How We’re Working: A Day In The Life of a Harlequin Editor
Now that you’ve seen how our art department is working remotely, it’s time to continue our behind the scenes look with our editors!
by Patience Bloom, Senior Editor
For me, working from home is all about creating a routine. I do this the night before, generating a list of what I want to accomplish the following day. If I’m particularly un-focused, I will plan my day hour by hour. But my usual day has general times periods like this:
Morning: Begin with coffee. It’s such a cliché, right? I don’t do anything before I have the most bitter, hot and black brew of coffee. It scalds my lungs but is the boost I need. Since I’m a morning person, my focus is best between the hours of 8-1, so that is when I go at warp speed.
I check emails first and prioritize. Usually, nothing is one fire so I begin with editing, which is what I love most. It sets the productive tone of my day. Each month, I have at least two books edit, usually more, so if I can get at least 50 pages edited a day, it’s a win.
Late-morning, I have meetings and my trustee assistant Yossi enjoys sitting in and taking in all things Harlequin. He doesn’t participate because he’s polite. We go into the other room, set up our space, and listen.
Around noon, I go out for fresh air. My husband, who is now working from home, likes to tag along. We either go for a run around the neighborhood, bike ride, or do a big walking loop from our place around Union Square and back. My secret love is to go into the corner drug store to look at makeup or the deli to get a sandwich. When you do this for fifteen years, you make friends along the way and these establishments know my shopping habits. This is one of the ways that New York City can be a small town.
The afternoon is trickier for me. There’s that post lunch food coma and an inherent desire for a siesta. But wait! My list needs attention. I schedule my most left-brain activities for the afternoon and find myself a second cup of coffee (likely flavored with half-and-half). I approve back cover copy, fill out forms detailing what should go on the cover, answer emails, choose BISAC Codes for books, schedule titles, and strive for an empty in box. Meetings also happen this time of day.
The last part of my day is when I like to make phone calls. Many authors live in other time zones so the late afternoon seems to work the best for them. It’s the perfect way to wind down and I like hearing my authors’ voices. We discuss next projects, specific edits, or person things like shopping for shoes. Afterwards I scold myself for not calling them more.
That is my day, in a nutshell. I try to end it on a positive note as in: I’ve accomplished what I need today and not: I have so much more to do. Work/life balance is crucial to keeping the wheels turning in the long term.
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