Diary of a freelance writer: 10 August 2016

So it’s been 3 weeks since my last diary post! What on earth have I been up to in all that time?

For a start, I’ve been publishing on Kindle and planning the book-writing/publishing schedule. Then I got offered a full-time job. And then we went on holiday.

The Kindle books you know about, as I was able to sneak in an extra post here.

The job … went into negotiation, as I really do like to be self-employed and do my own thing when I want to. But it was an offer I had to consider very carefully and, well, we agreed on a compromise, and one that will be quite flexible and revisited once we get into a regular flow.

One of my lovely editing clients has taken me on via a monthly retainer. They’re not getting all of my hours, but they’re getting more than half of them – around 20 hours per week. But I get the retainer whether I do more hours or fewer. We still have to iron out the details, but, well, I already have 5 books in from them, so it looks as thought they’re serious.

This means that I no longer have to trawl for another editing job, which is very good news and frees me up to do more of my own work. And I know I’ve said and done this before, but sometimes, when the work is quiet, I do still go and have a look to see what’s on offer. But I’ll still do any other work that comes in from other existing or previous clients as well.

It also means that I should get more of my own work done as it removes any financial pressure.

I’m delighted, and hope that it works.

The holiday will be detailed over on the lifestyle blog.

Wednesday 20 July 2016
On the first Wednesday of this very long period, I wrote 870 words for a blog post. I completed Module 7 of my fiction writing course. I updated and marketed the Facebook pages. And I applied part of my next study assignment to Scrivener.

Thursday 21 July 2016
The following day I started to update this Words Worth Writing blog, which included a new page, Current Projects. On this page you can see all of the books I’m currently working on in one form or another. The covers are all “working graphics”, unless they already exist. These working graphics don’t necessarily reflect how they will look when they are done, but they provide a nice visual prompt/motivation for me to get on with them.

I updated the Buy My Books and the Buy P&S Books pages.

I also continued to edit a book for lovely-already-boss.

Friday 22 July 2016
Friday was the day I published TWEE TALES on Kindle and NIGHT CRAWLER: A MARCIE CRAIG MYSTERY on CreateSpace. This took up much of the day, but I also managed more editing on the book for lovely-already-boss.

Weekend
That weekend, Monkey Dust played a charity festival over in Castleford on the Saturday, and we split the Sunday between parents in Doncaster and Birmingham.

Monday 25 July 2016
This Monday was the first attempt for me at doing “my work” in the morning, and editing work in the afternoon. I’d moved all of my daily competitions and daily surveys to either never or just once a week, and a lot of the other daily chores went too.

Quite successfully, I managed to publish NIGHT CRAWLER: A MARCIE CRAIG MYSTERY on Kindle, and I wrote the blog about it – in the morning.

And in the afternoon I moved into editing, but was still finishing the job for lovely-already boss.

Tuesday 26 July 2016
Because I’d spent quite a lot of time on my own work just recently, I felt able to give over the whole of this Tuesday morning to finishing the job for lovely-already-boss. I sent the book back to the author, but didn’t get around to raising the invoice yet …

The afternoon section was starting a new edit for lovely-retainer-boss, and his first ever rush-job. He even asked me to delay starting a book I’d already received and to crack on with this one. I’d warned him we were off on our holidays at the end of this week, but I’d do what I could before then.

Wednesday 27 July 2016 – Saturday 30 July 2016
And this was when I seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth …

For the next 3½ days I worked solidly on the rush-job. I managed a full hard-copy edit before we went off on holiday for a week, and also 265 pages of the electronic edit, of 336 pages. Aside from spending half a day arguing with Barnsley Council, who had failed to come for a single recycled bin of ours since 20 May, all of my time was spent trying to get this job done. And because of that, and because I had warned him that we were going away, I didn’t feel guilty about only sending him what I’d done so far. But I did feel guilty about leaving most of the holiday packing and shopping to the poor poet – although I did break off to help a couple of times.

And then we went on holiday.

Saturday 30 July 2016 – Saturday 6 August 2016
The dog came with us but the cats stayed behind with my sister and my dad, who had come up to see the house and to look after the animals while we were away. We went camping in Dorset and came home on the following Saturday morning, arriving back by teatime.

Sunday 7 August 2016 – Tuesday 9 August 2016
We had intended on having 2 weeks holiday but instead, for reasons that may become clear when you read this week’s “homework”, we just had until yesterday, and the poet went back to work today.

Homework w/c 10 August 2016
Today, then, I start as I mean to go on, doing my work in the mornings and lovely-retainer-boss’s work in the afternoons. If I don’t have any work outstanding from him, I’ll carry on with my own work. Other editing jobs will come under my own work from now on.

I have to create my tracker spreadsheet for August and I have to write the diary for the next 7 days. Once this is done, I’ll have more of an idea of my own workload.

My brother and his family are coming over for a 3-week visit from Canada, though, and the diary may be subject to change – as were our holidays. He’s spending some time with our parents in Birmingham, some time in Ireland with family, and some time in Wales. If they get chance, they’ll be coming to see us in the new house, which is why we decided to save a few of our holiday days until then.

From this afternoon, however, I carry on with work on the retainer, finishing the book I started before we went away. I’ll also let him have a schedule of work, as I already have 4 more books from him waiting for my attention.

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 1 June 2016

So … it really has been very busy again, to the extent that I’m really behind on blog posts. So I’m going to do one I should have done at the start of the month today, and try and catch up with the others tomorrow and Thursday. There’s not a lot to say this time as we had a holiday and I didn’t do any writing. Shame on me!

Wednesday 25 May 2016
Yes, 25 May really was my last “diary”. It was a good and productive day, however. I wrote 848 words for a blog and I wrote 1,913 words of a short story, 3rd draft. That one’s now sitting in the pile waiting to be proofread and edited.

I also printed off a new client job, but I haven’t started that yet.

Thursday 26 May 2016
On Thursday it was mostly prep work for our camping holiday. I managed admin and some gig list work, but that’s about it.

Friday 27 – Monday 30 May 2016
Our Whitsun/late spring bank holiday was spent in beautiful Eskdale, in the western lake district. The weather was much kinder to us than on our previous 2 jaunts, and we hardly did any driving. Our campsite was within walking distance of the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway at Dalegarth, for Boot, so one day was spent riding on that, another day was spent walking locally, and another day was spent in Whitehaven, where my mom was evacuated during the Second World War.

We came home a day early again, but not because there was anything wrong. We’d already got the keys to the new house and with the poet still in a new job, we needed to maximise the holiday he already had booked, and we spent a day doing new house stuff.

When I’ve caught up a bit more, the pictures will be up on Facebook and on Tales From Baggins Bottom.

Tuesday 31 May 2016
On Tuesday, amongst other things, we built a shed between us.

Homework w/c 1 June 2016
I’m not going to include any homework for this particular post as, well, it’s already gone and I already know what I didn’t do.

I’ll try and do the next one tomorrow.

Diary of a freelance writer: 13 April 2016

I can hardly believe that my last diary was on 23 March. We have been sooo busy, running around, again, doing all sorts. We’ve been having work meetings, business meetings, bureaucracy meetings, doctors appointments, hospital appointments. And when I just came to look in my diary to see what else I’ve managed to do in between, my diary was bare! 😮 How often is my diary bare?

I thought I’d have a go at filling in the gaps anyway, so … are you sitting comfortably …?

Wednesday 23 March 2016
On Wednesday 23 March the poet had a business meeting in Sheffield. So I went along for the ride, and took some work to do in the car while I waited. It must have been mostly reading, though, and walking the dog, as I don’t have any record anywhere of what I actually did.

I still managed the usual daily stuff before we went, including (apparently) 1,022 words for a blog post. That would probably be the diary for that day.

Thursday 24 March 2016
On Thursday morning it looks as though, once again, the usual daily chores were completed, including gig list admin.

Friday 25 – Monday 28 March 2016
On Good Friday we packed up the car and went off to Kingsbury in the West Midlands for a camping weekend, our first in our new blow-up tent. Before we went down, we went to visit the poet’s parents, and by tea time, we were pitched and settled but quite tired. We joined the Camping & Caravanning Club … but are still awaiting our membership details. That might be something to chase up.

On the Saturday, we went to visit my parents, thinking we could probably go walking or sightseeing afterwards … but the visit took the entire day. So once again, we were back at base for tea and not a lot else. On the way back, however, we did nip to Go Outdoors on the Kingsbury Road in Birmingham to buy a camp fire …

On Easter Sunday we did go for a walk to see the birds at Kingsbury Water Park in the morning. But by the afternoon we were thinking it might be worth decamping. The weekend had been unseasonally cold with very high winds, and higher winds and lower temperatures were forecast. We’d made the right decision, though. By the time we got back to Yorkshire it was snowing in the Midlands! And while I DO love the snow, I’d prefer not to be camping in it.

Easter Monday was spent recovering, recharging, putting things away and doing the washing.

At some point over the weekend, while we were away, I did write a few pages of reviews – 1 site review (343 words) and a review of the fire (136 words). So it wasn’t completely idle.

Tuesday 29 March – Friday 1 April 2016
For the Easter week following our camping expedition, the poet was off work and so we cracked on with some publishing. The paperback of Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery was published, and the paperback of Twee Tales was repackaged, rebranded and republished, with a brand new cover.

On Friday 1 April, I wrote several blog posts about the publications, including one advising readers that the hardback of Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery was now on general release. For those posts I managed a whopping 332 words.

This week I pitched for 15 editing or proofreading jobs.

Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 April 2016
After a bit of a break, Monkey Dust had a gig in Doncaster Saturday night

Monday 4 – Friday 8 April 2016
Last week was another week that I didn’t put anything in the diary beyond a doctor’s appointment and a nurse’s appointment. I have started to do surveys for cash, though, and I spent quite a lot of time sorting out the admin and payment methods for those. I also updated my daily competitions diary, to make it a bit more streamlined.

However, beyond reading (aka studying or market research), not much writing was done. In fact, NO writing was done … (sigh!)

Weekend
On Saturday Monkey Dust had a cancelled gig because the drummer’s son, who is also a drummer, was performing in his own band’s special record launch event in Doncaster. We went along to cheer him on, especially as he’s the poet’s godson, and had a nice night out.

On Sunday we were visiting again.

Monday 11 April 2016
And so to this week and my diary is back on track.

Monday started with all the usual admin jobs, gig list and chores, but most of the day was then spent editing a book for lovely-already-boss.

Tuesday 12 April 2016
Yesterday was another day of appointments and much of the day was lost. When I got back, though, it was the usual morning admin jobs that were caught up with.

Today I pitched for 9 new editing or proofreading jobs.

Homework w/c 13 April 2016
My work this week will need to be the think/query/write/submit for April, as I’m a little behind. As much of this was already done at the start of last month, though, it will be a smaller job with fewer throwaways, if any.

Here’s the to-do list for the coming week:

  • think/query/write/submit Nov/Oct/Sep/Aug
  • finish current edit for lovely-already-boss
  • #1 short story – MARTHA’S FAVOURITE DOLL (draft 1)
  • #2 short story – THE MYSTERY OF WOOLLEY DAM (draft 2)
  • #3 short story – SHAKING THE TREE (draft 3 – 1st typed draft)
  • continue editing BAGGINS BOTTOM BEST BITS BOOK 3
  • continue transferring to Scrivener CATCH THE RAINBOW

I’m going to need to reinstall the word-count meters …