Diary of a freelance writer: 2 November 2016

It’s been a MUCH better week for me work-wise. Perhaps finally I can get back into things and be more productive and more successful.

A much shorter diary this time! 🙂

Wednesday 26 October 2016
Wednesday was a good day. I wrote a whopping 1,811 words just for one blog (this one), and this will be going towards another collection in the future, which is why I count them.

I also pitched for 2 proofreading or editing jobs. And I started my tax return.

On the evening while Monkey Dust had band practice, I did our weekly shopping. This saves us so much time, freeing up days at the weekend to do more, erm, “research” trips.

Thursday 27 October 2016
Thursday is gig list admin day and this time I not only remembered to schedule a post, but I scheduled it a day early!

I did some Scrivener admin. I think I have the hang of this now and am setting up templates the way I like them so that they export to Word without too much work at the other end.

I finished the tax return, and I had an email from lovely-already-boss asking if I wanted any more work and to chase him if he forgets to send any. (Note to self: Chase lovely-already-boss! 😉 )

Friday 28 October 2016
Friday was a short day. I always finish earlier on a Friday now. But not before I’d raised an invoice (hurrah!) and done some more Scrivener admin. I pretty much decided what I was doing for NaNoWriMo this year (I’m being a rebel), so I wanted to get Scrivener *and* Catch the Rainbow ready for that.

We finished slightly earlier today than usual on a Friday as we were off to Birmingham again to collect the replacement glass unit for the cat-flap. Everyone will be pleased to know that it fit this time!

On the way to Birmingham we posted my tax return by special delivery, and on the way home we also dropped in to see both lots of parents.

Weekend
On Saturday the poet transferred the actual cat-flap from the one double-glazed unit into the other one and then fitted it in the door. It was our friend’s birthday and Monkey Dust had a gig on the evening.

On Sunday we managed our first walk in a looooooonnnnnnggggg time. It was supposed to be only a mile or so, but was actually just over 3 miles. And, actually, we were quite pleased with ourselves.

Monday 31 October 2016
Monday morning was busy with various visitors coming to see me, so that disrupted work time a little. However, I still managed to write 416 words for a blog post.

During the afternoon the poet had a hospital check-up following his scare over the summer. And we’re delighted to know that there was nothing serious or sinister going on. It seems he had a chronic attack of sinusitis and the infection spread from his sinuses to his ear to his eye and to his brain. No lasting damage and all cleared up now, apart from the usual flare-up he tends to get. But we’re to keep an eye on it if he gets particularly blocked again.

It was Halloween, but living at the end of a track on an isolated farm meant we had NO trick-or-treaters. This is good because we both agree that it’s an overseas tradition that seems to have crept in over here, and as we’re both quite traditionally English, that was fine by us. Not that I’ve ever minded having a house full of sweets, but we would have ended up with ALL of them this time.

Tuesday 1 November 2016
Tuesday was the first day of NaNoWriMo 2016, and a very productive and surprising day for me.

The day started with new month admin, which I really need to start scheduling into the diary. I usually start two new threads each month for the Seriously Serious Scribes, but with NaNoWriMo this month, I had an extra thread to start and an extra announcement to pin to the top.

I also created the new month page on my tracker spreadsheet, and had to come up with two word-count targets, one for NaNo and one for other writing stuff. I’m being cautious on the “other” as NaNo might drain the creative well a little. So my daily target (every day) for NaNo is 1,667 words and my daily target (every working day) for “other” is 500. That’s a total target of 60,500 words for November …

… I’ll pause a moment while we all take that in …

Anyway, the eagle-eyed amongst us will have seen that I managed 1,689 words for NaNo (hurrah!), and I also managed 586 words for “other” (hurrah!).

My Outlook fell over on Tuesday too and wouldn’t load. So I spent some time investigating what had gone on there, and tried 3 recommended fixes … the third one worked. I needed to reset my navigation pane, apparently. But that was another unscheduled chore I finished.

I use Outlook for my to-do list and for reminders at the end of each hourly segment. It also reminds me to go and make a cup of tea every so often and also take a dinner break.

Homework w/c 2 November 2016
This week’s homework, then, is mostly NaNoWriMo and whatever other writing I have to do in between. I have one book to edit already in and another one due early next week. And, of course, I have to chase lovely-already-boss.

I don’t think there are any scheduled interruptions for the following week, but I never rule them out.

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 17 August 2016

Well! There’s nothing like a holiday to make you come back to work refreshed and raring to go. It’s been a very busy week since my last diary post, and there have even been extra blog posts. I also crashed through the 20,000-word mark for CATCH THE RAINBOW (did you see the word meter in the side bar?)

Wednesday 10 August 2016
My day is now very clearly split between “my time” and “retainer time”, and during my time I created my new monthly tracker spreadsheet (it was a week late) and I wrote 1,166 words for a blog post.

In the afternoon I finished the editing work I’d started before we went on holiday.

Thursday 11 August 2016
On Thursday, in the morning I downloaded and applied a Scrivener update, I did some gig list admin, and I wrote 642 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW.

In the afternoon, I created a book schedule for lovely-retainer-boss, so we both know we both know what books I have, and I started to play with a sort-of online T-card system the poet had found for me, Trello.

Friday 12 August 2016
On Friday I wrote 2 blog posts, one of 594 words and the other of 296 words. I raised some invoices. (Hurrah!) And then I wrote 673 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW.

Weekend
Apart from a quick visit to see one lot of parents on Saturday, the weekend was spent chilling, dossing, gardening, baking, and basically doing diddley squat. We don’t often get a weekend off, and when we do, we’re still mega-busy.

Monday 15 August 2016
The new week dawned with another 2 blog posts, one of 433 words and the other of 368 words. I raised another invoice. (Hurrah!) And I wrote a massive 1,369 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW cold, i.e. without even an outline.

In the afternoon I tried to edit a book, but it had somehow become corrupted. We’re trying to sort this out as best as we can between us.

Tuesday 16 August 2016
On Tuesday, yesterday, I wrote 453 words for the blog and 323 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW – these words, despite having notes and an outline, didn’t come as easily as the 1,369 of the previous day … food for thought.

In the afternoon I started a work-around on the corrupted edit.

Homework w/c 17 August 2016
This coming week I want to crack on a lot more with CATCH THE RAINBOW. I also want to carry on with the corrupted edit as there are 4 more books to do after that one.

Beyond that, it’s more of the same really.

What are you up to this week?

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: 6 January 2016

Welcome to the new home for Diary of a Freelance Writer. Here is where you’ll find my weekly exploits in the world of writing, editing and proofreading. For diaries up to this date, see Tales From Baggins Bottom and do a search for “diary of a freelance writer”.

Wednesday 16 December 2015
I had an editing job I wanted to finish before Christmas for lovely-already-boss, so much of my pre-Christmas work-time was spent clearing that. I also wrote 592 words that day – not great but 592 words are better than 0 words.

Thursday 17 December 2015
An email came in from lovely-already-boss warning me of some extra work on a particularly hateful job I’d completed several weeks previously. This was a thorn in the publisher’s side right from the off and it took me a very long time to complete. I expected there to be issues, but not the day before I broke up for Christmas.

I advised lovely-already-boss that I was breaking up until 4 January, but if that was fine for him to still send it to me. It arrived on the Saturday …

I did more of the job I wanted to finish for him and I did some admin work on both the gig list and the pro-bono project.

I had an early finish as we were off to see Roy Wood’s Christmas show at Holmfirth.

Friday 18 December 2015
Friday consisted mostly of tying up loose ends, finishing the editing job I wanted to finish by Christmas (hurrah!), invoicing for said job (hurrah!), and other odds and ends. I set my out-of-office auto-reply, and a couple of automatic posts for the gig list, and enjoyed another early finish. After all, it was mad Friday and I was off out on a date with my husband. 🙂

Christmas break 2015
We didn’t do very much over Christmas at all regarding work. We did our last minute Christmas shopping (for each other) and the food shopping. We visited family, delivered gifts, welcomed family, went out, enjoyed 2 walks … although, actually, the walks will probably count as “research trips” as I did a lot of thinking about the writing business and where I wanted it to be by the end of 2016.

Many of my intentions can be found in the first post of the year, here.

We were off from 18 December to 4 January.

Monday 4 January 2016
Back to work after a lovely break, and I started with the new blog and the new ideas for the old blog. I did some gig list admin, and some band admin for Monkey Dust, I updated the tracker spreadsheet and added in the bits for January (the tracker will follow my financial year to 5 April), I completed the diary for the week, and I wrote 601 words on one of the new projects.

The blog I wrote today was the first of my “walk” posts, only an introduction, but a little taster. These come into the wordcount because, ultimately, they’ll – hopefully – be turned into books. When this one is complete it will include proper OS maps and routes not necessarily shared on the blog, and photographs.

With this new blog being dedicated to work, I offered to do my first author interview for a friend’s ex-student who publishes her first book next week.

Just as I was signing off for the day, new-repeat-client dropped me an email asking if I could edit a book that will take the best part of the next 2 weeks. Very handy.

Later that evening I heard from the new author and I offered her a slot on Monday 18 January. Please note it in your diaries and try to visit that day to give her some support. Thank you. 🙂

Tuesday 5 January 2016
Yesterday, I spent some time on one of the job boards in case the new job didn’t materialise, but it did and we agreed terms. So I was able to navigate away from the job board this week as I’m now “busy” (hurrah!).

I wrote the first of my “kitchen garden from scratch” blogs over on Baggins Bottom and managed 743 words. When this book is complete it will include various practical projects and additional lessons learned that won’t necessarily always make it onto the blog, and – of course – more photographs.

I wanted to catch up with my fiction writing course and was determined to do something on that today, but I booted up my Scrivener to have a go at a short story on there, expecting to just open some index cards and write some notes …

I rattled out the whole of the 750-word assignment for part 1 and exported it to .rtf, where I tweaked the layout a little to my own preferences. It was so easy! Why have I not used Scrivener before?!

In all I managed 1,497 words over 2 projects (the assignment came to 754 words).

I started the horrid revisions and made it to the end of the proofreader’s feedback. And I started the new edit as a little light relief.

Homework w/c 6 January 2016
I have author feedback to look at on the horrid edit today and the new edit to continue with.

All being well, there may be 2 more blog posts over on Baggins Bottom this week, one on “my fat year” and the other another “walk”. Then there may be 2 more at the start of next week. Today’s post over there will, however, link back to this one.

I have work to do on the pro-bono project this week as we have a meeting next Wednesday, and I want to carry on with my fiction writing assignment. I have 450 words to write for part 2 and up to 2,000 words to write for part 3. I’d like to get all of that off by the end of this diary week.

Monkey Dust have 2 gigs this weekend, but we hope to manage another walk either Saturday or Sunday.

How did your last few weeks go? And what are you up to this coming week?