Mid-Year Review: Jan–Jun 2018

Sophie Playle

At the beginning of the year, I published my Year in Review and Goals for 2018.

Last year I checked in every quarter, but this year I’m just doing a mid-year check-in due to the fact I’m publishing fewer blog posts.

So, how are things going?


I spent some time at the start of the year doing some intensive foundational work on my brand and started wire-framing my new website, but then I switched my focus to client work and running my courses. I’ve set aside most of the month of July to work on the new design of my website, with the tentative hope of getting it coded by the end of October.

In an ideal world, I would hire a designer, but I actually really enjoy graphic design (and have studied it at a basic level) and am relishing the challenge. I decided my budget for this task would be better spent on the actual website build this time around.


Tick! I applied for my membership to the Society for Editors and Proofreaders to be upgraded to the highest tier, Advanced Professional Member, earlier in the year and my application was swiftly approved. I’m very happy about this as it boosts my credibility as an editor.

3. WORK WITH TOR (delayed)

I’m still keen to work with this fantasy and sci-fi publisher, but I haven’t pitched my services to them yet as I only want to do so once I’m sure I’ll be able to fit any projects they might have for me into my schedule. I’ve been reading lots of their publications, though, to get a sense of their editorial style.

(They publish some fantastic novella-length works that cost only a few pounds on Kindle! One of my favourites so far has been The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy.)


I thought I’d get around to creating this fiction copy-editing course in the second quarter of the year … yet it keeps slipping further and further down my priorities list! I’ve been taking advantage of the demand for my developmental fiction editing courses (Developmental Editing: Fiction Theory and Developmental Editing: In Practice), so I’ve ended up spending more time running those than I had anticipated this year.

I need to schedule some time to work on this new course, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to launch it before November. I’m determined not to let it slip into next year, though!

5. START A PENSION (delayed)


I still need to do this. Without having yet looked too much into it, my general plan is to start a modest personal pension, own a property before I retire, make sure I get the state pension, and probably only semi-retire until I find working too difficult. (If I enjoy my work, it will be a good way to keep my brain active!)

6. TAKE 20 DAYS OF HOLIDAY (complete)

I didn’t manage to have much time off last year, but this year I’ve already had 21 days off! Much of this came down to an impulsive decision to go to Bali for a month. Instead of working the whole time I was there, I decided to work just three days a week to keep on top of client work and the running of my courses. I decided not to do any blogging, marketing or business development for the duration of my trip.

Unfortunately, I also got pretty ill while in Bali, which meant I had to take some more time off. Urg. I hate being ill.

Anyway, I certainly don’t plan to work the next six months solidly. I’ll still make sure to take a few more days off before the end of the year.

7. BLOG ONCE A FORTNIGHT (in development)

As I mentioned above, I didn’t publish a blog post while I was in Bali so I could spend more time enjoying my trip. Even so, I’ve been letting blogging slip a little. (Let’s ignore the fact that my last blog post was two months ago …!)

I definitely feel that the less I blog, the less I want to blog. It’s so easy to lose momentum! To tackle this, I’ve decided to set a day every week to dedicate to content creation and business development. I’m hoping this will get me back on track.


I’ve not let my Liminal Letters slip as much as blogging, but I still haven’t been quite as consistent as I’d planned – for the same reasons as above. My weekly content creation day should again help me keep on top of writing these letters.

So, my general plan of action includes:

  • spending the next few weeks redesigning my website
  • deciding when best to pitch my services to Tor
  • scheduling in the best time to create my new course
  • researching personal pension options
  • scheduling in a few more days off
  • and setting aside one day a week for content creation.

Sign up below to receive Liminal Letters and I’ll keep you informed on how things are ticking along. Check back here at the end of the year to see how I’ve done!

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.