rock it!! You are a wonderful writer and a brave soul for wanting to take the next step!! Excited to read more about your new endeavor!!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie, for your enthusiasm and encouragement.

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  19. One step at a time seems like a good plan to me, Tina! Good for you, and I'm sure you'll be a great editor!

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    1. Thank you, Janet. I appreciate your support.

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  20. Not just a baby step, a big leap forward! Congratulations. You'll be great.

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  21. Sounds like a wonderful adventure- good luck!

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