The Beginning

Today is my first day working full time as the Director of I Read Your Writing.

I’ve gone a long way since February, when I finally registered as a Limited Company – or I like to think I have - but then this year has moved so fast perhaps I should have gone a long way by now. I have a limited company, it’s got its own bank account, twitter, Facebook page, website, a few clients, an accountant and it’s got me, the little director at the front pulling all these things along with the sweat of my brow (well maybe not the accountant, he looks after himself pretty well). I’ve even got a couple of investors. And it is because of these two lovely people that I have been able, now, to hand in my notice and really set sail for the next stage which is… the beginning.

Haven’t I done this already?

Yes – I have. I have done all manner of things and many of these correspond with lots of the great advice I am collecting. Although that’s very reassuring, in fact most of them haven’t been done done, they are on my list, they are part of a plan, they are work in progress or getting underway. They are processes which do not yet represent any progress. In the last month common questions have been around when the business will be ‘launched’ or when I ‘start trading’. Technically, that would be when the limited company was set up, or when the first invoice got paid, and yet I’m still not truly underway.

What throws this into stark relief, is the nature of the business, particularly with academic proofreading, which requires my presence just at the point of conclusion, when everything is falling into place for my clients after years and years of hard work. Their beginnings have lasted until right now – beginning the doctorate, beginning to think about research topics, beginning the research, beginning the literature review, beginning the methodology, beginning the analysis of the research, beginning the discussion, beginning to put the draft together into one thesis, beginning to read and re-read – it’s not done until it’s ready to come to me – when I will go through, and polish, tighten, tweak, refine – finishing touches. Then – it’s done. They have finished, completed, achieved, won.

A rather threatening sign for a supermarket

On receipt of their happy emails and relieved smiles, I can’t help but feel pride. They tag me in photographs of them with their ‘baby’, beautifully bound in white A4, neatly typed (and checked for typos). Having seen them at the beginning of the end, when hair is flying and wild eyes ask me what I can do to help, I now see them, only weeks later, produce this spectacular finished product. And I? I go back to the beginning, the start of a new piece of work, a new day of twitter – wiped clean each day by another drift of falling words – another new step to take, call to make, new friendships and connections to build. I’m in the first mile of the marathon. Still.

Thank goodness so many of the brilliant people I work with are showing me that dedication and integrity, steadfastness and ambition, will one day lead me to my own progeny – what it will look like? I couldn’t begin to say…