Two Years In

It’s time for the more or less annual update on living the life of a freelancer. I’m sure you’ve been waiting anxiously.

It’s been about two years since I started editing full time, and I still have a lot to learn about how best to balance all of this. Summer, with the kids at home and my schedule shot to hell, is the biggest challenge.

Last summer I figured the best way to find time to work was to put the kids in every camp I could find. Instead I spent most of my time trying to keep track of a schedule that varied wildly from week to week. So this summer, I tried to scale back. Somehow, we still ended up with an incredibly hectic schedule.

Nevertheless, I got a lot done. Often that was because I simply prioritized my work. I had deadlines I had to meet, and everyone else just had to deal. My kids are old enough now (11 and 12) that, while they may not like it, at least they get it. I worked at a state park while the kids swam with their cousins. Clark picked up a lot of slack while I spent late hours editing. My parents took the kids when they started climbing the walls.

It certainly wasn’t a perfect summer—as it came to an end, I was utterly exhausted to the point where I lost about a week to frequent napping and possible con crud. I had trouble keeping up with Reads 4 Tweens and I totally gave up on trying to keep this blog up to date. I have a lot of catching up to do in the things I do for me, not for clients.

But I did get a lot of work done:
The Firefly Gen Con Exclusive for Margaret Weis Productions
Lady in Pearls by Elizabeth Cole
Little Wizards for Crafty Games
Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate by Carrie Harris
A Heartless Design by Elizabeth Cole (coming next month)
The Paranet Papers for Evil Hat Productions (in layout – coming in early 2014)

Clark and I also made it to three conventions, two with the kids and one all on our own. More on those in a later post.

My main takeaway from this year? I need to plan better so I have a much shorter list of stuff that needs to get done between May and August. I have a good steady flow of projects I’m excited to work on, so my third year of freelance life will be all about managing a calendar and my deadlines so they don’t occur quite so close together. And possibly better organizing my workspace, which should help with that.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll check in again next year.

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