The Right Move


I always pictured my retirement years relaxing by the pool with my nose stuck in the latest bestseller. Arrangements were almost finalized for a three week trip to Ireland with a close friend leaving September 2020. Ah yes, no more stress, and plenty of time to research a part time business.

The pandemic and the related restrictions changed those plans. The trip to Ireland was cancelled indefinitely. On a positive note, I had more time to plan my new editing business. Fortunately, I had joined the Editor's Association of Canada in March of 2020. The association provided me with a wealth of resources and leads to follow. I knew I had the basic skills and a natural ability for proofreading, but I was not familiar with the editing and publishing process.

Action Plan

In February 2021, I put my plan into action. I expected it would take about a year to have a viable business. Here are some of the steps I followed:

  • Create a business plan. Include business name, goals, strengths and challenges, and financials.

  • Registered my business. This will be required if you apply for grants or business loans.

  • Create website and social media presence. Facebook provides a very good business page that can link to Instagram.

  • Fill the skills gap. I had started attending webinars, video workshops and connecting with editor's sites in 2020. Wanting a more comprehensive education, I registered for the Editing Standards Professional Certificate through Queen's University. (I will talk more about this on an upcoming blog).

  • Apply your skills. Look for volunteer opportunities, edit resumes for your friends, note errors on websites. Because any writing, editing and proofreading editing I had completed previously was considered corporate confidential material. My first legitimate editing job application came through a contact at an Editor's Canada panel discussion. I didn't get the job, but it was the most valuable experience and the feedback provided set my course for the next stage.

  • Created business templates. A customizable contract or agreement is a must for each client. Invoices and client feedback forms are also required.

Current Status

The first four months of 2022 have been a whirlwind. I started volunteering at the local library, which lead to the opportunity to edit the monthly regional library newsletter. I have edited some questionnaires, created a blog, and have made numerous professional contacts. And I had my first paying client in April!

One of the most impactful events for me was attending the Women in Publishing Summit held virtually in March 2022. Alexa Bigwarfe and her team at WritePublishSell ( created a 4-day professional masterpiece, with quality speakers, engaging presentations, and a wealth of take-aways. As one participant wrote, "this was the conference that keeps on giving." I connected with one of the presenters, Jess Kotzer, author and Founder of and have scheduled a speaking engagement with her membership in June. I am also proud to say that the contacts I made at the conference have resulted in my becoming a vetted member of Arielle Haughee's professional Indie Publishers Hub (!!

Starting SuzySharpEyes, Copyediting and Proofreading has been challenging, at times frustrating and ultimately rewarding. I am by no means profitable at this point, but I am excited to grow my business. I'm energized by the wealth of opportunities and determined to succeed as an editor. Thank you to all my friends, family and acquaintances for the support and guidance provided!

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