A week of ups and downs

It’s been a week of ups and downs this week, and a very busy one as a result. But there’s some good news in here too. Some very good news.

The week started well with me cracking on with another big editing job. It was actually due in the previous day, Sunday. But I warned the “handler” at the publisher that it might be a few days over as I had some last minute queries. I promised her that the author would have it back by the end of Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest.

On Tuesday I had technological gremlins. First of all my desktop, when I switched it on, went into an automatic repair … Uh? I didn’t even know it was broken! But this auto-repair went into loop and I had to over-ride it in the end to try and boot it up in safe mode.

But it wouldn’t let me boot up in safe mode either. And after that also went into loop, I over-rode it again and decided to restore to an earlier date. Of course, my heart dropped at that as I thought there was bound to be a load of critical data now lost (that I’d have to retrieve from backup), and I thought I’d have to reload all of my preferences and software, etc.

The restore date was actually 1am on Monday 17 July … and I hadn’t done any work on the pc at all on Monday. So this was very good news. The system restore took some time, but we got there in the end.

I settled down to some work, and then took the Kindle Fire into the conservatory to work in there … and the Kindle Fire also went into loop, trying to collect emails from my Yahoo account.

In the end I had to ask Kindle to call me and log a call. I spent half an hour with the lady there who had to pass me to someone else in the end as it was a fix she couldn’t do … and when the someone else came on, it turned out there was a known issue on the Kindle email app! And nothing to do with my Kindle or my Yahoo at all.

So we removed the Kindle email app and installed the Yahoo Mail app instead – and all is working well again.

I lost a lot of time on Tuesday, and I was already behind on that editing job … so I worked overtime on Tuesday evening.

And when I came to switch off for the day, I found that Word had lost ALL of my edits, despite having auto-backup and saving at the end of each page!

Meanwhile, last Thursday I’d dropped a book proposal in to the publishers I edit for. It was a history of a very big confectionery company … and I included samples. The samples went down so well that the commissioning person there shared it on Facebook, giving me full marks for making it stand out! (I’d been dropping this book proposal in for three weeks, but we kept on eating the samples … so this time I went straight from the supermarket …)

At 6:23am on Wednesday, an email came in from the commissioning person … with a formal contract offer! Wahey!  And had I not been so busy trying to catch up with the editing job, Wednesday might have passed in a very smug cloud of contentment.

The rest of Wednesday morning went by in a whirl as emails – and the contract – bounced back and forth. And I asked if lovely-already-boss could be my handler, as we’ve sort of worked together for almost as long as he’s been there and definitely as long as I’ve been working for them.

Wednesday afternoon I needed to pull myself together and crack on with that edit and redo everything that had been lost the day before … I also had some proofs in by now that also needed to be back by Friday. [Gulp!]

At 9am on Thursday the phone rang … and I didn’t come off the phone again until midday. I was still in my dressing gown, and I hadn’t even had a cup of tea let alone any breakfast. It was all very important personal stuff, but DIDN’T THEY KNOW I HAD DEADLINES?!

By the time we finished, I had something to eat and then battened down the hatches. I had to finish the edit, and I had to finish the proofreading too. AND I had a contract to read and sign.

I did it, though. By the time the poet had cooked us beans on toast for tea and was ready to go to band practice, I’d done all three jobs: I’d finished the edit and sent it back to the author; I’d checked the proofs and packaged them for the handler; and I’d read, altered, initialled and signed the contract and packaged that up to go back too.

Then I dropped the poet off at band practice, did the weekly shopping, collected him again, and hand-delivered the proofreading and the book contract. Phew!

I’m taking today off!

How has your week been?

Update

March has been a bit busy … apologies for going AWOL. Nothing has been wrong, all is well. I’ve just been really, really busy.

The month began with the tail end of an editing job finally delivered on 7 March.  It was followed almost immediately with two new editing jobs from lovely-already-boss, and a proofreading job.

The first of those editing jobs has been completed this morning and sent to the author for review (and, actually, acknowledged just this instant by said author).

Fortunately, there’s no mad rush on the other editing job, so I can whizz through the proofreading job during what’s left of this week.

Editing job #3 (for the month) will also be started later this week.

In between all of that, I started planning work on a new novel, The Fool. And in between that, I’ve tried to keep on top of the 52 books in 52 weeks writers’ guides reviews. We’re currently in week 13, though, and I’m just finishing book 10, so I still have some catching up to do there. Priority goes as usual to the paid jobs and writing work of my own.

The other major job I’ve been working away at has been finalising Diary of a Scaredy Cat. It’s taken me a few attempts to get the font size right and then to remember to put the title fonts back in and make sure all new chapters start on a facing page and update the contents page … But I think it’s there now … it has to be, as I want it released by the end of this week. So yeah, I also published a book.

The word-count meter hasn’t gone up much this month, but I still have a few days left to add to the total. That will all be more planning work on The Fool now, as I take a breather from publishing.

I had a birthday at the beginning of the month too, and one of the poet’s gifts was a lap desk, so I can work in the conservatory when it’s nice in there, or in the living room when it’s too cold at my desk. The picture is in the conservatory, and the books are for The Fool, as well as Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, another birthday present from the poet.

So that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. I hope you didn’t miss me too much, and do please come back later this week for further Scaredy Cat news!

January round-up

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Picture: Ian Wordsworth

January has not been a great start to 2017 for me, work-wise. I’ve been lazy, unmotivated and easily distracted. I think the biggest problem was I didn’t set myself a total word-count target for the month and, as a result, I’ve written hardly anything.

I have had one book each in from two clients, one to edit and one to proofread. I’ll be finishing both of these today and tomorrow, so January won’t have been a total washout.

The other client I had, I knocked on the head because he was sending me far too much work, wanting it all done NOW, and then forgetting how much he’d agreed to pay for it, trying to renegotiate several weeks after invoices were already overdue.

I have two books of my own I want to start working through, Mardi Gras (which was my 2015 NaNoWriMo project), and Catch the Rainbow (the first draft I finally finished for my 2016 NaNoWriMo project). I haven’t touched either.

I have two books of my own I want to finish writing, Diary of a Scaredy Cat, which has been on the verge of being published for several months now, and Ideas for Writers and What to do with Them, of which readers have been getting sneaky peaks.

And then there is the short story work, which ground to a halt when another previously approachable short fiction market in the UK slammed its doors.

All of these things I should have worked on, and I’ve not worked on one. PLUS, I promised to review fifty-two writers’ guides in fifty-two weeks and I’ve managed two-and-and-a-half.

Therefore, this “January round-up” is fast turning into “plans for February, because I didn’t pull my finger out in January”.

Today I have some serious diary work to do, I have at least one of the client books to finish, and I have today and tomorrow to knock a short story into shape to get it submitted to a still-existing UK fiction market before the end of tomorrow. I also need to re-start my word-count and work-load tracker in Excel.

I’d best crack on … or quack on, courtesy of today’s picture of a duck. 🙂

Diary of a freelance writer: 11 May 2016

Wow, looks like I made it in on time this week!

Things have eased off this past week. The poet starts his new job today and we found a house. So that means I have my office and my schedule back again – although I do have a dentist appointment this afternoon … 😦  The house is eerily quiet without him … and I have to make my own lunch!

So I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things, and here’s how the past week went.

Wednesday 4 May 2016
On Wednesday I wrote 761 words for a blog post and I did all the usual admin work, including surveys, daily competitions, and so on. Extra work this week, however, included catching up on the washing after our weekend away camping.

I also had a dentist appointment.

Thursday 5 May 2016
On Thursday, it was all admin and laundry again before going shopping – for our weekly groceries and some camping equipment. I did manage an extra blog, though, and I wrote 709 words.

Friday 6 May 2016
On Friday the poet had a second interview for a job in Rotherham, and he was made an offer before even getting back into his car – which he accepted. When he was given a start date of Wednesday (i.e. today) he had mixed emotions – first of all he was delighted and over the moon and glad to cancel all other job-search-related appointments, but then he said he’d rather have had a little more time at home. However, as we’ve also been forced into house-hunting, it was important he get back to work as soon as possible for the credit checks and references, etc.

I wrote a very short blog post of only 71 words.

Weekend
Much of the weekend consisted of family time and chill time.

Monday 9 May 2016
Monday was a house-hunting day. We had second viewings on 2 properties, but plumped for the one in the middle of nowhere that comes with local fishing rights, more farm animals and, erm, peacocks …

Tuesday 10 May 2016
Tuesday was mostly new house and new job admin and appointments, but I also managed another blog post of 316 words – perhaps I’m getting back into the swing of things.

Homework w/c 11 May 2016
I’m not doing a list this week because it hasn’t changed at all since last week. I do, however, have a dentist appointment today (as already mentioned), and I’m mostly catching up with getting back in the swing of work.

We have complimentary press passes for a gig in Wakefield tonight and I have press releases to do for the pro-bono project that climaxes this coming weekend.

I also have a lovely new book in from lovely-already-boss (fresh off his holidays) to edit, and another to proofread for him.

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?