Year in Review and Goals for 2018

Sophie Playle
Year in Review and Goals for 2018 image

It’s still the first half of January, so hopefully I’m not too late in putting this post together.

I mean, New Year’s isn’t the only time we can reflect and set intentions, but I do like the fresh-start feel a new calendar year brings.

Did I Reach My 2017 Goals?

Last year I published my Year in Review and Goals for 2017, and I checked in every quarter. (See: Quarterly Review: Jan–Mar 2017, Quarterly Review: Apr–Jun 2017 and Quarterly Review: Jul–Sep 2017) I found it useful to have concrete targets to work towards, and I pretty my achieved what I set out to do. In all, 2017 was a successful year.

Looking Back at 2017

Last year I really upped my game when it came to creating and running online courses for editors. I started writing my newsletter and blog with editors in mind rather than writers. At first this felt right, but as time went on I started to feel as though my business was fragmenting.

I wanted to be known as a specialist fiction editor and a training provider for editors. But the more I thought about it, the more it felt kind of … wrong.

Because Liminal Pages is a one-person business and fiction editing is a large part of that business, it will never sit alongside specialist editorial training providers. Originally, being seen as an equal to these providers was exactly what I wanted to aim for, but I’ve since realised this won’t work.

So I’ve decided to focus more again on the fiction editing side of things while continuing to offer online courses for editors. The difference is that I hope people will choose these courses because they like what they see rather than because I have the reputation of the bigger training providers. I sense this is what’s happening already, to be honest!

Goals for 2018

With fiction editing back as the primary focus of Liminal Pages, these are my goals:

1. REFINE MY BRAND & BUILD A CUSTOM WEBSITE

Pretty big stuff. I feel these two goals should go together because building a custom website will be one of the ways I refine my brand. I love working with self-publishers and will continue to do so, but I want to start working with more authors whose aim is to traditionally publish (and it would be great to build up some relationships with agents in order to help them do this). I’d also like to attract more enquiries from authors looking for a quality experience over a low-budget experience. Tweaking my brand should help with this, and though WordPress themes are a great way to build a decent website, I have a habit of pushing them beyond their capabilities. Hiring a developer will help me better create the vision I have for my website.

2. UPGRADE MY SfEP MEMBERSHIP

I’m keen to upgrade my membership level at the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. I’m currently a Professional Member, but there’s a tier above that called Advanced Professional Member. I’ve very nearly racked up enough copy-editing hours to apply, and I can easily cover the rest of the criteria.

3. WORK WITH TOR

I discovered Tor (a fantasy and sci-fi imprint of Pan Macmillan) when I read Boneshaker by Cherie Priest in 2010. I love that Tor post fantastic fiction to read online for free, and that they not only champion quality writing but diverse writing, too. Last year someone from Macmillan enquired about my editing services, and I never chased it up after they said they’d be in touch. I’d love to work with Tor, so I’m going to read some more of their publications to familiarise myself further with their style, then pitch my services.

4. CREATE AND RUN TEA AND COMMAS

Using some of the content from Start Fiction Editing (now retired), this online course will teach people how to edit fiction and earn a living from it. It’s likely I’ll create and run Tea and Commas in the second quarter of the year.

5. START A PENSION

I should have done this some time ago, but I really need to look into starting a pension as a sole trader. I really can’t put it off any longer!

6. TAKE 20 DAYS OF HOLIDAY

Last year I didn’t take enough time off, even though I’d written it down as a secondary goal. By making this a primary goal, I’m hoping it will stick in the forefront of my mind. I’ve blocked off a week’s holiday for myself at the end of February, and I’ve already taken a week off at the start of January, so I’m doing well! And it should go without saying that I don’t include weekends as holiday.

7. BLOG ONCE A FORTNIGHT

I did a lot of blogging last year, and though it was undoubtedly the main reason I received quadruple the number of visitors to my site than the year before, it wore me out. I can’t seem to write short posts anymore! So instead of stressing out about writing once a week, I’m going to ease up and write once every two weeks, focusing on quality over quantity now that I’ve got a decent number of posts in my archives.

8. WRITE A LIMINAL LETTER ONCE A MONTH

For more than a year, I’ve been sending Liminal Letters out to my subscribers around every two weeks. I love writing these, sharing a more personal perspective on running an editing business and how it affects my life, but they take me quite a lot of time to put together. Sending one out every month instead will feel more manageable.

Okay, I think that’s enough goals to set for myself. A few more than last year, but hopefully not so many that I’ll be overwhelmed. I’ll revisit these in April to let you know how I’m getting on.

Sophie Playle profile picture
Sophie Playleis a professional fiction editor. She specialises in copy-editing and critiquing, working directly with authors. Speculative fiction, fantasy, science fiction and literary fiction are her genres of choice. She's an Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and has a Creative Writing MA from Royal Holloway, University of London. Find out more: liminalpages.com

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