Diary of a freelance writer: 7 September 2016

I’m a day late again, but I’m going to pretend I’m writing this yesterday.

We’ve had another traumatic week, but hopefully we’ve turned the corner now.

Wednesday 31 August 2016
It was all going so well … I’d managed to write another 1,309-word blog post, which is quite good on recent standards, and I’d settled in to do some editing work for lovely-retainer-client when … BAM … the poet was admitted to hospital. He’d taken ill at work and come home early, then on the way home from work he took ill again … and again when he got home. So he was taken to Casualty and admitted to hospital for observation.

Thursday 1 September 2016
In between taking stuff to the hospital and visiting, the only work I managed on Thursday was essential gig list admin. I forgot to schedule the Monday morning post asking for gigs, but the gig list was posted and the poet was allowed home overnight, for one night only, so he could attend his dad’s funeral Friday morning.

Friday 2 September 2016
On Friday it was the funeral, so I didn’t do much work. And at teatime I had to get the poet back to hospital …

Weekend
… where he remained for the entire weekend. On Sunday afternoon, his mom, daughter and granddaughter were able to visit him with me.

Monday 5 September 2016
I managed some work Monday morning. I did the Monday morning post I’d forgotten to schedule for the gig list and I completed a hard copy edit for lovely-retainer-boss at the hospital while we waited for the poet to be discharged. His tests had all come back negative, with just one or two little things they wanted to look at in more depth in the future, but nothing they were worried about. It took them FOUR hours to discharge him, and he didn’t even need to wait for any medication from the pharmacy.

Tuesday 6 September 2016
Almost back to normal, but with the poet at home until next Monday, I was able to get some more work done. Because I’d fallen quite far behind on the retainer editing, due to the massive, horrendous edit I delivered the previous week, I wanted to concentrate on catching up there. So I did the electronic edit of the one book I’d finished the night before, and I printed off the next one for a hard copy edit to start tomorrow.

In the afternoon we were able to go and buy some much-needed shopping.

Homework w/c 7 September 2016
So … I want to carry on this week catching up on any editing work for lovely-retainer-client, and I have another to start for lovely-already-boss. Then, next week, I want to allocate time to my writing again. And to my study.

I’m toying with continuing with my Open University studies at some point, but I can’t enrol before February. I’d like to apply for a grant/loan and it can take several weeks to be accepted, but also, I’m waiting for the OU to let me know if my existing credits with them can still go towards one of their new BAs, as the two I started both finish at the end of next year.

In the meantime, I’m going to finish my fiction writing course. I also got in touch with the British College of Journalism to see if I can complete my article-writing course with them too. The last time I contacted them was in 2011, but they have very gracefully agreed to let me do my last two assignments with them, but they would like me to complete the course, if I can, within six months.

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 29 June 2016 (*** list alert ***)

It’s Wednesday again, and I made it in on time again. Things are looking up.

We finished the final stage of moving house at the weekend, so that gives us much more time at home, and me more hours in which to work. We do have boxes and bags to sort and unpack, though. But at least we don’t have that extra travel time in between houses. I’m really hoping to knuckle down and get some serious work done.

Wednesday 22 June 2016
Last Wednesday the plumber was due at 8:30am. He made it at just after 9:30am. He was coming to drain down the heating system and give it a good flush through. By midday his work was done and we had hot water and central heating at the same time.

While he was here, I still cracked on with work and left him to it. I added a new daily chore to the daily chores, I wrote 1,067 words for a blog post, I did some more photo admin on Facebook, and I did some sugar-free diet research. We were supposed to be at a meeting on the evening for the pro-bono project, but we were just too busy and too tired, and had to send our apologies.

Now we had hot water, I enjoyed a much-anticipated bath – I’m not really a shower person, but at least we have one for backup.

Thursday 23 June 2016
First job Thursday morning, after the daily and household chores, was gig list admin. There was an item in my diary entitled “blog post”, but today was Thursday and the next blog post was due on Friday. So I rubbed it out … then I remembered I had Friday off, so had to pencil it in again. I wrote 687 words, and was then able to tick it off. Ticks are very therapeutic and truly aid motivation.

I did my weekly diary chore and then did some writing research. I was looking for markets and guidelines for novellas and I found 2 UK-based ones. And then I had a lightbulb moment for the family saga story idea.

Friday 24 June 2016
My car was due for its MOT on Friday (it passed, eventually) and we also had to collect a self-drive van for the last of the house-move. The day was spent moving stuff and collecting my car.

Weekend
We still had the van for the morning, so finished using that. Then we cleaned the old house from top to bottom and the poet filled a load of holes in walls. We did some shopping and spent what time was left (not a lot) looking at boxes.

On Sunday we were in Alrewas for the National Service Memorial Day at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Monday 27 June 2016
We had Monday off too as part of the big move weekend, and were finally able to settle into our new house and know that we didn’t have to go back to the old one again.

Tuesday 28 June 2016
Tuesday it was back to work for both of us. It took a little longer to do the daily chores and jobs – it always does on the first day back at work – but I still managed 590 words for a blog post.

In the afternoon I was supposed to do some writing work and some editing work, but a migraine settled in instead and I went to lie down in a dark room for the rest of the day, and some of the evening.

Homework w/c 22 June 2016
I’m getting a little better at keeping on top of work, but the to-do list is still a lot like the one I did for last week, although it is also shorter again:

  • start new edit for lovely-already-boss
  • start new edit for lovely-more-recent-boss
  • write #1 of brand new story A DAY TO REMEMBER
  • continue uploading CATCH THE RAINBOW to Scrivener
  • write #2 of short story THE MONEY IN THE SHED
  • Module 7 fiction writing course
  • Module 8 fiction writing course
  • Module 9 fiction writing course
  • continue tidying photographs
  • continue playing with new novel idea

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 22 June 2016 (*** list alert ***)

Well, well, well. It’s Wednesday and I’m updating the diary on time. Looks like I’m catching up.

We’ve still been living in 2 houses, sort of, finally moving the big stuff over to the new house on Saturday. We still have odds and sods to pick up, and we’re hiring a van on Friday to do that, then we’re cleaning the old house on Saturday, and filling holes and things like that. The poet has already cut the grass over there. Hopefully it won’t need doing again before Monday, when we hand the keys over.

Wednesday 15 June 2016
Wednesday, then, was a very good day. I managed to do everything at the right time and I wrote 837 words for a blog post and 2,558 words for a short story. That story has now been edited and sent off. (Please keep everything crossed.)

Thursday 16 June 2016
Thursday started well, with all of the admin being done in time again. And I wrote 633 words of a blog post.

In the afternoon, however, when I went to print off the next editing job, the printer wasn’t connected. The computer could see it, but it just wasn’t communicating. That took the entire afternoon before it was fixed again.

The night was spent at the new house as our new dishwasher was due for delivery “between 7am and 6pm” on Friday, so I had to be up early.

Friday 17 June 2016
On Friday I printed off the new editing job, wrote 855 words for a blog post, and did some photo admin. I’ve been using Facebook as a backup for photographs since 2005, and now they’re threatening to remove that facility for some.

I don’t like having so many pictures on Facebook anyway, so it was a good opportunity for me to start tidying things up over there. We have a portable hard drive now, so I started by downloading some of the older albums to that before deleting them from Facebook. Then I started a gradual regime of filing photographs on Facebook in group directories. I’ll do a bit more of this each day, as and when I have a few moments to spare.

The dishwasher arrived late morning, and when the poet came home from work, he fitted it straight away. (He’s very versatile.)

Weekend
On Saturday the van came at 8am (it was booked for 8:30am), and all of the big stuff was moved over in just one journey. By 10am they were gone and we had our “stuff” around us again. And, of course, the cats finally came over too. Much of Saturday was then spent sorting everything out, and going for another couple of car loads as well as a good, weekly shop.

Sunday was Father’s Day, so we went to Doncaster to see the poet’s dad and one of his lads made it to see him too. Then it was off to Birmingham to see my dad. When we got home, we had a lamb dinner, having used the slow cooker for the first time in the new house.

Monday 20 June 2016
On Monday I did more photo admin, I wrote 695 words for a blog post, and I rebooted my fiction writing course, studying the new Module 5. They revised the course after I started, and because I’d raised some issues about the quality and content of the course, they asked if I’d like to resume with the new version instead. So, of course, I said yes.

The new course arrived in October or November of last year, and I’d already acquainted myself with the first 4 modules. But this is the first I’ve managed in a long while.

Tuesday 21 June 2016
Yesterday, I continued with my study, reading up on Module 6. I did a little more photo admin, then I outlined a new short story (inspired by part of the next assignment I have to do for the course), and I did some short story admin.

I updated the worksheet I use to keep on top of drafts, moving material I want to work on first up, and shifting older ideas to a different spot, so I don’t forget about them. Although, if I do forget about them, perhaps they didn’t really want writing in the first place.

Here’s how the spreadsheet currently looks:

worksheet

KEY
O = Outline
#1 = draft 1
#2 = draft 2
#3 = draft 3
E = Edit
SS = Short Story
F = Filler
RTE = Reader’s True Experience

(I can’t even remember what THE FORTUNE TELLER is all about, but it will need editing if it’s to stay up there!)

I also discovered some “story starters” over on the website of a magazine I really want to crack – she currently has one of mine sitting in her drawer that I slightly re-wrote at her request, I’m hoping if I can send her another it will remind her of the one in her drawer! – and I’ll be mulling over some of those and hopefully adding them to the list.

Then I sat down and started a new binder on Scrivener for a new novel … the poet reminded me when he got home that I have yet to complete a version of CATCH THE RAINBOW on Scrivener, but I’m hoping to run the two consecutively. Plus, I need to be practising with Scrivener so I don’t have to keep on Googling how to do things I’ve done several times already. I need to be “doing” so I remember how to do it.

For the new project, I also started to create a family tree, as it’s going to be a family saga. Someone recently told me that family sagas are very popular with publishers, and as I generally strive to “write for the market” … well, I have to give it a go.

Homework w/c 22 June 2016
So, the to-do list is a little shorter than last week’s, but the first 5 are also carried over from last week’s, so not as great as that first seems:

  • start new edit for lovely-already-boss
  • start new edit for lovely-more-recent-boss
  • write #1 of brand new story A DAY TO REMEMBER
  • continue uploading CATCH THE RAINBOW to Scrivener
  • write #2 of short story THE MONEY IN THE SHED
  • plumber coming Wednesday to clean out hot water system 
  • Module 7 fiction writing course
  • Module 8 fiction writing course
  • Module 9 fiction writing course
  • continue tidying photographs
  • move last of stuff over from old house, close up and hand keys over
  • Armed Services Day at Alrewas
  • continue playing with new novel idea

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 24 February 2016

It’s not been a great week. We’ve been busy with one thing or another that isn’t really for sharing. And my days have been spent recharging, I suppose. I need to sort myself out, though, give myself another kick up the bum. Because too busy to work doesn’t earn the pennies.

Wednesday 17 February 2016
Last Wednesday I was taking my dad home after a short stay with us. So that wiped out the entire day.

Thursday 18 February 2016
Thursday was better. Again. I did gig list admin (again), and I wrote 869 words of blog posts.

In the afternoon, I did some survey work, some pro-bono work and some diary work.

Friday 19 February 2016
On Friday I did a little editing work but I did more survey work too as it’s quick and easy money.

Weekend
At the weekend we had a gig Saturday night and we were visiting Sunday morning. But Sunday afternoon, on our way home, we managed to squeeze in a short walk.

Monday 22 February 2016
Monday was pretty much the same as most days. I’d already pre-scheduled the gig list work on Thursday, and that posted automatically. I must make a habit of that because it saves time on a Monday, when I’m busy after the weekend, and I don’t have to worry about making it my first job.

We had yet more visiting to do Monday evening.

Tuesday 23 February 2016
Tuesday was the same as Monday with me doing little odds and sods around the office, but we were glad to have a day off from having to do things for other people.

Homework w/c 24 February 2016
My office is a mess – a terrible mess – and not how I like to work at all. So first job this week will be to start to sort out the filing. I want to swap the drawers over, so that the alpha-filing is closer to hand and the old brought-forward system is further away. I don’t even use the b/f system any more, and don’t really know anyone else who does. (Do you?) So that drawer will eventually be changed to over-spill, or continuation of the alpha-drawer.

I have a book that needs editing, so that I can get it back to the client. And I have 2 books from the same client that need proofreading. I need to really crack on with this.

I want to write a short story for fave market, I want to write a short story for a new (to me) market, I want to do my next fiction writing course assignment, and I’d like to come up with a story for one of the calls for submissions doing the rounds.

Meantime, I have the poet’s birthday on Friday and a very busy weekend ahead as son #2 + g/f are coming for the weekend and we’re hopefully going walking on Sunday.

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 27 January 2016

It’s been a bitty week with a jolly in the middle of it and getting distracted by other stuff, but it’s been okay.

Wednesday 20 January 2016
Wednesday started early as I had to run the poet to the railway station. He was off to Scotland for 2 days on business and I usually take him for his train.

Instead of going back to bed, I bumbled through the first part of the morning before warming up and writing a 538-word blog post, plus 41 words over on another blog. (Every little helps …)

Then I browsed the job boards and pitched for 7 new editing or proofreading jobs.

Thursday 21 January 2016
Thursday was a day off in the end. I did my usual morning admin/gig list work, but then it was off for a jolly with Carol, this time over in her neck of the woods (which is, actually, only 15 minutes away …). She took me to a lovely little café in a place called Hepworth, near Holmfirth. And on either side of lunch I had a lovely play with Sam the dog.

At teatime I was back at the railway station to collect the poet.

Friday 22 January 2016
On Friday I wrote a 311-word blog post for me, then a 30-word blog post and a 136-word blog post for the pro-bono project. And I did some other social media admin for the pro-bono project.

In the afternoon I updated the Pen & Sword page on this blog – you can follow the link here – adding 12 new books. I also added 14 new books to ALCS (I get a percentage on books I’ve edited) and 1 article.

Weekend
On Saturday we managed a research day/day out, travelling slightly further afield to Ripon in North Yorkshire. On Sunday we had a mini-session in Wormy’s kitchen, making lime meringue pie to go with our roast chicken dinner.

Monday 25 January 2016
Monday morning started a little late and I almost forgot to post the gig list gig request for the weekend. I wrote a 770-word blog post and updated the diary for the coming week – something I usually do on the previous Thursday, but I was out jollying. 😀

In the afternoon, I cranked up Scrivener and typed in 1,257 words for Catch the Rainbow, and I chased an overdue acknowledgement.

Tuesday 26 January 2016
Tuesday looks a little empty as I refer to my diary, as I must have forgotten to fill it in. I know I didn’t write any words, though. But again, I did surf the job board and I pitched for another 7 jobs.

I registered with 5 survey sites for when I have real down time.

Homework w/c 27 January 2016
I want to do some more work with Scrivener on Catch the Rainbow, and I’m awaiting some blog posts to edit for a new client … although I’ve been waiting since before Christmas (he did send me an email yesterday evening to say they were on the way).

I want to move on with the next part of my fiction writing course and I want to look at the story that came back to see if I can get it out to fave market before the end of Friday.

I’m STILL still waiting for the new cover for the new version of Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig Mystery. It’s almost there now, but we won’t be meeting the  29 January deadline.

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 13 January 2016

Welcome to the recently new followers. I hope you’ll stay a while and maybe join in.

Wednesday 6 January 2016
I had a very good writing day last Wednesday. I wrote 1,022 words for blog posts, and I wrote 573 words towards the 3rd assignment of my fiction writing course. This is a 3-part assignment, the 2nd part also consisting of 3 parts. The topic for this particular assignment was viewpoint, and this was the 2nd part of the assignment I did today.

In the afternoon I finished the author revisions for a book I’d edited before Christmas.

Thursday 7 January 2016
The following day consisted of gig list admin and diary work before writing 946 words for a walking blog. I did a little pro-bono work and I edited some captions for a book and sent those off.

In the afternoon I sketched out the basic idea for a short story for the 3rd part of my fiction writing assignment, using Scrivener again. Then I started a brand new edit, a big one, for one of my regular clients.

During the evening, after doing the weekly shopping, we dropped a job in to a publisher.

Friday 8 January 2016
On Friday I started a new blog feature and wrote 608 words. All of these lifestyle features are over on Baggins Bottom.  I wrote the first 856 words of the short story outlined the day before, and in the afternoon I continued with the new editing job.

On Friday night Monkey Dust had a gig over in Doncaster for a birthday party.

Weekend
Monkey Dust had another gig on Saturday evening, but on Sunday we went for another walk for material for (a) the blog, and (b) the walking book.

Monday 11 January 2016
Monday started with gig list admin and writing up 726 words for the walk blog. I wrote a further 488 words for the short story outlined last week, so finishing the first draft – and the first full short story completed this year so far – and I edited a further 40 pages of the big book.

Tuesday 12 January 2016
Yesterday started with another blog post/book content, just a little one coming to 325 words. Then I polished all of the 3rd assignment, including the short story, and got that sent off to my tutor.

In the afternoon I edited another 79 pages of the book – I did say it was a big one, there are still 106 pages to go.

Homework w/c 13 January 2016
Today I’d like to start reading the material for the 4th assignment of my fiction writing course, but at some point I’d also like to write another short story – this one for fave short story market in case I don’t get feedback in time for my January submission on the one I did for the course. I’d also like to start loading Catch the Rainbow onto Scrivener. I seem to have fallen in love with Scrivener … ❤

I still have those 106 pages to finish the hard copy edit on, then I’ll have the electronic edit to do. I’d like to get those done and the book sent back by the end of Friday.

This evening we were supposed to be going to a meeting for the pro-bono work, but we’ve had to cancel that. The poet has sent our apologies along with his first drafts of the logo and the event poster.

There are another 2 days of blog posts to come up with this week and I think we’ve already decided where this weekend’s walk will be. Then early next week I’ll be back on the job board looking for future work, if nothing comes in meanwhile.

What are you up to this week?