And so it begins – finally

I skipped a day this week, I missed Wednesday. That’s because apart from being really, really busy this week, I was also out running errands. Just LOOK at this week’s to-do list, though. (Link here.) There’s just one whole job that’s being carried over to next week (historical non fiction #3, which will become #2 next week) and one half a job (historical non fiction #2, which will become #1). But apart from that … didn’t she do well! I also sold a filler this week …

It’s been a wonderful week anyway, as people finally (finally!) started to pay me. And with several jobs finishing this week too, I’ve probably earned a whole month’s wages this week alone. It’s a pity it’s the wages I should have earned 3 months ago, but it’s still a start. And with the amount of work (and further wages) I have coming in the next few weeks, I can finally relax and do some of my own work as well for a change.

Yesterday I had 2 separate errands to run, and I almost decided against the 2nd one. But it was a run to the pet superstore to get his lordship a new ball. I’d already been out for one beautiful drive in the sunshine, and while on the road I managed to “write” the best part of an article in my head that I’d promised someone by the end of the day.

So as I’d earned a month’s wages already, as I’d already filed quite a few jobs, and as the drive might allow me to finish “writing” the article in my head, I decided to go for it, the dog would get his new ball, and he’d also come for a ride with me too. He ended up with TWO balls and a rubber bone, so he did very well out of it. And when I got back, the article was “finished” and I was able to dash it off in minutes, give it a quick proof, and send it on its merry way.

Today, then, I’ve printed off historical non fiction #2 (which will become #1 next week) and I’ll start to edit that. I’ll also do the invoices (hurrah! – there are LOADS of them). I have to book a hair appointment (I had to cancel the last 2), and I’ll take the dog for a walk. I think we may be shopping this evening, but the poet also has 2 guitars to restring (oops – both Ds, apparently) as he has another gig tomorrow night. OR we may do the shopping tomorrow. We’re also off for a big walk, probably on Sunday.

For March I’m looking ahead to taking part in the Leeds write-ins again, hopefully on alternate Saturdays when the poet isn’t fishing. I’m also booking in a daily slot to write 1,000 words a day and we think it needs to be a novel. I picked up 4 new writing books this week (2 were free, 2 were very cheap) and I intend to do some reading too.

I feel like I deserve one of these this week …

gold star

Have a great weekend.

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w/c 17 Feb: to do list

I had some good news last week. A short story I wrote over a year ago and submitted to a magazine last March was finally accepted. I have to do some work to it – lose 200 words and confirm something – but I was very happy to hear from them as it’s a favourite client. That’s 2 fillers and a short story I’ve had accepted or published in the last few weeks, and there was me thinking I might be losing my touch. Of course, I might be, but at least it’s given me some confidence back.

Two days before I was yearning to be back in Dentdale, but a quick check to see availability and a tentative message to the poet (to which I had one of the speediest replies ever), and we’re booked in for a full week in the summer. We have to pay the deposit, still, but because we’re returning customers, and because I went direct to the owner, it’s fairly cheap and he’s reserved the cottage for us anyway.

This is what I was a tad excited about, for those who noticed last week on Facebook. We’re also looking forward to spending 2 nights in Keswick for my birthday next month.

We had a good weekend with the poet’s first gig of the year. He has 2 more in February and then that’s it, I think, until April. Most of the band have asked for most of March off.

Much of this morning was spent doing shameless self-publicity; this afternoon I made a red trifle. I still have a few jobs to do today, but here, for now, is this week’s to do list:

  • shameless self-promotion 
  • diary work x 2 
  • blog x 3 √×
  • surf job boards daily x 5 
  • daily competitions x 5 
  • write walks report 
  • submit walks report to 6 local newspapers 
  • electronic edits on historical non fiction #1 
  • send historical non fiction #1 to author for checking 
  • send historical non fiction #1 for typesetting 
  • doctor’s appointment 
  • revise short story 
  • return short story to favourite client 
  • write editing article for writing anthology 
  • print off historical non fiction #2 
  • manual edits on historical non fiction #2
  • electronic edits on historical non fiction #2
  • send historical non fiction #2 to author for checking
  • send historical non fiction #2 for typesetting
  • invoices (hurrah! – there are LOTS)
  • check historical non fiction #3 3rd proofs
  • send historical non fiction #3 back to client
  • check historical non fiction #4 author amendments 
  • send historical non fiction #4 for typesetting 

What’s on your to do list this week?

The lovely little cottage where we stayed. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Looking forward to coming back here in the summer. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

w/c 10 Feb: to do list

I’ve been very busy trying to keep on top of the work I won while also trying to claw in some money. Being busy is one thing, but I can’t wait until I can carve some time out for my own work, and I can’t do that until people start to pay me on time and when they say they will.

The poet has relieved me of gig list duties as it was a non-earning chore and took away valuable time. I still forward messages and keep half an eye on things, but he’s picked it up very quickly and gets more chance to do updates than I did. He’s also able to do more maintenance, such as checking links work and taking them off if they don’t.

It’s still been a very busy time, though. But I’m getting there.

Here then, late, is this week’s to do list:

  • check job boards daily 
  • debt management daily x 5 
  • walk dog daily x 5 ××
  • write 1,000 words daily x 5 ××
  • daily comps x 5 ××
  • write blog x 3 ×√
  • finish electronic edits on client’s YA novel 
  • finish electronic edits on client’s non-fiction historical #1
  • manual edits on client’s non-fiction historical #2
  • electronic edits on client’s non-fiction historical #2
  • manual edits on client’s non-fiction historical #3
  • electronic edits on client’s non-fiction historical #3
  • check 3rd proofs on client’s non-fiction historical #4
  • check author comments on non-fiction historical #5
  • diary work
  • band practice
  • invoicing (hurrah!)
  • credit control (boo!)
  • 1 x gig

Gosh, even I feel faint after writing that lot out. I’d best crack on. But at the moment, I wish I was somewhere else today.

I wish I were here ...
I wish I was here … (Picture: Diane Parkin)

w/c 3 Feb: to do list

I didn’t get as much work done as I’d like on Friday, and Friday evening was initially spent shopping at the supermarket followed by a mad rush to get out to see one of our friends in his ska covers band. We made it before the end of the first set and were able to have a chat with him as well before they got up again. It was a good night and we tried their new kitchen for the first time … the poet wasn’t keen on the chips …

Saturday was mostly spent visiting my parents in Birmingham. We had a good run down and back, and a nice visit. Then Saturday evening we went out with the gig buddy and her husband for a meal and the tail end of another gig, and another good night.

On Sunday morning the “business manager” showed his face and we discussed the several novels I already have planned and mapped out, both in my head and on paper. He’d thought they were just ideas floating around the brain matter and was surprised at how much work I’ve already done on all of them. He gave me a good talking to and, supportive as ever, convinced me to just do it, just get cracking on one of them, and switch my critical brain OFF for the duration of the first draft at least.

Later that morning we went to collect the bird table and the outdoor cat kennel. We also dismantled my mini-greenhouse and made that safe and secure after the recent winds. The bird table was reassembled (again, it was damaged in the recent winds but repairable), and then we took the dog for a brisk walk around one of our local reservoirs. It was great to blow the cobwebs away for the first time in ages. The greenhouse may be coming over on the next trip.

When we got back the poet cooked a Sunday dinner and we baked. I made a fruit cake and he produced his fourth or fifth loaf of the week. He’s making bread almost every day now, and it’s very nice.

Sunday evening we chilled and recovered from a busy but very satisfying and productive weekend, where we managed to get a lot done.

This morning has so far been mostly spent trying to pay the council tax bill, but the website was down and then the payments line didn’t work. I got through to the council tax office to let them know I couldn’t pay, and within minutes the website was back up and running again.

Here are the rest of this week’s jobs so far:

  • surf job boards daily x 5
  • daily competitions x 5
  • write and submit walks report to 6 local newspapers
  • write blog x 3 
  • walk dog daily x 5
  • write 1,000 words per day x 5
  • tackle debt management plan daily x 5
  • daily banking x 5 
  • edit non-fiction history book …
  • … send non-fiction history book back to author via publisher
  • proofread YA book  …
  • … send  YA book back to author
  • gig list weekly update
  • continue to explore gig list Facebook page
  • diary work
  • edit new non-fiction history book …
  • … send new non-fiction history book back to author
  • invoices (hurrah!)

What’s on your to do list this week?