I’m a free agent again. In other words, I’ve been laid off my part-time newspaper job. The weirdest thing? I received an unemployment debit card from the state last week. I laughed and twittered: “Do they know something I don’t?” I guess they did. The hardest thing? Walking away from a terrific group of people I’ve come to really enjoy and count on for emotional and intellectual interaction.

The good news is the paper will give me freelance work, and I’ll meet with my writer/editor friends every once in while. This is my third layoff in publishing in the last five years, so I’m not devastated. The layoffs were all economic decisions, and I have glowing letters of recommendation from everyone. I know I’ll come out okay.

In the mean time, I’ll get caught up on my promotional list and finish the edits on novels #3, #4 and #5. Yes, I have three books being released in the next 18 months. So there should be some royalty checks coming too. Not to mention the overwhelming excitement of having so much of my work out there! And the joy of starting work on a new novel.

Life is good. I knew the job was temporary when I started, and it was great for me in many ways. I’m better known now in my community as a person, a journalist, and a novelist. I’ve met a lot of terrific people and worked on some fun stories.

I also have to mention that I’m a fine fiction editor, and I’m offering writers a great deal on copyediting: $400 flat rate for any manuscript under 100,000 words. The copyedit includes proofreading, syntax edits, and general observations. I’ll provide a written content analysis for an additional $50. I’ve been conducting freelance manuscript evaluations for a publishing house for a year and a half, so I have some experience.

Here’s a link to some of my references. Send me an e-mail if you have questions.

I also plan to do more blogging—offering writing, promoting, and organizational advice, so stop back in regularly.

I love to hear from everyone, and if you’ve had a similar experience, feel free to share it here.

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your layoff. The publishing industry is going through some tough times.

  2. L.J., your absence will be noticed in a big way in our department. I’m not just talking about your prowess as a writer, which certainly will be missed, but your unrelenting positive attitude and professionalism. You’re a class act. I hope this temporary setback will allow you more time and energy to pursue your real writing passion. Hope to see you again soon.

  3. Thanks, Joel. That means a lot to me. I’ll be in touch.

  4. Sorry to hear about your layoff. One of my authors is also a freelance writer for 3 area newspapers. She was laid off from two of them for economic reasons as well. Like you, she received glowing recommendations. It is such a shame that excellent writers are let go.

    Just remember: there is something better for you out there and you may not have an opportunity to get it if you were tied up in the previous job.
    Blessings and hugs,

  5. Came over from FB to see what’s up. I’m sorry to hear about the newspaper job. But congrats on books 3-5! You are always an inspiration to me. Cyber hugs to you.

  6. It’s a tough time for journalists – as for much of the world – but I think your positive attitude, your credentials and all the additional ‘tools’ in your toolbox will ensure you come out of this on top! Love your books and if it means you have time to write more of them, all the better!

  7. Just hadda check out your new site. Sweet, LJ! And I’m jealous – not about your being laid off (wink) but I’m in the process of putting up an author’s website that will host my blog also – and it’s a TON of work that still has to be done.

    The Old Silly

  8. Sorry about the layoff, but it seems you have the perfect attitude to make the most of out of it. Three books being released in the next 18 months is quite impressive. I don’t see how you do it!

  9. L.J., your site is great. I’ll add a link from mine to yours.

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