The time has come …

… the walrus said …

Well, actually he didn’t. Because the time has come for me to start pulling out all the stops. It’s time for me to kick ass and get on with work. With a vengeance. The time has come for me to start getting up earlier, just an hour earlier, and fit more into my working day. If I want the weekends off, and I do, I need to make the weekdays work and earn their keep.

I want to start the day with 1,000 words on Catch the Rainbow. If I do 1,000 words a day, every day, including weekends, by the end of February I should have 80,000 words and a first draft ready to start editing and re-working. Once I get that first draft finished I can go through finding the holes in my research and adding the bits I’ve missed or didn’t know. The 40th anniversary of the Birmingham pub bombings is 2014. I need to finish the book and get it submitted by the end of 2012.

Once Catch the Rainbow is done, I can get back onto The Fool.

I’m not sure whether taking the dog on his imaginary walk next is a good idea or counter-productive. I started to take him at the end of the working day because I was too tired to do anything when we came back in. But walking at the end of the day means mud and dark, whereas walking at about 10am means daylight and crisp frost. So this is something I need to experiment with.

I will still do my (week) daily blog and my (week) daily competitions. Monday takes the longest with the comps as there are all the ones added at the weekend. But once Monday is done, it only takes the time it takes to drink a cuppa – 20 minutes tops.

The gig list is a weekly chore now, and takes less than an hour, apart from at the end of the month when I upload the bulk of the following month. Then it takes slightly more than an hour but usually less than 2 hours.

Book marketing will be moving to fortnightly, or perhaps monthly, so that will be a 2-hour block instead of the current weekly 1-hour block. Again, I’ll experiment a bit with this.

Drafts of articles and stories take different lengths of time, depending on how long they are and how much knowledge I already have. I allow an hour now for the planning phase and usually 2 hours for draft 1, and 1 hour for drafts 2 and 3 The editing and submission phase takes a minute or so. If an article is just a 100-word filler, I should be able to manage the draft 1 phase in less than an hour.

The biggest complication I can’t plan for is the books I proof and edit. I don’t know when they’re coming in until the last moment, and sometimes they take less than a day (7 hours) and sometimes they take 3 days (21 hours) but over a couple of weeks when I already have other things booked in, like appointments and such. It would be great if this job could balance itself out as that would help immensely with the planning stage (i.e. fave diary task).

One solution is to do the diary and leave a 2-hour block at the end of each day for if/when work like this comes in. The diary’s done in pencil anyway and I can easily move stuff forward if a book doesn’t come in. It’s harder to push stuff backwards.

I intend to start my working day at 8am and finish at 6pm with an hour for lunch and a morning and afternoon break.

I’ve not had time to do any yoga. I want to fit that in at least 3 times a week if I can’t do it daily. I also want to dust off the Wii balance board and get the Wii Fit Plus up and running again as I can set my own routines. I’ve already asked for a Wii game for Christmas, I picked up a DS Lite game and I got a search party out for my Kindle as I’d not seen it since Edinburgh in August,  so that these gadgets get used.

I’ve cancelled my Sky subscription. There is plenty to watch on the free channels without me booking in more time-wasting, plus I have DVDs and films on my DVD player hard drive to watch. Hey, I’ve never seen Star Wars and there they all are on my hard drive. Plus I also have lots and lots of books to read. I must make it a resolution not to buy a single book in 2012.

At the weekends (which I have off, if you recall …) I want to do more baking and batch cooking to (a) save money, (b) know what I’m eating, and (c) save time in the week. If I cook a proper meal I usually make a bit extra so I can rustle something up quite quickly after work. And on Sundays I want to be out with the Ramblers more often, but this needs Rufus (and me!) up to at least 5-mile walks.

So as you can see I have a lot to think about there – as ever – and I’ve not even started on the 2012 plan …

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