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  • Writer's pictureSusan Carr

It finally happened.

There is another squirrel in the midst. I don't think I've seen Bertrand in a while, although he may show up mid-afternoon when I'm working. Since I'm wearing my computer glasses, whenever I glance at the backyard, all I can see are blurry furballs.

Nope, this new guy is smaller, grayer, skinnier, and so excited for peanuts.

He comes down early each morning to inspect the buffet line and see if the peanuts are in the bowl yet. Scurrying about, hoping he doesn't have to dig up any of his previously buried stashes, he anxiously stands up on his hind legs, willing the peanuts to come to him.

His excitement is contagious, even affecting me.

After a long hiatus, it finally happened, and I woke up this morning excited to start my work day.

That hadn't happened since my job with when I worked daily with books and library services, my dream job come true.

But yesterday felt a little dreamy also, for three wins.

The first win came from blog writing.

Over the past month, in anticipation of a website launch and using their viral social media content, I built ten blogs with graphics for a company. I added four more to post this month, and we're working on developing their content strategy.

I've been able to be so creative with these blogs. I've followed a basic high-conversion outline and used my creativity and writing knowledge to produce some pretty cool articles. Not to mention the material I have to work with is from a female entrepreneur who is a total queen in the industry.

The second win came from an editing project.

This manuscript is the largest I've edited to date, a work of fiction coming in at 106k words.

I normally work directly with authors, but sometimes it's with just the publisher. I don't always know on these projects until the review stage if my edits have been well received.

After reviewing 60k words and submitting my editing suggestions, this is the feedback I received today from the author, relayed by the publisher:

"I have gone through the changes, and I am pleased with the results of the editing. Please convey my thanks and appreciation to the editor for the depth and detail, as well as understanding and maintaining the author's voice and also for the positive comments about the story."

I deeply appreciated this feedback, and it reinforced that I was on the right track to help the author improve his already-good writing to engage with his readers and bring them into the world he has created.

The third win came from a discovery call with a prospective client.

Before accepting a project and during the proposal stage, I always offer to edit a 2-3 page sample of the writer's content so they can determine if my editing style matches their needs. This little extra touch has often set me apart from other editors.

It's a win-win, in my opinion. I can see the quality of the writing to know if it's something I want to work with, and authors and publishers appreciate the ability to see an editor's way of reviewing content before contracting for the work, just in case the editor insists on adding the Oxford comma wherever needed.

Which, by the way, I do 99% of the time.

This discovery call was only the second one I've had apart from a freelancing platform, and it resulted from the client cold-emailing me. (Is that such a thing?) I was nervous because, as a natural introvert, I'm generally shy with people I do not know. But I felt confident and excited to find out, "Why me?"

At the beginning of the meeting, I asked the client what he saw in my profile or experience that prompted him to reach out to me. He said my offer to edit a sampling of his content was the reason. This showed him that I was willing to take a risk, a personal trait he wants to work with.

The meeting went well, and the business owner and I are partnering for a long-term project. At the end of the call, he told me to invoice him for the time I had already spent on editing and the time we spent on the discovery call. I really appreciated that gesture.

All of the wins this week were encouraging. Even though there was a pretty big "loss" dwelling in the back of my mind, that's for another day.

I may not be outside scurrying with excitement, but these wins gave me another chapter for my freelancing book. One where I write that I'm good at what I do and on the right track to make a go of this business.

If you've thought about looking into becoming a freelancer, but aren't sure what services you could provide, take a look at this blog post.

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