In case my terrible consistency at providing new content on this blog has made you think I have left the earth in a spaceship, let me reassure you that this is not the case.
I, Diane Hall, am still here, as The Writing Hall, helping authors bring their books to life, to market, and to their readers’ bookshelves. Having been in this guise for more than a decade, it’s perhaps no surprise that I’ve expereinced some shifts and curved balls along the way.
I spent seven years fully self-employed, until 2016, when I needed to ramp my income up a little (my girls were coming up to university age and needed financial help). I returned to work part-time and continued to edit and publish books for authors in my spare time. The downside of that, of course, is having less time to not just do the work, but to mingle with author types online and offline to secure more of the same. And blogging, such as I’m doing now, was far, far down my to-do list.
Whilst I do enjoy being my own boss, there are some aspects that I don’t like quite as much. The same could be said for going to work again and having a boss (well, bosses, I love variety too much to just have one opportunity on the table; luckily, I work some great people, bosses too). Just one example of a benefit from going back to the grindstone: it’s wonderful to know you’ll be paid on the same day each month – hell, to be paid at all!
Time has moved on a lot since I started The Writing Hall’s journey. Time, also, has become more precious, because I don’t have as much of it to share with the authors I work with. The consequence of this is that my freelance prices have generally gone up – whereas I used to loosely base my editing time and skills against an easy-to-understand £10 per thousand words, this is now £15-20 per thousand words (depending on the project and level of editing needed). I know that, against some other providers of the same services, I’ll still be too cheap, but I can live with that – I’m only ever concerned with doing what’s right for me and those I’m lucky enough to work with.
In the New Year, this site and its sister (www.hallgoodbooks.com) will be getting a bit of a revamp. I was a WordPress fan, but I’ve moved over to the dark side, to be a Wix user. I just find Wix so much easier to use (maybe it will help me put more blogs out?!).
One huge change over the last couple of years is that I’ve rediscovered my true love for reading. That an editor is telling you that they never read anything, that may seem strange, but do let me clarify. I’ve spent so many years reading for work/in my career, that I found it difficult to read for pleasure once everything began to take off. If I picked a book up it just felt like work; I wouldn’t read it, I’d automatically dissect it. I couldn’t enjoy it for what it was, I’d always be thinking of how I could have made it better.
Of course, that’s silly, exhausting and quite boring. I can’t remember the book that brought back my reading mo-jo, I’m just happy to say it appeared again one day.
I also have plans, someday, to write again…for me. I have authored books, but apart from Son of the Ringmaster, they’ve also felt like work. It isn’t quite the right time to be penning things as yet, but my family are on the last hurdle of independence from me, so I don’t think it will be too far away. And I am looking forward to that day, too. Though I love editing and publishing – and I do – it’s a thankless job. Readers and the media only see the author (quite rightly) and no one sees the person pulling the strings at the back nor understand their importance in the process. That’s another thing that quickly becomes exhausting.
I’ll sign off now, as reading my words back, it’s clear I’m in need of rest! I just wanted to update you on my work, plans and passions, as new content on here is sparse to say the least.
Don’t forget, if you’re having trouble getting words from your imagination on to the page, give me a shout. If you have a monster of a book idea inside you and don’t know where to start, give me a shout. If you’re nearing the end of your first draft and you can’t stop tinkering with it, nor know how to get it into a book shape with lovely book-sized pages, give me a shout. I’m still here.