Write. Edit. Share. Repeat.

About writing, editing, publishing & getting it out there

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Five solutions for avoiding distractions

This is important . . . read it now!

Hopefully others who work for themselves can identify with this. When I’m supposed to be working, or when I’m supposed to shut down and go to sleep, I sometimes find myself doing other things, all of which feel very important at the time. I’ll read a blog about economics or watch how-to YouTube videos about things I want to learn . . . and thirty minutes later find myself numbly watching yet another sappy video of a guy “creatively” proposing to his girlfriend.

The educational videos are more valuable than the proposal videos, but all of them are time suckers. When I finally go to bed, I sometimes carry guilt about all the things I could have or should have accomplished that day.

There is a happy medium between self-acceptance (there are just 24 hours in every day) and better discipline (it’s easy to waste a lot of those hours).  Read More

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Let it go, already!

worriedmomI finished proofreading a manuscript recently and handed it in to the publisher I was working for. And then I started to get my usual bout of nerves about what kind of job I did. Did I find everything? Did I overstep my bounds? Did I insert my opinion too much and change things that did not need to be changed?

Sometimes as a proofreader I spot something in the book that’s wrong, and I have to point it out. Read More

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Full-time editorial

Condensed version of announcement I made on Facebook:

I am now working full-time as a an editorial consultant, after 2-3 years working full-time and doing editing on the side.

My experience includes book editing (fiction, memoir, non-fiction), proofreading, self-publishing guidance, website creation and upkeep, blogging, marketing (social media and press releases).

I edit books for independent authors and established publishers.

I also work for companies of any size. If anyone finds me through my blog or on any of my social media sites, I give 25% off my standard rates for the first job.

Please spread the word if you know anyone who’s writing a book or who has a business for which they need marketing assistance. I am also available to speak with writing groups about editing and the publishing process. Please follow me on social media if that’s your thing (no biggie if it’s not).

Here are my links:

My professional website: http://arzoomaneditorial.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Arzooman_Edit
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/janarzooman
G
oogle+: https://plus.google.com/115403852254268405476/posts
Thank you all for your support!

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Surviving a freelancing famine: Tips to get you through

from How to Survive a Freelancing Famine – 10 Top Tips to Get You Through. by Sarah Dunstone for JobStock

“Every freelancer will tell you that throughout their career there will be periods of high workload, and then just as quickly the work will slow down again. This phenomenon is called a freelancing famine.” Some suggestions:

  1. Put aside emergency funds, so down times don’t seem as scary.
  2. Don’t sell yourself short — don’t charge less because work is slow.
  3. [Do] part-time work to get through the slow periods.
  4. Market yourself to companies with hiring freezes–they’ll need freelancers for a lot of the work. 

Read more at JobStock.

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On growing a side gig

From “What It Really Takes to Grow a Side Gig,” by from Alexis Grant, The Traveling Writer.

How on earth are you supposed to launch a business when you’re already working a full-time job …? 

Question from reader to Alexis Grant: “The thing I struggle most with is having to do my work in very short time frames. I have maybe two hours in the morning during the week before I go to my full-time job, and the evenings are often spent unwinding or hanging out with my boyfriend. I’m not willing to sacrifice my quality of life to start a business – especially when the business is supposed to be about a better quality of life!”

Read More

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Discovering GoodReads

Painted girls coverI’ve been spending a little time getting to know GoodReads, but for now the site’s still a bit of a mystery to me. As with every new social media site, I take my time jumping in. I know. I’m way, way behind the crowd. I always think I have too much on my plate already. In reality, I probably do, but since I like to read, I figured I should at least check it out.

My initial foray involved creating a 2013 reading challenge for myself (100 books), and joining two groups. One’s called “52 weeks, 52 books,” the other one is called “Booksy Cup Freebies and Bargains.” I’m not really sure what “Booksy Cup” is. I’m sure it’s explained somewhere; I think it’s the name of the moderator’s blog.

Read More

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Buyer’s Market

In the job market, for those of us seeking full-time permanent employment, it feels almost like a perpetual buyers’ market. Unless you have certain key skills and a long history in a particular field, job seekers tend to find significant competition for every position. I focus my search in publishing, usually, and that seems especially tight.

Because of this, employers can pretty much do whatever they want to job applicants. They can conduct a job search any way they like. They generally will not acknowledge your resume (although sometimes you’ll get a computer-generated acknowledgment).

My competition?

If you do get an interview, even a call back to a second interview, they no longer feel it necessary to call you with a polite rejection if you haven’t made the cut. I’ve waited the standard length of time before bothering a hiring manager, and in some cases still never got a call back or a definite answer. (After more time passed I just assumed it was “no.”) Read More

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How can I help…and what’s in it for me?

A handmade quilt and cap made by some Astoria (Queens) crafters to contribute to the post-Hurricane Sandy aid efforts.

I admit to a bit of depression setting in over the hurricane recovery. It didn’t hit our house—we were fine—but several friends had flooding and are still without electricity. I feel helpless.

I spent another day down in the Rockaways over the weekend. I was needed to drive again and I was happy to do it, but there were a lot of other people helping, too—maybe because it was a mild day. I helped with some unloading of food and cleanup at two church centers, but that was it; I sort of felt “extra.” Read More

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Irrational fears, meandering thoughts

I wrote earlier about procrastination and getting distracted, and these are two big issues that I need to get a handle on. It’s not so easy. A big part of it is fear and negativity—if I sit down to write, I am not making money, and I should be doing something very specific toward making money, since I am not permanently employed right now—I’m doing freelance and temp work. So sitting down to write generates a fear that I’m doing the wrong thing.

My blog does not feel like as much a waste of time as fiction writing does, though, because it is linked to my website and I may, potentially, get freelance clients who need an editor or blogger or some other editorial service. But what about Twitter and Facebook—is spending time there productive? Are any of these things more or less productive than sitting down to write fiction, or an essay potentially for publication? Read More

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Storm is coming–no work Monday!

As I wrote in my last post, we returned from vacation late on Friday, giving ourselves two days to get settled in, get some rest and prepare ourselves for the return to work on Monday. Saturday morning, we drove into the city to pick up our kitty–my friend Jim had been watching him.
Pip was not happy having to get shoved back into his carrier for the drive back to Queens. (He was flipping me the bird just before I snapped this photo).

I did start doing a little work on Saturday, as I have some projects due (I had to do a little work on vacation, too, but I was OK with that–the vacation was very much needed but so was the editing work; I couldn’t pass it up).

Now, it seems I’ll have one more day off. Hurricane Sandy is on her way to New Jersey and New York, and the whole region is preparing. The MTA is shutting down subways starting at 7 tonight, at the same time that the MetroNorth and Long Island RR will start their last train runs. Bus service will be stopping at 9 pm.

I checked in with my boss, offered to work from home if needed (if that’s even possible — we still could lose electricity). She told me the company would be shut down, so (hooray!) no work for me tomorrow.

But my husband, who works at a radio station, may have to go into work. Even though we live in NE Queens, he apparently lives the closest to the station (in lower Manhattan) than anyone else in his department. His company will pay him if he has to park somewhere or stay overnight, but he said I might have to drive him into the city. I hope that isn’t going to be necessary, but I said I would do whatever was needed.

We went shopping last night because we had no food in the house after our trip, and this afternoon I went back to our local KeyFood to get a few extra items, some water, some snacks and peanut butter. Nothing was really essential, but what better excuse than a storm to allow yourself to buy junk food?

Apparently, people in our neighborhood think they are going to be stuck in their houses for two weeks straight because this was the condition of the KeyFood bread shelves at 2 pm this afternoon. The bottled water shelves were sparse as well–I was able to grab a few 1.5 liter bottles just in case.

We live inland and on slightly higher ground than the coast, so I’m not too concerned about safety yet, but I always get nervous when I think about what could happen. Areas are being evacuated, and as always when people are told to get to a safer location, some residents declare they will not be leaving. One lady told a reporter that she “couldn’t leave” because she has a generator and has to be there to turn it on manually. That made no sense to me. If she’s not there why would she need to turn it on? No one wants to be stuck in traffic driving out of town (that sounds like it might almost  be the worst part) or sleep on a cot in a shelter if there’s nowhere else to go, but do you want to have to be rescued when conditions worsen?

People on the NJ coastal islands and peninsulas who have been through this before have no excuse for staying in their houses, but people in the northeast just aren’t used to severe weather. They see tornadoes and hurricanes on TV; the worst of it rarely happens here and they think that it won’t be that bad. I’m just periodically checking the news for updates, hoping that we are safe and that all our friends and family are safe as well.

I’m very happy I can stay home, as I have other work to focus on, and, frankly, I’m not quite ready to start back after our blissful two weeks of vacation.