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summer 2018

July 15 2018

I realised I hadn’t posted for a while, so I thought I should.

The above book will soon hopefully be published by Aurora Metro, and I’m really happy to be involved in it, although I joined when it was almost complete. However, I feel privileged to have done some work on it.

I continue to work hard at the office, trying to get my head around Onix, a kind of database which holds details about every single book a publisher has published. Populating the information is a slow process, but I can see that it is most useful.

I’ve also bought an ebook manual for dummies, as this is something next that I need to do – again, it will be so useful, so I’m hoping to become an ebook wiz.

The Virginia Woolf project continues – I’m now trying to get the chapters fully revised and updated. Hard work, and slow, but it’ll be worth it. Talking of Woolf, Cecil Woolf has just published a short memoir which I intend to buy. Well not just published. Thanks to Blogging Woolf for the links here. I should also mention that the wonderful Emma Woolf has had England’s Lane published, which I intend to buy too.

The weekend was lovely, and I went to visit Silchester, a Roman town, and there was an archaeological dig at the time – well worth the visit.

Finally, one of my good friends has just published his website for his new business; photography, video editing and the like. The website is continually being updated and being improved. He has some amazing testimonials already! As a new, not that new, freelancer, I wish him the best.

The next personal thing on my agenda is what to do with my dissertation – Reading the Writing of the Self: A Text-World Theory Account of the Diaries of Virginia Woolf. What to do with it? Any suggestions?

June 30

Well, the big contract has now officially finished, and I couldn’t be happier. I got full payment! I’m waiting for feedback on the last three tests I created, and then I can make any adjustments. It is my first big freelance contract done and I couldn’t be happier.

The best news is that they have offered me another big contract, to be completed by the end of September. To say I am thrilled beyond words is an understatement. I never thought I would be creating content, but just editing or proofreading it, but it seems that’s the way my new career is going in. The contract gives me plenty of time to complete it. Especially as I am going to be away on holiday soon. A week in Scotland and then a week in Hungary. Now I feel I’m a proper ELT Freelancer.

For Aurora Metro, I’m busy working on the proofreading of The Original Suffrage Cook Book

which will be coming out soon. This is connected to our touring exhibition, How the Vote was Won, which is now in place at the Feminist Library near Waterloo. It will be there for the month of July before moving on again. There will be an official opening evening, accompanied by film screenings on Friday 6th July. I’ll be there in an Aurora Metro capacity, with a selection of our very best books, including ‘Art, Theatre and Women’s Suffrage’.

In other news, because I possibly stupidly registered as a sole trader before April this year, this means I have a self-assessment tax return to complete, even though I didn’t make any money during that period. Nevertheless, I think I’ve done it and I’ve submitted it. We’ll see if it makes sense and if I’ve done it correctly. The next thing I need to sort out is National Insurance, which is quite vital. Lots of things to do!

The Virginia Woolf book is coming along slowly. Too slowly for my liking, but I shall endeavour!

13 June

Thankfully, it continues to be a busy time for me, which I’m very happy about. Currently, for Aurora Metro, I’m focusing on helping with the How the Vote Was Won exhibition. I was very pleased to help with some of the pop up banners forming part of the exhibition, two of which you can see some of above. There are a few venues confirmed, including:

King’s Theatre, Portsmouth, 15 – 22 June 2018

The Feminist Library, London, 3 – 31 July 2018

There are also many more yet to be advertised, but when they are ready to be advertised, I’ll of course be helping to spread the word. I’m very happy with what I’ve done to help this exhibition, and I’m looking forward to driving down to Portsmouth to collect the exhibition, and then to take it to the Feminist Library ready for their stint.

With my freelance hat on, I’m still continuing with the big contract until the end of June. I believe I’m on time, so that’s always a good thing. Writing ELT materials, especially test materials, seems to be a fairly easy transition from teaching into publishing/writing. However, I can see that freelancing is not always an easy ride. I’m currently chasing an unpaid invoice which has been outstanding for coming up to a month now. Obviously not too happy about that.

I’ve also got Virginia Woolf in the back of my mind, although she has taken a back seat recently. I must get to finishing the revisions for the book, although I wonder if the copyright issues will derail the launch date. We’ll have to see.

I never thought I would be this busy so early on in freelancing. Many thanks have to go to The London School of Publishing, The College of Media and Publishing and The Publishing Training Centre. Groups and organisations I’m indebted to include the SfEP, SYP and of course, Byte the Book. Aurora Metro have also been wonderful, giving me my first taste of publishing in real life.

8 June

I love balloons. Not really the small ones, but ballooning. I’ve only been up once, for my late father’s 70th birthday. It was incredible to rise above the houses and countryside below in our home county. It was surprisingly quiet and serene, and I fully recommend it to anyone. I’m not a fan of heights, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if the landing was a bit bumpy.

I’ve chosen this image to represent where I am at the moment: on the rise. It’s certainly been a whirlwind few weeks. I’m really enjoying my part-time role at Aurora Metro. Even after one week, I’m starting to feel comfortable and fairly safe in the knowledge about what I’m doing. I’m sure there will be more challenges ahead though, but I’m ready to face them! In fact, there’s a Twitter competition at the moment to win a copy of the Virginia Prize Winner of 2009, Pomegranate Sky by Louise Soraya Black. It ends on Sunday, so get your retweets and follows in fast!

As part of my role at Aurora Metro, I’ll be attending a fantastic event on 23rd June 2018: ‘Pulling No Punches: East Asian Voices’ at SOAS in London. Many thanks to everybody involved in making this possible, and also to Justine from Byte the Book for sharing my post! Aurora Metro post here.

My freelance work continues to happen, which is absolutely super. I’ve now received first payment from my long-term contract for content creation of ELT test materials, so I’m very happy about that. It seems that the company would like a longer collaboration with me, which I’d be more than happy to do.

Things are looking good, and I’m happy I can keep updating my own website.

#freelance #PomegranateSky #PullingNoPunches #AuroraMetro #SOAS #EastAsianVoices #BytetheBook #ELT #balloons

30 May

I feel I have finally broken through the barrier. You know, that barrier that seems to prevent forward motion?

It seems to be all good news from here on in. The moderately-sized ELT publisher has approved my first sample test, and I will be contracted to create four more tests for them, which is absolutely great news. It’s something I’ve never done before, but it was quite enjoyable. It’s good to get the creative juices flowing, especially for the listening and reading sections of the test. Talking of which, I should be brief, as I have to crack on with test 2. There were a few things I need to work on which I’ll be paying special attention to while creating the new tests. Feedback from the client is excellent and I feel I can really grow from here.

My new bank account for the freelance business is now up and running, so that’s good news too.

But possibly the biggest news is that I was offered a job! A part-time editing job at Aurora Metro Books. At the moment, it’s two days a week, which is perfect to fit in with my growing freelance business. I think the split between work places is going to be nothing but a benefit, so I’m really looking forward to improving in both aspects. Perfect opportunity to learn more, do more and be better.

Good times.

21 May

Well, it’s been quite a week, and I’m wondering what Monday has in store.

First of all, I had an article published by Huffington Post UK on the Virginia Woolf Statue campaign. I was thrilled to have it accepted, and it shows my skills as a writer (hopefully!). This has been followed up by stories on the campaign featuring in Stylist magazine as well as the Evening Standard. All of this follows on from being mentioned on the Byte the Book website as well as the Richmond and Twickenham Times. What I would really like to do now is have something published with Monk’s House, where Virginia lived in the countryside and the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain (who, by the way, have a super shiny new website). I wouldn’t say no to the International Virginia Woolf Society either. As a member of the former society, I would hope that they would support the statue campaign.

In self-employment news, I always knew that being patient would pay off eventually. There were wobbly times when doubt crept in, but right now, I’m on the cusp of securing a contract with a sizeable ELT publisher to create some tests for them. It looks like it’s going to be a fairly hefty project, so it will give me something to get my teeth into. And because it’s a large project, the monetary reward is rather nice too. So, with this one, as well as my other contacts, I now find I have to use a diary for the first time to be able to organise my time, which is great! I was hoping this day would come, when I would need to do this and I’m very grateful that it’s happening now. I also need to keep going on the Woolf book, as that is still in revision stages. Thankfully, that’s going to be published in the autumn, so there’s still some time for that. However, I don’t want to let it slip, so I’ll be dedicating time to that project too.

Due to this increased workload, I will no longer be working on audiobooks, unfortunately. It took up a major part of my time, and I just cannot afford that time now. Unfortunately, I had to cancel the recording of the third book, but I hope I was able to bring some life to the words on the page for the author.

17 May

It’s already been a good week. I finished my small job for the Japanese ELT publisher and sent it off to them yesterday. I’m hoping they’ll send me some more work to do as I really enjoyed doing it. I’d also like to put them as a client on my website, but of course, I’ll ask permission first. I’ve also sent out a few more cold emails to some publishers, asking to be put on their freelancers database, so hopefully that will bear some fruit.

Perhaps the biggest thing to happen this week is that an article I wrote on the Virginia Woolf Statue campaign is now featured on Huffington Post UK. Absolutely amazing, and I’m very proud. I hope that it spawns some debate about the statue, and I can already see that it’s having that effect. It’s mainly to let more people know about the campaign so that we can raise the money to actually put the statue in place. I’m also hoping to do more ‘Virginia Woolf Statue asks…’, as I think the Zac Goldsmith one was certainly worth it.

I can certainly see that my months of marketing myself and tireless efforts to get this small business off the ground is starting to pay off. I’m feeling much more confident about it and from here, it’s all about going higher, doing bigger and better things and enjoying it all at the same time. I never thought I would be where I am now, even a year ago.

Tomorrow would have been my father’s 76th birthday. It’s been over a year now since he went and his second birthday without him. So, my sister has organised a walk in his honour, which we hope to continue every year: A Walk for Gordon 2018. This is in association with the Stroke Association, and is very handy in their ‘Make May Purple’ campaign.

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