I’m on Maternity Leave!

Sophie Playle

I started my editing business over ten years ago. This is the first time I’ve ever taken some extended time away from it. Which feels weird.

Lots of people go freelance because they’ve had children and they need the flexibility. Instead, I went freelance simply for the love of having control over my own work life.

I’m having a baby very soon, and boy have I appreciated being my own boss during the pregnancy. Who knew growing a whole new human being was so tiring and disruptive to everyday life?! (My tongue is in my cheek here. But seriously, I thought I’d be able to do more …)

When I first found out about the baby, I created a workplan for the months leading up to my maternity leave. I used an A4 sheet of paper and divided it into months. For each month, I listed the editing projects I had booked in, the courses I wanted to create and run, and any other event or marketing idea I had.

This kept me focussed, but as time went on I realised I’d have to drop some of my goals. For instance, it became apparent that writing and launching a whole new course and pre-recording a whole podcast series was not going to be doable!

But that was okay.

I had a bit of a self-depreciating panic about not achieving everything I wanted, but as the pregnancy progressed and became more difficult (nothing serious – just … hard), life pretty much forced me to start stepping away from work.

That gradual distancing was helpful to my mental state, especially as my brain went into ‘nesting’ mode and I became increasingly distracted by second-hand baby clothes and thinking about colours for the nursery.

I’m writing this right now from a deckchair on my front lawn while workmen are replastering what was my home office, soon to be the baby’s room. Packing away all my craft and business books and putting my desk into the garage made me quite emotional, I must say.

I’m swapping out parts of my identity for a time, and there’s a loss to that as well as a gain.

But here we are. I’m writing this post because there likely won’t be (m)any blog posts for the foreseeable future. Here in the UK, I’m allowed ten ‘keeping in touch’ days while claiming maternity pay from the government, so I’m hoping I can check in with my business every now and then, but who knows.

I’m most likely to spend these days writing to my newsletter subscribers, so if you want to keep up to date with what’s going on at Liminal Pages (and how I’m finding maternity leave as a self-employed business owner), sign up below!

In the meantime, consider taking one of my self-study online courses if you want to learn more about professional freelance fiction editing!

It’s one of the best ways you can support me during this period. Also, you won’t regret it – my courses are pretty darn good, even if I say so myself (as do many, many students, to be fair – just look at the testimonials).

Now, though, it’s time for me to sign off, step away, focus on other (baby-shaped) things … and have faith that my business will still be standing strong when I return.

A new chapter is starting …

Sophie Playleis a professional fiction editor. She specialises in developmental editing, critiquing and copy-editing, and loves working with authors and publishers who are passionate about high-quality storytelling. Speculative fiction, fantasy, science fiction and literary fiction are her genres of choice. She's an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and has a Creative Writing MA from Royal Holloway, University of London. Find out more: liminalpages.com

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Insights into the world of fiction, from the desk of an editor

Editorial considerations, creative revelations and the occasional existential lamentation – sharing my experiences and personal recommendations exclusively with you.