Yesterday, I published the first issue of my newsletter, From the Editor’s Desk. It was a fairly soft launch – a little chatter about the pandemic, what I’ve been doing professionally and personally under lockdown, and the importance of rainbows.
I’ve been fortunate enough – so far – not to catch Covid-19, but it’s been a tough six months for most people. Lockdown, shielding, furloughed, bailed out… We’ve adapted to new terms, new regulations and accepting government support. Almost everyone I know has been hit by the pandemic. I, like many self-employed people, saw work vanish almost overnight. But we are mostly now seeing things return to normal, or whatever passes for normal now. I’m delighted to be busy again and it’s great to see colleagues and my clients becoming busy again too.
While under lockdown, like many I had Netflix binges and did a lot of cooking. I also used the time productively for work. I enjoyed virtual coffees with my fellow freelances and attended some useful webinars that inspired me to find my mojo amid the gloom. I started studying a new editing course, so I can expand the kinds of material I edit for clients. I did my accounts and decluttered my work space. I invested in this shiny new website – the old one was looking tired and in need of TLC.
I also resumed tutoring my training courses. I run two courses for freelance journalists – one on how to run a freelance business and the other on how to pitch stories and negotiate deals. I taught both these in late summer. I’ve now developed a new course on subediting for production journalists and I taught that for the first time last week, with a second session planned for October. Tutoring on Zoom is very different to being in a classroom scenario – staring at the computer screen for three hours is tiring, but I can also have more participants and it’s rewarding to see the chatbox filling up with their questions.
So, the rainbow. This double rainbow appeared outside my window a month into lockdown, the day after a dear friend died. It seemed like a sign – that even in the worst of times, you can find joy in nature. My friend did. It is a reminder that after rain comes sun.
If you’d like to sign up to my newsletter, you can find a sign-up form on a couple of pages on this website. Or you can sign up on my landing page. Every month, I’ll be offering great tips on how to improve your writing, share some of the interesting things I’ve been reading and snippets on news from the editing world.