A day in the life of a freelance editor

You know how you see those time-lapse video clips online, where a florist makes a gorgeous bouquet or a chef puts together a stunningly intricate dessert or a costume designer whips up a creation for a ballerina? Or where an interesting creative is filmed for a day to showcase their work?

Well, if someone were to do something similar for me, there would not be anything interesting to watch! Could you imagine watching someone type for half the day? Grass growing and all that …

So instead of using a camera to show my day, I thought I’d show you in words.

This is what happened for me this Tuesday –

6.00am – 8.30am – I’m up at six, and usually start my day with a cup of black tea and a non-fiction book to read, something about writing or spirituality or psychology. If I’m lucky, I’m not interrupted!

The four other people in my family leave at various times, so there is a lot of tracking to the front door for a kiss. My kids are big enough to sort out their lunch and bag, so I’m more of a traffic controller rather than having to do everything.

Finally, by about 8.30 or 8.45, my house is quiet. The bliss!

9.00am – 11.00am – I work on a book for tween girls to be self-published later this year. The two authors gave me full permission to point out everything that could possibly be improved, so I took them at their word. The book is divided into sections which are told in different ways, through conversations, text messages and storytelling. I’m working on a structural edit, so I’m looking at the overall themes, whether each section is told in the best format and where each section should fit into the whole manuscript. I’m enjoying helping to shape this book into its best format – there’s so much wisdom in this book.

11.00am – 1.00pm – I present a writing workshop to grade six students. This is the third of four workshops. We’ve focused on brainstorming and planning, and this workshop was about writing, with editing to follow up for next week. This class is so engaged – they’re developing their ideas into stories, and using wonderful language to tell their hero’s journey.

1.00pm – 2.00pm – Home for lunch and emails. I listen to a podcast on writing while I eat lunch.

2.00pm – 2.30pm – I have a meeting about a memoirs book I’m editing. It is such an honour to edit this 89 year-old man’s book. I meet with his son to finalise a few details, and I’m ready to print out the full manuscript for the writer to check. His family will be so lucky to have his book.

2.30pm – 3.15pm – There’s only a small pocket of time before school pick-up for Mr 9, so I work on my own book in a cafe with a chai latte. I rewrite the beginning of my chapter because I had swapped information around and needed to introduce a new character here. I’ve honed the ability to work in half hour snatches – learnt from years of working at home while my babies slept.

3.15pm – 5.00pm – Mr 9 has an appointment after school so we’re on the road for a bit – time to discuss the latest in Lego Masters!

5.00pm – 5.30pm –  I take our puppy, Cleo, for a quick walk around the block to stretch my legs and clear my head.

5.30pm – 6.30pm – I do another hour of editing, while Mr 15 and Miss 12 do their homework.

6.30pm – 10pm – All the household chores – cook dinner, eat dinner, fold washing, life administration – oh, the basketball emails and the school excursion notices and the bring-a-plate requests! Finally, the younger kids are in bed, Mr 15 home from basketball training, my husband home from an interstate trip and finally, I’m in bed with a good book.

I imagine if my day was filmed, there might be a lot of action towards the end of the day, when I’m moving from kitchen to laundry to kids’ bedrooms. but other than that, it’s a quiet day at my laptop with a meeting or two thrown in occasionally and Cleo to keep me company. Maybe Cleo would be a better subject for a video – she certainly moves more quickly than I do!

 

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