The Clarity Editor annual report 2023

The Clarity Editor annual report 2023

A roundup of a solid year with over 500 hours of editing. I’m thankful for what I can contribute to this world. May you all have a healthy, safe, and fulfilling 2024!

It’s my custom to compile a freelancer’s annual report to stake stock, reflect back and plan (and dream) forward.

[A Canva slide show is embedded below with highlights of my report. The full text follows in the body of this post.]

Annual Report 2023 by Ema Naito

A solid year

My motto for this year was “simplify.” Did I achieve it? To be honest, I’m not sure.

Some things are better.

I have

  • more standard operating procedures (SOPs) and checklists in place. That means
    • each editing project gets the best, consistent treatment
    • details of each project are not lost, even weeks later
    • there is less room for error and duplication
  • less pressure to be on social media: if I can’t post for a week or two, I’m not going to worry about it (inspired by the Social Slowdown, by Meg Casebolt)

Overall, I feel more in control of my work life than I did last year.

Some things still need work.

My administrative processes could be better streamlined still. I try to automate what I can but may need to invest in some help.

I want to become better at editing to a client’s budget so I can support interesting clients and projects, even if their budget or time doesn’t allow for a full edit.

Motto for next year: Keep simplifying!

My motto for 2024 remains the same as last year: keep simplifying!

That means getting more systems into place and having clearer a purpose for social media. It also means listening to the wisdom of my older self on what I want to spend my time on.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your 2023. And best wishes for a healthy, safe, and fruitful 2024!

—Ema Naito, The Clarity Editor

p.s. Quiz: What is my editing superpower? That was a fantastic question asked on a Facebook group. My answer is hidden somewhere on this page 🕵️‍♀️ (What is your superpower?)


Thank you for entrusting me with your written words. Your confidence and our relationship mean the world to me.

Map of the world showing clients in 9 countries, collaborators and colleagues in 11, and me in Bangkok (UTC+7).
I love working with clients and collaborators/colleagues from all over. Each marker represents a country where I have/had clients (some from the same organization) and collaborators/colleagues in 2023. (I still don’t have any clients in Latin America…)
Editing in numbers (as of 12 Dec. 2023): I edited over 432,000 words, served 9 clients (organizations count as one), spent over 510 hours editing (plus another 113 hours on business admin, writing SOPs and checklists, and setting up automations), held 3 online trainings (mini-training included!), and did one podcast interview.

Regular and repeat clients

I am proud to serve my regular/repeat clients. (Disclaimer: mentioning them here does not mean they endorse me.)

International development

UNITAR Division for Prosperity. The smartest, most open-minded, and supportive team to work with!

Academia and Centre for Economic Policy Research. Five years and counting 🙂

Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research.

Individual scholars. Book chapters on social protection and communication in social work. A teaching primer on human geography.

Private sector

A Japanese clinic. Applied plain language principles in communicating about health.

A global diversity, equity and inclusion consulting firm. Reviewed website language for clarity. Edited a DEI training manual for a healthcare organization.

Trainings & talks given

Podcast cover for A Quick Dip into culture, communications, and change, by Athru Communications. Episode 5: Plain language with Ema Naito. Photo of smiling women in front of a dark background with an explosion of colorful powder.
Host Sarah Black and I took a Quick Dip in plain language.

Learning and professional development

Continuing professional development is essential to make sure we editors keep our skills and understanding up to date. (Plus, it’s fun!)


CIEP continues to run hybrid conferences—yay for access!

Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) 2023. Sessions on non-fiction editing, Word styles, AI and editing, and business management and taxation.

Clear writing for EU 2023. Key lesson: plain language is deeply linked to democratic governance.

(I’m also waiting for the recordings from the Accessible Publishing Conference 2023.)

A shoutout to the CIEP Cloud East group for the great camaraderie and sharing. Thanks especially to the coordinators academic editor Sarah Kitaoji and fantasy fiction editor Joanne Taylor for keeping the monthly sessions fun as well as useful.

🔑What is my editing superpower? Answer: Finding ways to improve the logical flow of sentences and paragraphs. Understanding what the writer wants to say. (I loved what others shared in the Facebook thread too—we are all different! What is your superpower?)


Yay for books, blogs, articles, social media posts, and the occasional podcast.

My reading was about

  • plain language
  • digital accessibility
  • basics of design
  • copyediting
  • solopreneurship

(Book title links are Amazon affiliate links. If you click on an Amazon link and buy the book, you will be contributing to my coffee fund at no extra cost to you—thank you!)

Fun reads

(See my favorite books on plain language, writing, and presentations, my favs in 2021, and my favs in 2022.)

Goals for next year: learn how to edit more efficiently, practice remediating PDFs and making EPUBs, improve the accessibility of my website, brush up on grammar, and apply to CIEP Professional level.

The Collective

I’m humbled to have some amazing women solopreneurs to learn from and bounce ideas off of. I’m especially grateful to Sarah Black for bringing us together (and for inviting me to interesting DEI-related projects!).

The fab team:

Wishlist of an editor

Last year, I wished for some stuff. So did my wishes come true? Here’s the update!

An inexpensive subscription to an online Brian Garner’s Modern English Usage

No. Still no such thing. I refer to the 4th print edition and Fowler’s Modern English Usage via Oxford Dictionaries Pro.

An elegant chair that looks 18th century but has a firm seat and proper lumbar support. And maybe massage function?

No. I still dream about this. But my aunt gave me a back massager to attach to the chair, which relieves me from a ton of pain.

A split mechanical keyboard. With tilt. And programmable keys.

Yes, and I love it! (No tilt yet.) I also got a joystick-shaped mouse and pedals!

A safe Twitter whose use isn’t a moral issue.

Yes/no. I’ve abandoned Twitter and am enjoying the growing editor community on BlueSky 🥰

I can’t think of what to wish for 2024, other than the ergonomic chair, plenty of interesting clients and projects, and good health. (Guess that’s more than enough!)

Hopes for 2024

The top three things I hope to do in 2024 … are exactly the same as what I hoped for 2023. Guess I’m consistent 😆

(1) Power up as an editor: Give kind, relevant & clear feedback, brush up on grammar, and practice plain language. Respond to the needs of my clients. 
(2) Get more international development colleagues to write clearly. Advocate for clear writing, connect staff to resources, and give more hands-on writing support.
(3) Create more resources
for you. Blog and expand the library. Create some videos. Offer new (free) ways to practice clearer writing.

I failed to create videos and brush up on grammar. But I have a more concrete plan for my newsletter and some handouts to develop (maybe videos??), so we’ll see.

Above all, I have to keep SIMPLIFYING!

That’s a wrap! May 2024 be a healthy, safe, and fulfilling one for you and yours. I look forward to being of service to you again 🙂

If you would like to discuss whether we might be a good fit for your writing project, please send me details via the contact form or email me at

Cover image by Ema Naito. The books I keep at my feet as I edit (I need a bookcase…).

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One comment

  1. Pingback: BOOKS: My favorites! | The Clarity Editor

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