Diary of a freelance writer, 7 October 2015

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareI’ve had another busy week, I’m pleased to say. How has your week been? Did last week’s picture inspire you to write anything?

I’ve not even started my monthly routine of think/query/write/submit yet. I’ve been busy doing other things – mostly 2 very heavy edits. There’s light at the end of that particular tunnel now, though. I’m hoping the last one will be gone by the end of today. It’s taking a very, very long time.

One of the things I’ve been busy thinking about is this year’s NaNoWriMo. I start it every year, and every year I vow to complete it. But every year my writing stalls, and because I’m not doing any other writing, I don’t get any done.

This year I plan to still attempt my working 1,000 words per day, either on CATCH THE RAINBOW or on other material. But I’m also allocating time to NaNo, around 2 hours a day if I can – and the weekends. Hopefully then, if my NaNo stalls, I still have other writing to be getting on with, and vice versa.

So I’ve signed up again, but I’m still not decided which project to work on and currently have 2 in the planning stages to see how much mileage they might have. I want something to romp along at a pace so I don’t lose interest, but I also don’t want to run out of steam.

On Wednesday I started my writing session with 5 ideas for 7 days (6). Then I wrote a short but new scene for CATCH THE RAINBOW in an attempt to get back into the habit. I raised a whole invoice – on request (hurrah!) – and I did some reading work. Then I had to skip study work to do one of those heavy edits.

Thursday was 1 October, and that meant new month admin – updating the word-count and the workload spreadsheets, moving everything along and making sure all the words carried forward were in the right place.

In diary work, for the first time ever I moved writing work up to the first actual work slot of each day for the following week’s diary. I wanted to see how it went before making it a permanent fixture. (So far, so good …) And I wrote another short but new scene for CATCH THE RAINBOW before slogging on with that heavy edit.

On Friday I wrote yet more of CATCH THE RAINBOW and I made inroads into the heavy edit, and I worked solidly, all day, until about 7pm.

On Saturday we had a football game to go to, but before we went I did more of the heavy edit, and when we got back I finished it and submitted it. (Hurrah!) I finished work on Saturday at 8pm and was shattered. I didn’t get any writing work done, or any research visits, as we were already busy.

I finally managed some NaNo prep on Monday, I finished the 5 ideas for 7 days (7), selecting one of those as a possible for NaNo, and I wrote a huge chunk of CATCH THE RAINBOW. Then it was back to the other heavy edit I’d put to one side to finish the first one. I’d already put this to one side to squeeze in a heavy proofread, so that one needs to go this week.

Yesterday I narrowed my NaNo choices down to 2: a YA time travelling mystery or a regular contemporary mystery leaning towards the mystical. I wrote another new scene for CATCH THE RAINBOW, and I had a play with book jackets, setting up an account on Amazon’s CreateSpace.

Now, I’ve always used Lulu for my own self-publishing, but their book jacket software has always felt a bit restrictive. We’re going to be re-releasing all of the previously self-published books by Diane Parkin with new jackets and a new byline – Diane Wordsworth. I had found a book jacket design website at Canva, but when I tried to log on yesterday – on Opera – it wouldn’t let me, saying they didn’t support my browser and would I please install Chrome. Well, no actually. I removed Chrome for some very good reasons (to me). And, anyway, I don’t like to be told what to install on my own computer.

So I did a search, and while I’m trying to move away from Amazon – again, for various reasons – their CreateSpace seemed to be the best one available.

Now, I happen to be married to an artist, and he wants to design the new book covers. But as neither of us have any experience designing book covers, I think playing on things like Lulu and CreateSpace might be very useful for if and when we buy any software. We already have and pay for Serif PhotoPlus, and that can apparently be used for book covers. But we need to know how to do it first and what looks good.

So yesterday, I played with book covers and, while I was there, I uploaded a new version of NIGHT CRAWLER, with a new ISBN and a temporary new cover. I love the old cover, and I love the large print cover, but we’re trying to stylise them all so they have a theme. It’s not re-published yet, the poet has to come up with an illustration and we have to decide on that theme first. But it’s not far off.

I did more of that heavy edit, but I really need to shift that now. Tomorrow I think I’m out in the afternoon, and afternoons are my editing time.

Here is your homework for this week, then, for those who want it:

  1. Sign-up for NaNoWriMo and send me a buddy request.
  2. Blitz 3 ideas that could be used for NaNo.

Incidentally, the diary may be moving to Friday during NaNoWriMo (i.e. November), to free up more writing time in the week.


2 thoughts on “Diary of a freelance writer, 7 October 2015

  1. I’ve finished a book edit and I’m over the hump of a very busy patch. I’m trying not to take on too much work as I have literacy coordinating commitments to factor in again, now that school is back in full swing, and I’m reading for the RNA awards. Someone has approached me about editing their autobiography, but I’ve already warned them that I’m quite busy at the moment – plus I think I need to slow down a little! Nice as the money is, I’ve been really pushing it lately and I think it’s time to rest on my laurels and regular work a bit!

    I swore I wouldn’t do Nano again, as it’s really not the best time of year for me. I wish you well with it, though! 😀


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