A New Beginning


As a writer, sometimes you need a new beginning. Pascal said, “The last thing one settles in writing a book is what one should put in first.” As an editor that’s one thing we always looked at. Did the story begin in the right place? Maybe it didn’t. Maybe it began one chapter after the first chapter you wrote. Maybe two chapters after the first chapter. Maybe you had to write those first chapters to settle into the real first chapter, eliminating the little things here and there that you need to get out of the way for the real story to begin. I learned this in a really tough way. I hung onto those first two chapters through the first two drafts. And the story didn’t come that way. It had to come a third way. I dropped the first two chapters. Then things opened up.




Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Thoughts on Platform

To the authors I know:

I’m not envious of many of your tasks. Especially not the task of creating a platform. I don’t know if this is true, but I get the sense that authors in ye olden days (like the 80s) were vigorously promoted by their publishing houses. Please comment if I’m mistaken, I would really like to know. My impression is that in the here and now, to sell even a single piece paper, you need at least six social media platforms with significant numbers (we’re talking thousands) of followers.

Dad and I own a URL because it’s part of being a business, any kind of business, in 2020. But we’re not trying to attract traffic to the site necessarily. Hello, Russian bots! Actually we’ve only managed to attract ONE Russian bot. That is how little I understand about attracting traffic to a site. I guess this is my way of defining my job – I am only helpful when it comes to Word documents – email me one of those, and I’m all in. Your twitter account, though? You know much more than I do. Dad and I just need the site listed on our business cards to be a valid link, not an Error 404 kind of situation.

All that to say – I know that platform can be a difficult part of your job. But don’t give up. The world (or a select portion of the people in the world) need your words. Good luck out there.



First Post


Editor’s Log.
Day 1

Goal: Become involved in the online freelance community. Make connections, make friends, make dreams come true. Experiment with more of my own writing.

11:30 a.m.: Unbox new laptop.
11:33 a.m.: Read instructions. Realize that laptop needs to charge for 8 hours before use.
11:34 a.m.: Plug in laptop.
11:35 a.m.: Find spiral notebook, begin journal entry: “Things are a Mess right now with a capital M. The toddlers are taking turns breaking the retired espresso appliance I left on the dining room table. My son buckled himself into the high chair and is screaming for help. And the advice I have to offer him is this: ‘Don’t get yourself into a place you can’t get out of.’”

Day 2

Goal: Post something to the blog of the new website.

11:30 a.m.: Take laptop out of the case, press power button.
11:31 a.m.: Mute Cortana.
11:35 a.m.: Realize that this laptop has Windows but not Office. Of course.
11.38 a.m.: Tell Cortana that I have a product key somewhere and I’ll find it later.
11:39 a.m.: Make a new email, because I’ve been needing one anyway. Also I’ve heard Outlook outranks Gmail.
11:40 a.m.: Start digging around for product key.
11:56 a.m.: Type in a 16 digit code.
11:57 a.m.: It’s not the product key.
12:01 p.m.: Give up and share Office through email.
12:02 p.m.: “Can’t send email right now. Waiting for a bit might help.”
12:04 p.m.: “Can’t send email right now. Waiting for a bit might help.”
12:06 p.m.: “Can’t send email right now. Waiting for a big might help.”
12:09 p.m.: Open link copied and pasted into my old email and sent to the new email.
12:14 p.m.: “Can’t download Office right now.”
12:16 p.m.: “Can’t download Office right now.”
12:17 p.m.: “Downloading Office. This might take several minutes.”
12:48 p.m.: Laptop dies.
1:01 p.m.: Plug in and reboot laptop. Press F1.
1:03 p.m.: Confirm that new laptop has Office capabilities.
1:05 p.m.: Try to log in to WordPress. Realize that new website is linked to old email.
1:07 p.m.: “Oops, that’s not the right password. Please try again!”
1:08 p.m.: “Oops, that’s not the right password. Please try again!”
1:09 p.m.: Send link to reset password to old email.
1:13 p.m.: Check old email. Link is not in inbox. Or in spam.
1:15 p.m.: Update and Shut Down.

Day 3

Goal: Log in to WordPress on new laptop.

10:52 a.m.: Check old email on iPhone to confirm WordPress username.
10:53 a.m.: “Oops, that’s not the right password. Please try again!”
10:54 a.m.: Click sign in with Google.
10:55 a.m.: “Hi Meredith!”
10:56 a.m.: “Incorrect password. Click forgot password to reset it.”
10:57 a.m.: “Incorrect password. Click forgot password to reset it.”
10:57 a.m.: “Enter your 6-digit code to complete 2-step verification.”
10:58 a.m.: “We found a WordPress.com account with the email address ‘meredithsloan24@gmail.com.’ Log in to this account to connect it to your Google profile, or choose a different Google profile.”
10:59 a.m.: “Oops! That’s not the right password. Please try again!”
11:00 a.m.: Say prayer.
11:01 a.m.: Connect Google account to WordPress account with old email.
11:02 a.m.: View site.
11:03 a.m.: Realize that I trashed the posts page a few iterations ago. Click the “Get started here” link.
11:43 a.m.: “Your battery is running low. You may want to plug in your PC.”
11:47 a.m.: Plug in PC.
11:50 a.m.: Notice that the page for blog posts has the same content as the home page in a different format.
11:51 a.m.: Mother returns toddlers. Shut down.

Day 4

Goal: Publish something, find it on the website, have system for next time.

1:48 p.m.: Log on.
1:52 p.m.: Copy and paste post from Word doc.
1:54 p.m.: Press Publish.


From the Loft

I’m fairly certain that the date on this post is May 14, 2019. Well… I’ve come from the future to tell myself that I didn’t blog much last year. And by “much” I mean “at all.” Dad and I are about two years into the freelance business and we still have a lot to learn.

For example, how to delete ancient blog posts that were retained from this site’s previous URL.

For now, I’ll leave it as a lesson for myself.

Also – why call this From the Loft? “Blog” would be a lot more helpful as a tag than a prepositional phrase that refers to nothing. Well, we work in a loft. That’s it. And I’m sticking to it.

-Meredith (5/18/2020)