Tuesday, November 24, 2015
I took this picture today and posted it to my Instagram account. One of my followers (though I prefer to think of them as friends) commented that seeing my photos of our snakes is helping her to slowly overcome her fear of them. How awesome is that?
I was never a reptile person before my son began acquiring them. That's not to say I had anything against them, but I don't fear them the way some people do. Worms, on the other hand . . . *shudders* Although I find snakes intriguing and adore ball pythons (both Perry - RIP - and Monty have been very sweet-tempered), I am more of a lizard person. Sticky the bearded dragon is just about the coolest dragon ever. I'd personally like some type of chameleon in the future, but my son has his sights set on other reptiles. And considering herpetology is his passion, I'll let him take the lead.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Sunday, November 22, 2015
I've been cleaning most of the day in advance preparation of having company for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Actually, it just felt GOOD to clean, even without the excuse of an upcoming holiday. Cathartic, you know? I cranked up Spotify and, as they say, went to town.
We've had an incredibly stressful two months during which it's taken all my energy just to get out of bed and make it through the day. Forget about cleaning the house. Keeping the kids fed was difficult enough. However, recent events have transpired that have lightened some of the stress and worry we've been under. I feel like I can breathe once again, and what a relief it is!
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Yesterday my youngest was home sick with strep throat. Even though she didn't feel too bad, she had to stay home from school so she wouldn't spread germs to her friends. To pass the time, we decided to have a tea party!
First she did my makeup . . .
Then we put on our boas and crowns . . .
And finally we make cupcakes.
Friday, November 20, 2015
The other day I applied for a manuscript editing job through Guru and promptly received a response from the client asking for a quote, as well as a sample edit of one of her completed chapters. Having never been through the editing process before, she wanted to make sure the person she hired would be a good match for her manuscript, that he/she would preserve the author's unique voice. I responded by validating her concerns (as a writer, I've been in her shoes) but that I would charge a fee for editing one of her chapters. The client then responded that she'd received quotes from other editors willing to provide the sample edit for free (a practice that Guru does not endorse). That may well be the case, but I've never had a potential client not pay for a sample edit.
Because I am just starting out and have only a handful of paying clients and projects under my belt, I charge but a fraction of what other more experienced editors do. My fee is $1.50 per page (I recently gave myself a 50-cent raise), as opposed to others who charge $30-$50 an hour. Furthermore, I provide all subsequent edits free of charge and work with the client until he or she is happy with the work and has publish-ready material. I believe that not-so-little perk is (in part) what distinguishes me from others and entices potential clients to hire me.
But what do those fees really amount to? Let's take a hypothetical project and break it down.
Say a client hires me to edit an 80,000 word manuscript. Edit, by the way, is an ambiguous term. Unless a client specifically states that he/she wants me to perform copy edits or strictly proofread, they generally mean they want everything done. Regardless, my fee is the same.
80,0000 words / 250 words (standard number of words on a page) = 320 pages
320 pages x $1.50 = $480
Therefore, the cost of this project to the client would be $480.
Wow! That sounds like a lot of money, right?
On average, I can edit five pages an hour. By that calculation, it would take me 64 hours to complete this project (roughly 16 days, at 4 hours per day). That works out to $7.50 an hour, which is 25 cents higher than the federal minimum wage, but $1.25 below my county's minimum wage and far below the proposed "living wage" of $14.34.
Still, $7.50 an hour is not a bad supplemental income. With the current demands on my time, I can realistically work for pay just four hours a day. I am not the primary breadwinner of our family, but we are by no means flush. With three children, every little bit helps. What you must remember, however, is that $7.50 an hour is almost always the best case scenario, and that I offer to provide any subsequent edits free of charge until the client is happy with his/her work and has publish-ready material. New writers and authors mistakenly assume a single edit will produce an article/paper/manuscript that's free of errors and immediately ready for publication, when in reality the editor is just one half of a collaborative team. My edits typically span hundreds of hours worth of work over a period of several months. Very quickly my hourly rate dwindles from $7.50, to $3.75, to just barely over $1.00 for a single project.
I try not to focus on the hourly wage and instead look at the project and payment as a whole. That's $480 I have now that I didn't have before, not to mention more experience and another completed project to add to the file. And, hopefully, a satisfied customer.