What I did in 2022
Hi Manuscript Workers,
I hope you’re getting some time to relax and do things you enjoy in this last week of 2022. I will be finishing up some knitting projects and probably over-planning next year’s projects because that’s what I do. Here’s one of my 2022 makes that I’m particularly proud of:
Last week I shared what I was looking ahead to work-wise for 2023, so I thought this week would be a good time to reflect back on the highlights of the past year:
I ran my Book Proposal Accelerator twice, once in January and again starting in June. I experimented with making the program a full year long, which means that the current cohort will be with me until May 2023. (There have been pros and cons to this approach, so I may be tweaking it when I enroll a new cohort next year.)
I completed my final 1-1 developmental editing projects before I put that aspect of my business on hiatus. One was this exciting book that will be coming out next year. I’ll share more about the other when I’m able to make it public.
I did a bunch of institutional workshops, including a two-week residency at UCLA (months before the UC strikes!). I also ran many workshops and webinars of my own online, several of them free to attend. Over 6000 people registered for my workshops this year, which was way beyond my expectations. If you were one of them, thank you! If you weren’t, some of them are still free to access here.
I offered two self-paced courses. One was my Book Proposal Shortcut (which is still open for enrollment) and the other was my Developmental Editing for Academics course. The self-paced developmental editing course is no longer available but I will be updating and relaunching it as a synchronous course (enrollment opens January 2 at 10am PST).
Finally, I completed a draft of my next book. I still need to do a lot of editing and write my book proposal for it, so I’m not ready to share too many details yet. After publishing two books with advance contracts, I decided that this time around I want to have a full manuscript ready for review when I submit my proposal. Once things are a bit more solidified, I’ll tell you all about it.
If you’re at all curious about how my working time breaks down quantitatively as a small business owner, here are some numbers:
About 45% of my time went toward things I actually got paid for. This includes my online programs, 1-1 client work, and paid workshops.
About 23% of my time went toward creating resources that I don’t get paid for. That includes this newsletter, my web archive of posts on scholarly writing and publishing, free webinars, and podcast interviews.
About 22% of my time went toward all the administrative tasks that keep my business running, such as billing, accounting, answering emails, etc.
The remaining 10% of my time went toward working on my new book manuscript, planning for new programs that haven’t launched yet, and professional development activities.
(I know all of these figures because I track my time religiously using my little Timeular device, which you can read more about here.)
I don’t know if these numbers are interesting to most of you, but I imagine you might find them particularly illuminating if you also run a small editorial business or are considering launching one.
If you fall into this camp and would like to learn more about how I do things, my upcoming developmental editing course might be a good fit for you. The final module will be focused on running a sustainable editorial business, and I will be sharing lots of practical tips on how to get started and keep going. If you have questions about the course, please feel free to reply to this email!
One last thing. I have been very fortunate that Manuscript Works has allowed me to not only earn a sustainable income for my family (and my knitting hobby) but also to redistribute some of the funds I’ve earned to other causes that I care about.
I know that money is tight for a lot of people, but if you happen to be looking for organizations to send a donation to before the year ends or in the future, here are a few that I’ve supported this year and which I think are worth knowing about:
Higher Ed Labor United - A national coalition of unions organizing to transform higher education
Critical Resistance - Building an international movement to abolish the prison industrial complex
Survived & Punished - Organizes to de-criminalize efforts to survive domestic and sexual violence, support and free criminalized survivors, and abolish gender violence, policing, prisons, and deportations
National Bail Out - A Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration
National Network of Abortion Funds - Builds power with members to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice
I also made multiple donations to strike funds for academic workers, including the UC Academic Workers Strike Support and Hardship Fund. This strike isn’t over yet, so if you’d like to contribute to their hardship fund, I’m sure it will be appreciated by the 48,000 graduate students and other workers across the University of California system.
Alright, that’s it for 2022. To everyone who has read this newsletter this year and otherwise supported my little one-person business, I want to say a huge THANK YOU! I couldn’t do it without you. See you in 2023!