Single Parents and Why You Should Hire Them.

  1. They’re driven. There is nothing that lights a fire under you faster than knowing your family is depending on you—and only you. That translates into motivation and the willingness to go the extra mile.
  2. They know what they don’t know. It’s a skill that only comes with life experience and yes, age. It means these workers are willing to do what it takes to bridge the learning gap: classes, degrees, workshops, mentorship, et cetera.
  3. They’re climbers. They want more, and while they might be a little afraid or shy to go after it in the beginning, all it takes to get them rolling is a little push. So when you see untapped potential in an employee, give them the chance to prove to themselves—and you!—that they can do this.
  4. They’re calm in a crisis. They deal with little disasters at home every day. In the workplace, they use that ability to quickly extinguish potential fires calmly and with composure.
  5. They work smart. When it comes to time management, they’re experts. They have to be. Yes, there will be days their family needs them, but they will find a way to get their work done. All they need from you is a little flexibility as to the time and place the work happens.
  6. Their family is their priority. They love their work, but they also place a high value on family; it’s the reason many of them get up in the morning. Having a life beyond work means they know how to slow down and find joy in the small things, which helps to keep them thriving.
  7. They can laugh. Raising kids while dealing with all the little roadblocks life throws in your way is only survivable through a sense of humor. When they bring that wit into the workplace, the office environment lightens up, making everyone more relaxed and team-oriented.


(Note: Obviously, the above qualities apply to other individuals as well, but today I’m championing single parents. As an employer, so should you.)

Working & Homeschooling: a Realistic Approach.

I have homeschooled my son since he was in kindergarten. There have been many challenges, some of which I’ve documented, but overall, learning at home has helped my son thrive.

With so many changes this year, however, homeschooling began to feel impossible. Over the summer, I researched local school options heavily, asking questions and reading whatever I could get my hands on. Of course there would be trade-offs, but I had to be realistic. Working and homeschooling? I’m not Wonder Woman.

Learning the realities of the options I wanted for my son (a small, private school experienced in twice-exceptional kids) vs. what I could afford (the local public school and an IEP) was gutting. On top of that, my son was adamant about continuing to homeschool, no matter how much I explained that because I would be working in between teaching, we would not only have less frivolous time together during the week but he would also be more responsible for learning what was required of a 4th grader—and for keeping a good attitude toward schoolwork.

For me, working was no longer an option; it was a necessity. And we would both have to adjust accordingly. Continue reading

Gaining from Loss (learning to be strong when there’s no other choice).


It isn’t my norm to post about personal goings-on here—except when they have the potential to help others. Then? I’m all for it. Today I want to talk about something universal: learning to be strong when there’s no other choice. And right now, … Continue reading

Working smarter, not harder.

As an editor, I have always had a method:

  1. Do a quick run-through of a project, catching all the obvious errors.
  2. Go through it again, a little deeper.
  3. Spelling and grammar checks.
  4. Final read-through, just in case.

No one taught me to work that way; it’s just the way I’ve always done things. Consequently, larger projects could take several weeks, something I considered normal.

Two weeks ago, however, my boss introduced me to a different method, one I’ll call the “once-through.” Basically, you work the project once, slowly and methodically . . . And then you’re done.

I was skeptical, to say the least. There seemed to be too much room for error, especially without the double- and triple-checking. But I tried it anyway.

My last project was nearly 150k words plus cover copy. I finished it in a week and a day. Then I absolutely panicked, thinking I must have missed a million things. I mean, come on. A week and a day? It would have taken me three to four times that using my original method.

So I spent the past few days running spelling and grammar checks, cross-referencing quotes and song lyrics, and even spot-checking every chapter, just in case. Guess what? Everything was fine.

The once-through not only allowed me to finish faster but also lessened the amount of stress and anxiety I usually feel while working. How? Well, obviously the deadline wasn’t nearly as scary. But forcing myself to work slowly and with more precision brought back the enjoyment of editing while eliminating the frenzy.

I liken it to walking meditation, where you are in motion but still focused, still paying attention. Call it “editing meditation,” if you like.

Because of this new practice, I was able to take off in the afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday to go hiking: something I would never and could never have done before. I would have felt too guilty, knowing the deadline was looming and that I still had so far left to go. But the once-through has given me more time and energy to focus on things that matter beyond my work, like homeschooling. I’ve also been able to take small breaks during the day to look after myself, reading and resting and getting out into nature.

In short, the once-through has changed everything. And I am falling in love with the process of editing again.

Try it. See if it works for you. And enjoy the ability to work smarter, not harder!

Hidden Lake

November’s work schedule.

Starting in November, I will have extra time to take on editing projects: non-fiction and fiction manuscripts, articles, marketing materials, websites, and yes, even grant proposals. Why not end the year with a clean desk and clear mind? If you have a project you’d like to discuss, get in touch!