A diary I can work with

Whilst I may have been AWOL recently, I was settling into a system I can work with, having given up on trying to get up 2 hours earlier or working into the evening.

My optimum start to the working day is 9am, and my optimum finish is 5pm. I have a coffee break in the morning, a dinner break midday, and a tea break in the afternoon. His Lordship’s dog walk is the last job of the day at 5pm. If I need to get something to the post office, however, I’ll swap the dog walk and the afternoon tea break around. If I have a brief meeting in town, or an appointment, the dog comes with me and I walk him on the way home.

This is working really well. I’m filling the time between with writing work, daily yoga practice, whichever project I’m currently working on, and one regular job every day – walk report, weekly banking, gig list, weekly diary work, invoices/book-keeping. My Friday “project time” is my own non-fiction book. When I can see gaps ahead in the diary, I’ll also slot in a surf of the job boards.

If I sleep in, for whatever reason, I don’t beat myself up. I just start the working day an hour later and carry on until every job for that day has been ticked. Likewise, if I get up earlier (for whatever reason), I’ll start earlier and, therefore, either finish earlier or give myself longer for my own writing.

If I’m up against it, deadline-wise, then I put in the extra graft. But I like having evenings and weekends in which to do other stuff, either around the house, on other hobbies or out and about.

The 30k in 30 days in April challenge is working really well for shifting my own short works. When I’ve run out of short works (to make sure I have plenty of material doing the rounds), I’ll transfer over to novel work – I have plenty to choose from, after all. I’m hoping that by then I’ll be in the habit of regularly writing 1,000 words a day, or so, and the novel writing will come more easily. Crossing off another draft of an article, story, filler or reader’s letter is really good motivation, and by the end of the month there should be a fair few winging their ways around the markets. I’ll dedicate a whole blog post to the 30k in 30 days challenge.

I recently re-activated my Sky subscription and am currently catching up on a few series I had to do without whilst tightening the belt. Once I’ve caught up, evenings will once again be novel writing time. I need to do some planning for the current novel and the book Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris is still helping with that. But my Sky time is also my fun time at the moment, and I don’t see the point in working for yourself if you don’t get to enjoy any time to yourself as well.

Due to the recent fracture, which is finally healing – and to prove it we did the 200+ mile round trip and went to visit my parents on Sunday when I wan’t planning on going until next weekend – I’m about a fortnight behind with my work and frantically trying to catch up. But with this first long-distance drive under my belt, I can now think about going to the seaside again, or up to the Yorkshire Dales or the North York Moors or over to the Peak District again.

BUT … the diary is currently working, I’m hardly changing anything (and it’s always in pencil so that things can be moved around if/when necessary), there are lots of ticks, and I’m getting stuff done. Lots of stuff. Today I’ve been steadily editing an auto-biography and I’ve done the walks report. I’ve also done my daily yoga and I’ve walked the dog.

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