The Concierge (Blog)

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To-Do List Management

In my previous post on setting work priorities, I closed with the point that once you know what’s important, the rest is just getting it done. Of course it’s not that simple. If it were, editors wouldn’t be asking me how to juggle everything. Defining the Tasks The first thing to remember is that there…
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Setting work priorities

In my previous post on working effectively, I mentioned the need to set your work priorities and to focus on those, instead of scattering your energy frantically trying to do all of the ten million things you could be doing. I didn’t spend much time discussing how to set those priorities, and naturally someone has…
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Writing the project quote

After I posted my thoughts on setting boundaries with clients, an editor asked me to describe how I set expectations ahead of time. Mostly this is part of my project quote, which you can see below. I use slightly different wording for publisher clients to account for the differences in working with them—they aren’t the author,…
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Learning How to Read

Years ago, I was teaching a university lit class that all new freshmen were required to take. For one reason or another, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” was on the syllabus. All of the students had encountered this poem before, and all of them had been taught to read it as a celebration of…
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Ignore the clichés

Starting and building a freelance editing business is hard. It requires a lot of perseverance. What makes it even harder is not knowing when to stop doing what you’re doing to try something else. For example, maybe you’re faithfully tweeting writing tips on Twitter five times a day, engaging with writers and others in the…
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Setting Boundaries for Client Work

One of the most important things freelancers can do is set clear expectations for their work. You give a project fee, describe what it includes, communicate deadlines, and so on. These expectations are necessary because otherwise a project can turn into a zombie that keeps coming back for more, sapping your will to live. If…
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Training your competition

Back when I was active in martial arts, I used to teach a class or two a week for my instructor. He (and I) knew that one of the best ways to get better at a skill is to try to teach it. This is a humbling process because it points out all the things…
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