Diary of a freelance writer, 30 September 2015

Where does this go? What do you find? (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

I managed to come in on my regular Wednesday this week. That must bode well.

How did your week go? Did you try those 10-minute exercises? Or the extra homework on Friday? Much of my week has been hidden beneath a mountain of other work again, but I think I’ve kickstarted myself again.

Last Thursday I resumed the heavy edit I’d abandoned for the heavy proofread. I started the electronic edits, but it really is proving quite tedious and tiring.

My day was also disrupted by (a) a running overflow, and (b) waiting in for and then entertaining the plumber. The only writing work I managed was the diary of a freelance writer. Oh, and a few notes.

I managed a little writing work on Friday, general stuff, nothing huge. I continued with a little more of the heavy edit and I raised one of the 2 invoices (hurrah!).

There was some thinking time too on Friday, and a bit of a Eureka! moment.

Last month, when I started my think/query/write/submit process, I got fixated on thinking April 2016 pieces and then querying them too. And when I didn’t receive a full set of replies, I started to consider chasing them. However, it hit me than that I only needed to be thinking April. Had the routine already been in place, I would also be querying March, writing February and submitting January. It was too early to be querying April too.

So, this month, that means that while I would normally be thinking May, querying April, writing March and submitting February, what I really should be doing, as it’s only the start, is thinking May and querying April. Had I already done the other work, then I’d be writing and submitting too.

Still with me? Cool.

Basically it means I can stop beating myself up about the April stuff. I can query 3 new magazines this month, with 3 new ideas, and stick to just thinking about May.

Due to a 2-gig weekend, much of the rest of the time was dedicated to domestic stuff rather than extra writing work. On Saturday I managed more notes, more “5 ideas for 7 days”. But generally, we were busy doing other things.

On Monday I hoped to be back in the saddle, but after writing the blog for the day, the rest of the day just went downhill. I wasted good writing time waiting in for a delivery that never arrived. I wasted more good writing time writing emails, Facebook posts, Tweets and making phone calls. And I wasted good editing time going out to buy the goods that never arrived from somewhere else instead.

I managed a second blog, although it was quite the rant. But it did push the word count up a little for the day.

I chased the plumber. He should be arranging a day to come and do the work, which will mean more disruption.

Tuesday was better. Much better. I joined in a current WiP meme on Facebook that got me back in touch with CATCH THE RAINBOW. I wrote a further “5 ideas for 7 days” plus an extra 5 too for good measure (so I have a choice, and so I have some throwaways). And I wrote 2 brand new scenes for CATCH THE RAINBOW.

I also checked the current requirements for one of my favourite short story markets, and as they’re working on January/February at the moment, I looked for a few vague February-related topics I might be able to weave a story around.

I completed module 9 of my fiction writing course and am now ready to tackle the next assignment. I had to study modules 5 – 9 for this assignment, but I see from the next assignment that I have to go back and study modules 4 – 9 again.

And then I continued with the heavy edit. I need to get that one shifted and invoiced so I can start the next one. It’s boring me now and that’s never good.

Your homework for this week, should you wish to join in:

  1. Look at the photograph above. Imagine yourself following that path. Where does it take you? What do you find? Who is down there? Write a short story based on your findings.
  2. Start preparing for your think/query/write/submit tasks this coming month. They’re going to be (in order) May/April/March/February.