Spring Cleaning for Writers and Editors

Vintage Jennie Yeamans Poster by Dawn Hudson

 Visualizing spring when you’re looking out at two feet of snow is challenging. But the calendar has proclaimed it to be so. If spring is indeed on our doorstep, can spring cleaning be far behind? In addition to the house and the household pets, our editorial businesses can use some attention this spring.

Spring Cleaning, Tech Style

Yesterday, in a re/code post, Katie Boehret suggested several personal technology accounts that could use some spring cleaning:

1. Do you still need all those apps that have access to your Twitter account – because you gave them access back when?

2. Similarly, it’s time to clean up apps and permissions you no longer need on Facebook.

3. Cleaning up your browser history could help your computer run a little faster – and that means all the browsers you use.

4. And while you’re at it, you need to de-gunk your computer – whether Mac or Windows

Spring Cleaning for your Programs and Apps

Not keeping software current can lead to inefficiency and security issues – plus keep you from utilizing the latest features. Many programs have a “check for updates” feature, which is activated every time you open the application – as long as you have access to the Web. But what about all those other programs that do not have this feature? How long has it been since you’ve checked to see if any of these programs have updates or later versions?

Spring is a good time to check and update your programs and applications. But if you’re like me, you have way too many installed to do it in one season! So what I’ve been doing for years now is to check out three programs each week during my regularly scheduled “admin tasks” session. This gets me through them all every 7 to 8 months.

It makes sense today to set up a single spreadsheet for tracking software. Back when I started tracking updates, I prepared a blank form (doc file) so I can print out a separate form for each new program. I hole-punch the forms and keep them alphabetized in a three-ring binder. On each form I include:

Software Program:
Version and Build #:
Date last checked for updates:
Registration code:
Computer(s) installed on:

Spring Cleaning for Services

Are you promoting services on your website or in your portfolio that you no longer want to offer? Which are no longer profitable because of your time investment? Or which ones have you simply lost interest in doing?

How long has it been since you offered a new product or service? Loyal customers like to see you changing and progressing with the times. If you’re stuck for an idea, ask your clients what they need.

1. Make a list of every editorial service you’ve listed somewhere that you can do. Evaluate each for your current interest, client need, profitability, ranking each 1 (ugh!) to 5 (perfect for you). Remove the low-numbered services from your bio listings, AuthorCentral, social media profiles, website or blog pages, portfolio samples, brochures, and so on.

2. Make a list of new editorial services (1) you could get excited about, (2) you would like to know more about, (3) you have current clients who would benefit from, (4) and appear to have a good future. Evaluate, select one and plan how to gradually add it to your “services offered.”

Spring Cleaning for Sources, Clients and Publications

1. Go through your lists of contacts, followers, clients, editors, sources, markets – verify their contact info is current; delete any no longer in positions to be of help to you; and brainstorm how those remaining on your lists might help you – or how you might help them – in the near future.

2. Which clients or publications should be cleaned out of your “markets” list? Which ones are more aggravation than their billing warrants? Which ones pay so little for the time investment that you’d be better off replacing them with higher-paying new ones?

That should be enough to get you started on your spring editorial business cleaning. And now that you’ll have a clean house, clean dog, and cleaned-up editorial business, you’ll be revved up and eager – just like starting a new year all over again!

What spring-cleaning chores do you do in your writing or editing business? Please share below.


Image credit: Vintage Jennie Yeamans Poster by Dawn Hudson
About Dana K Cassell

Hi, and welcome to our Network. I'm Dana Cassell and am the one writing most of the posts on this blog. I've been in this writing/editing business for way longer than I care to admit. My goal here is to provide you with useful insights from our professional members and from my own experience - to help you achieve your own success, grow your editorial business, and publish successful and worthy books,


  1. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing
    around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to
    your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  2. I’ve just made a note to spring clean my apps! I’m notorious for using the social login on sites just the once, and now I feel that I need to go and unhook the lot of them. Thanks for the nudge 🙂

  3. Great tips here Dana! Thank you. Love the spring time, coming out of a long, cold winter and enjoy spring cleaning and making new plans.

  4. Great post Dana, I love spring and always look at it as the the start of new beginnings, I love the point about addressing the apps that have access to your social accounts, some great ideas

  5. Good stuff, Dana. When I started my “Spring Cleanup”, I couldn’t believe the junk that I had to clear out…material that I thought might be useful. It’s not and never will be. And when I checked the last time I updated my website, I couldn’t believe how long it has been. Time does fly and with it so too does junk accumulate.

    Love the blog. Keep it going!

    • Our digital files and work spaces do seem to multiply and age faster than the old paper world, don’t they, Ray? Thanks for your support for our youngish blog. Much appreciated.

  6. Good tips, Dana! Thanks. And congratulations on your blogging adventure! For me, it’s a fun way to help other poets and writers with all those things we wish people had told us when you and I first started writing. Blest wishes.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Mary. You’re right – so much to share from the “learning the hard way” years 🙂

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