Ten Years and Ten Thoughts on Freelancing

Silver Scribe Editorial Services is ten!

In May 2013, I embarked on a new freelancing adventure, leaving behind a stable, full-time job as managing editor at an independent book publisher to find better work/life balance. I had two young kids at home and a spouse with a demanding job, so I decided to take the skills I acquired from eight years at my publishing company and jump into this new enterprise so I could manage my own schedule while continuing to work in my field.

Ten years later, I am still an active freelancer. I am very grateful to the host of clients who have come my way in the last decade. I plan to continue this chapter of my career for many more years, so keep the work coming!

Here are ten thoughts on my ten years of freelance work. They may be especially useful to you if you are your own boss or plan to become one.

1. Establish a routine.

Obviously, a lot has changed since 2013 in my home life (the baby and toddler are now tweens), but keeping a regular work schedule in this decade has been essential. My routine used to be a little more patchwork as I juggled a lot of demanding parenting duties, but in the last six or so years (give or take a global pandemic), my routine has been more predictable and a sanity saver.

2. Create boundaries.

It’s easy as a freelancer to work ALL OF THE TIME. I used to work a lot of nights and weekends when I was operating around a preschool schedule, but those days are long behind me. I now have real office hours on most weekdays to edit, write, and manage projects. I try to be prompt in answering emails, but I also deprogram on the weekend and in the evenings so I can recharge to provide my clients with great work when it’s scheduled.

3. Have enough work—but not too much.

The freelance life is truly feast or famine, so it’s important to figure out how to balance the workflow as much as possible (sometimes this is easier said than done). I am thankful for some bread-and-butter clients who hire me for regular work as well as clients who pop into my life at different times and challenge me with new projects.

4. Aim for a variety of work.

I get to edit, copyedit, proofread, write, and complete administrative work for publishers. The range of my work coupled with the many different subjects it encompasses keeps me interested and engaged. The variety helps sustain me.

5. Cultivate and nurture networks.

Early in this decade, a friend connected me to an emerging network of women entrepreneurs, and joining this group was a game changer. Though I moved on from the group as my business needs changed, I remain friendly with many of the members and try to add new contacts to my world when I can. Also, I still keep in touch with publishing professionals from my managing editor days, and this is helpful when I need to ask a weird editing question, grow my client list, or refer a client out because I am too overloaded.

6. Set short- and long-term goals.

I now set monthly and yearly goals. I even try to project out three or five years every so often to keep my eyes open to new possibilities. Goals help keep my workload in perspective.

7. Invest in yourself.

I spend a bit of money and time every year on my professional development, including attending conferences, purchasing new style books, and reading articles and books about publishing, editing, or freelancing. I am the only person who is going to allow myself the chance to grow as a professional, being that I am a company of one.

Here are some of the best resources for my own professional development:

  • The Chicago Manual of Style’a monthly Style Q&A
  • The Pennsylvania Conference for Women
  • Cal Newport’s books (Deep Work, especially) and podcast
  • Women-run blogs and podcasts (there are a lot of us multitasking, entrepreneurial moms out there even if our work doesn’t all look the same)

8. Keep technology up to date.

In ten years, I have had to purchase a few new computers and hardware (looking at you handy-dandy document scanner). I cannot stress enough the importance of doing a technology audit every so often. A few years ago, I was absolutely miserable with a failing computer. I spent a few thousand dollars upgrading my home office, and all of a sudden work was enjoyable again.

9. Write it all out.

I keep several calendars and now even a work journal. When you work by yourself, it is easy to let all of the things block your thought process. I now map out work a month or two in advance, noting days off and any other events that might prevent me from my normal schedule. This has helped tremendously in avoiding mental strain when it comes to how much time I have to work.

10. Remember your mission, vision, and values.

I only came to develop these items in the last few years, but I think they are invaluable.

  • My mission is to provide clients with editorial services including writing, editing, and project management.
  • My vision is to be a responsive, engaged, and productive freelancer in publishing.
  • My values include not taking on more work than I can handle, always being courteous in my communication, and keeping my clients informed about my ability to meet their deadlines.

These statements may seem obvious, but I have referred back to them on occasion, especially when setting my goals or evaluating a potential new client or project.

Again, I am so grateful to be celebrating an entire decade of freelance work and hope to continue in this field for many more years. Thanks to this flexible and enriching job, I have found more work/life balance than I could have ever imagined and have been able to keep myself active in the publishing world, a place I have loved since childhood.

Here’s to many more years in this field. Please let me know if you might be interested in becoming one of my revered clients.


Recent Work

I wanted to highlight a few recent collaborations that are now published. In addition, I’ve had a productive winter editing test questions for a large publisher, copyediting journal issues for University of Illinois Press, and managing permissions for eight different health textbooks. As I always say, this career offers me the opportunity to learn about so many topics.

If you need help with anything related to publishing, please reach out so we can discuss your needs.


Win Your Kids Back: Defeat Gaming Addiction by Nirav Saini (via Reedsy)


Déjeuner: Unscrambling Fasting Diets for Health by German Pena (via Reedsy)


Can Castor Oil Help with Eczema? (via Healthline)

8 Ways to Build Confidence with Thyroid Eye Disease (via Healthline)

How to Manage Depression and Anxiety in Thyroid Eye Disease (via Healthline)

Wrapping Up 2022

Thank you again to all of my clients who kept me busy writing, editing, and completing other publishing-related tasks this year. Thanks to you, I have been a freelancer now for nine years and in the publishing industry for seventeen years.

I had the pleasure of working with large-scale clients as well as individuals in 2022. Some highlights included:

  • Writing articles for Healthline
  • Copyediting journals for University of Illinois Press
  • Copyediting materials for Wolters Kluwer
  • Obtaining permissions for Wolters Kluwer and the American College of Sports Medicine
  • Helping individuals with book manuscripts, page proofs, dissertations, proposals, and more on Reedsy and through this website and Facebook

I am winding down the year today to celebrate the holidays with my family, but please reach out next year if you would like to collaborate on a book project. I am honored to be part of the process.

Finally, I will sign off this year with a quote from a grammar book I read this fall, which underscores why this profession remains so interesting year after year:

When I’m teaching grammar, I actually talk a lot about humility, because there are always surprises. You think you have a handle on things, and then you realize there are surprises.

—Ellen Jovin, Rebel With a Clause

Summer 2022 Updates

In June, I received a wonderful note from a former client who self-published his memoir last year. To his astonishment and delight, the website BookAuthority listed his book as one of the “9 Best New Emigration eBooks To Read In 2022.” He could not believe that a modest idea to write a book for his children could find its way to a list like this and reach a much wider audience than originally intended. I am so happy I could play a part in this author finding his voice and telling his story. (Visit this page for more on how I can help you write your own memoir.)

Beyond this joyful news, I wanted to share some of the projects that have kept me busy in the last few months:

  • Writing several articles for Healthline, including ones about autoimmune conditions, lighting and migraines, and neuroplasticity and growth mindset.
  • Copyediting the latest issues of the journals Jazz and Culture, Process Studies, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, and Ethnomusicology.
  • Copyediting and proofreading a new introduction to a book published by Templeton Press, the publisher where I served as managing editor before venturing out into the freelance world.
  • Completing permissions projects for Wolters Kluwer Health.

As fall beckons, please keep me in mind for your publishing needs. I have two decades of experience in the industry and would love to help you complete your project in a timely and professional manner.

A Recent Collaboration

I am happy to announce a new book from a fierce female entrepreneur: Choices Change Everything. I collaborated with Cheryl Ecton a few years ago to get the ball rolling on her memoir about being a woman entrepreneur in a male-dominated business, the commercial cleaning industry, while also raising two children, one who required a lot of medical attention in her early years.

Cheryl was a joy to work with, and I wish her the best as she gets her book out into the world.

Recent Work

Natalie is amazing. I am a first-time author, and Natalie instilled life into my nonfiction manuscript. Thank you.

—Recent Client

Greetings from the office of Silver Scribe Editorial Services! It’s been a very productive few months, and I wanted to share some recent projects.

The above quote is from a review I received via Reedsy for a developmental editing project I completed this month. The author needed me to help him organize and massage his book on video game addiction in children and teens. I wish him the best as he completes the publishing process and works to get this book in the hands of exasperated parents.

I also copyedited a book in March about parenting infants from birth to twelve months and am wrapping up an edit for a manuscript about skin care practices that reduce the effects of aging. Both of these authors found me on Reedsy.

Another client and I are collaborating to publish his memoir. We’ve had several meetings on Zoom to discuss his writing journey, and I’ll begin editing the manuscript this spring. He began with just a kernel of an idea in fall 2021 and will have a finished memoir by the end of summer.

I continue to write for Healthline, copyedit various academic journals, and complete miscellaneous publishing administrative projects (permissions, test question editing) as well.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to work on such a range of projects and am happy to help make your publishing dreams a reality. Please reach out if you need any guidance.

2021 in Review

Thank you to all of my clients for another successful year. This marked my eighth year in business as a freelancer and sixteenth year in the publishing industry.

Here are some of the bright spots of 2021:

  • I helped write and edit someone’s memoir
  • I copyedited several issues of four journals from University of Illinois Press (and will add a fifth journal to my workload in 2022)
  • I wrote more than thirty articles for Healthline
  • I edited test questions for Wolters Kluwer
  • I obtained permissions for several textbooks
  • I wrote case studies for a large corporation
  • I connected with several authors on Reedsy and helped a few of them on their dissertations and self-published books
  • I met some people in the publishing world who are experts in production and self-publishing who can help push your book out into the world (after I help with writing and editing, of course!)

I look forward to seeing what 2022 will bring. If you need help with any editorial project, please reach out.

Fall 2021 Notes

Here’s a quick digest on fall 2021 happenings in the home offices of Silver Scribe Editorial Services.

Recent Projects

I mentioned previously that I helped someone write their life story this spring and summer. I am so pleased that the author is getting positive feedback from his family and friends about the book. I’d love to help you write your memoir as well!

I continue to work for University of Illinois Press, copyediting issues of several journals, including Journal of Animal Ethics, Jazz and Culture, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, and Process Studies.

I write several articles monthly for Healthline, an Internet resource for all things health and lifestyle. An editor was kind enough to point out that my article “How to Read an Audiogram” was getting a lot of traffic. Other topics I’ve covered in articles recently include nail health, laser eye surgery, and insect bites and stings.

This summer, I edited test bank questions for a large publisher and wrote case studies for a consulting firm.

In addition to editing and writing, I also offer publishing services. This includes permissions projects for publishers. In this capacity, I contact individuals and companies to acquire formal permission to reprint material in forthcoming publications.

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

I wanted to share a piece of my professional past here, as it’s useful to visit our memories from time to time to remember interesting things that we’ve done (especially if you’re writing a memoir—see above). I had the good fortune of attending the Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany, four different times in the aughts. This celebration of books occurs every October in Frankfurt, and it’s where publishers gather to acquire and sell rights to their books (think translations).

I attended the fair as a young editorial assistant and then as a managing editor. I worked for a small book press and wore many hats, so I was in charge of selling book rights to publishers in other countries. During this massive book fair, I would hold meetings in my small stall in the English-speaking convention hall (hall eight, in case you ever attended), showcasing my publisher’s new releases on shelves. I got to meet people from all over the world, and after a few years had befriended several young professionals my age. While the task of traveling, setting up the stall, and meeting with publishers was a big undertaking for a twentysomething, it was also a huge opportunity to understand and contribute to publishing.

I wish my time in Frankfurt had occurred in the smartphone era, as I would have done a much better job documenting these trips. Nonetheless, I was able to dig up a few pictures that brought me back to my early days in publishing.

Spring Update

I wanted to pop on here today to say the publishing world is still spinning, and I have my hand in many different projects right now. I am grateful for the continued work in spite of these crazy pandemic times.

Here are a few of my most recent projects:

  • A personal narrative written by a retired professional (editing)
  • A doctoral dissertation on psychotherapy (copyediting)
  • Articles for Healthline (writing)
  • Journal issues for the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Jazz and Culture, and the Journal of Animal Ethics (copyediting)
  • Permissions projects for several nursing and medical textbooks (publishing administration)

Please reach out if you need any publishing services. I enjoy working with a variety of clients, from individuals to large publishing companies.

2020 in Review

I plan to close up shop tomorrow until 2021. After this particularly exhausting year in a global pandemic, I’ve vowed to rest and recharge in the final days of December 2020 to head into the new year with as much vigor as possible. I hope you are also able to do the same.

Despite massive shifts in how we live in 2020, I am thrilled that my freelance publishing business could keep chugging along this year. I began Silver Scribe Editorial Services in May 2013 after leaving my job as managing editor at a book publishing company to find a better work-life balance with my young children (who are now well into elementary school and learning virtually next to me as I write this post). Thanks to loyal clients and new opportunities, I’ve been able to “have it all” in my eyes — keeping a career going while also balancing the demands of parenthood.

Thank you to everyone who has sought out my services over the last seven-plus years. It’s my hope that I’ll be able to continue working in this capacity for many years to come.

I always like to review my work by the numbers, so here’s the brief summary of 2020:

  • 40-plus articles for Healthline (writing, including articles on some pretty gnarly animal bites, including the blue-ringed octopus, the venomous box jellyfish, ball pythons, chiggers, and carpenter ants, oh my!)
  • 10 academic journal issues (copyediting)
  • 6 books for self-publishing authors through Reedsy or this website (copyediting and proofreading)
  • 5-plus permissions projects for a large textbook publisher

These numbers remind me again how lucky I am to work on a variety of projects. I am truly never bored in this line of work!

A final remark I wanted to make is about changes in editing and publishing in 2020. Changes to grammar, usage, and style evolve over time, and this year had a few seismic shifts, in my opinion. Mainstream style guides embraced the move to a singular “they” and shifted the treatment of racial terms in the wake of our national conversation on race. Where I was once a stickler on using “him or her” or something of that effect when a singular pronoun was ambiguous, I now openly embrace the singular “they” and believe it is a great compromise to our language’s lack of a gender-neutral singular pronoun. Also, I am now in regular conversation with editors and authors about whether to capitalize racial terms. I think this is a positive move forward, as it opens up a dialogue about how to address these issues in our culture and offers an opportunity for authors, editors, and publishers to be more intentional in the conversation surrounding race.

Again, thank you to everyone who supported my work in 2020, and I look forward to a productive and successful 2021!