Where has 2017 gone? It seems like only a few weeks ago the fading sunflowers in the fields around our village were heralding the arrival of autumn; now we’ve already had some snow, and it’s only five days to Christmas. I’m still busy working, wrapping up a few final projects for clients as the year end approaches, and putting off tackling the year-end accounts. Although we always have a quiet Christmas in this rural French backwater, I am hoping to take a couple of days off. Whether or not I’ll be able to leave the computer resting quietly remains to be seen.
Paws Before Bedtime
Last year’s end of year review covered all the books I’d read in 2016 – I did reach over fifty by the end of the year. I’m afraid this year I stopped recording my reading list, although I’m still reading, but just not motoring through the novels at quite the speed of last year. After a good start, things ground to a halt on the reading front when I started writing a book myself. This was a fantastic experience and something I consider to be a major lifetime achievement. I wrote in detail about my ‘Paws Before Bedtime’ project back in August.
Since then, I’ve been busy promoting (and posting) the book. I’m pleased to report that we have now covered all of the printing costs (the only production costs incurred in this pro bono project) and the charity is now well into profit. Every single euro now goes to Twilight – the retirement home for dogs.
Once my writing and admin skills had been revealed I soon took on another project for Twilight – revamping the website. So, I’ve acquired a few new skills there, as I had to get to grips with a different web platform and all its quirks. Not content with this, I’ve now introduced a monthly newsletter which we send out using Mailchimp and run the Twilight Twitter account – we’re @twilightdogs if you’d like to follow us. I’m always amazed that just five years ago, before I started my proofreading and editing business, I really knew very little about social media. Now, I would not be without it. Just goes to prove that you can teach on old dog new tricks.
Proofreading & editing
On the work side, I’ve been busy with the usual spread of academic and business proofreading and copy-editing. I especially enjoy working for my clients who are not native speakers of English, so often their essays compare different cultural or legal aspects and I never fail to learn something new. I’ve also taken great pleasure in proofreading for several clients in the holistic, health and psychology fields; this fits well with my growing interest in yoga, meditation and the vegan lifestyle. I must say that if you are sitting in front of a computer all day there is nothing better than half an hour of yoga to release those knots in your shoulders and back.
Happy New Year: 2018
So, what plans are afoot for 2018? Well, I don’t think another book is on the horizon just yet, however I do plan to turn the OSCOLA blog series into a downloadable eBook for my law proofreading clients. I’m also under (gentle) pressure to translate Paws Before Bedtime into French, as the charity has many French supporters – that would be a major undertaking! I’m undertaking some training with the SfEP which should keep me busy and, of course, I’m looking forward to working with all my fabulous clients, old and new, helping them to polish their prose. Whatever your plans, have a wonderful festive season and very best wishes for a happy New Year.