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.

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?

w/c 20 Jan: to do list

Well, that’s not bad, is it? Only 3 days into the new working week in the new working/living regime and I’m up to speed, back to normal.

I’m getting used to lots of things, such as sleeping in a strange place, keeping the animals happy (as the cats aren’t allowed out yet properly, although that hasn’t stopped Domino sitting on the new patio), wondering what all of these fancy gadgets are and how they work …

Hopefully, once in the swing of things, the money will start to trickle in again too, and even that has begun, with PLR due in February, Kindle royalties next week, interest on the bank account (yes, actual, proper interest, no matter how small), and ALCS due in March. I’ve also had work come in, brand new and 2nd proofs. So, all is good – so far.

I don’t think I included a link yet to the filler I had published in the Guardian on Saturday. For those who haven’t already seen it, here it is. My Playlist is the 2nd one down. And that’s the Guardian added to the CV. 🙂

Here, then, is this week’s to do list, which actually started on Monday but is now formally confirmed:

  • daily banking 
  • blog x 3 
  • daily competitions 
  • daily job search 
  • send contact details to the Guardian 
  • send bank details to the Guardian
  • walk dog daily x 3
  • query Three (mobile phone provider) about poor signal in new location 
  • collect new home signal booster box, delivered by Three 
  • diary work x 2 
  • update gig list 
  • write 1,000 words a day x 3
  • 2nd pass of client’s non-fiction book 
  • edit new non-fiction book
  • attend test drive of music desk x 2 
  • invoices (hurrah!)
  • Do Diddle Day (hurrah!)

Just look at all of those ticks already. I’ve also pitched for 9 jobs .

What’s on your to do list this week?

blog thumbnail

w/c 13 Jan: to do list

As it’s Monday, here is this week’s to do list:

  • continue sourcing pictures for client’s book
  • format client’s book for Kindle, etc
  • edit new historical non-fiction
  • post 3 x blog 
  • surf job boards 5 x daily 
  • write walks report ×
  • submit walks report to 6 x local newspapers ×
  • 5 x daily banking 
  • surf 5 x daily competitions 
  • write 1,000 words 5 x daily ×
  • update gig list 
  • diary work
  • raise invoices
  • trip to Birmingham
  • trip to Doncaster 

Today I already pitched for 12 jobs, including several regular gigs. There are 2 or 3 of those that I’d really, really like.

For the rest of the day, once I’ve completed the other 2 daily chores, I’m writing.

What’s on your to do list this week?

w/c 6 Jan: to do list

9781846948510_The Positively Productive Writer_PB.inddI would normally have done the to do list on a Monday, but this week I decided to post the stats of 2013 instead. However, posting the list mid-week does have its advantages – mostly more ticks –  so it might become a feature.

This morning, for the first time in … years (yes, years), I actually felt like a writer again. I’ve not done a lot of writing recently, but I have felt motivated and the ideas are bustling for attention. So I’m seeing this as something positive. I’m also reading The Positively Productive Writer by Simon Whaley, however, and that could have something to do with it. I’d encourage all writers to check out this little gem.

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

  • complete electronic edits on client’s book 
  • write walks report 
  • post 3 x blog  
  • surf job boards 5 x daily 
  • submit walks report to 6 x local newspapers 
  • 5 x daily banking 
  • source pictures for client’s book 
  • surf 5 x daily competitions 
  • write 1,000 words 5 x daily ×××
  • update gig list 
  • format client’s book for Kindle, etc
  • diary work 
  • raise invoices 

Looking at the list so far it’s clear there’s a daily job I’m still not doing. I need to start carving out the time for this. If I can finish the client’s book by Friday, though, I may be able to catch up there. The electronic edits took longer than I thought they would and yesterday, when I finished doing those, I simply crashed on the settee and burned out.

There are still plenty of ticks on there to keep me going, though.

Onwards and upwards …

What’s on your to do list this week?

Happy New Year!

We didn’t do too badly. The only things I didn’t manage on the list were: make a yule log; ice the Christmas cake; Santa run to Leicester; trip to that thar London. Everything else we did. I’m very happy with that.

I’ve been having a think of what I’d like from 2014 but, once again, I’ve decided not to do a massive great list for the whole year, but to do just a smaller one each month, as things change. I don’t really feel as though I achieved much, work-wise, in 2013, and this has to change.

So, for January, my main target is to write at least 1,000 words every working day. I know I can do that because I did it in April, 30k in 30 days. At the end of the month that gives me a target of 24,000 words, which means just 24 working days. (There are fewer in February.) I’ll still have my monthly Do Diddle Day.

Other targets for January include (on every working day):

  • write 1,000 words a day
  • surf job boards
  • daily competitions
  • at least 4 hours on paid bread and butter jobs (editing and proofreading)

Weekly:

  • blog (3 times)
  • walks report
  • diary work
  • invoices
  • weekly gig list update

Monthly:

  • monthly gig list update
  • Do Diddle Day

Personally, there are daily, weekly and monthly targets too, such as:

  • walk dog
  • yoga
  • go walking
  • days/trips out
  • loads of gigs

And that’s it. That’s my list for 2014. Sorry for any disappointment, but with work coming in all the time, it’s difficult to plan too far ahead. And when work does come in, I can be booked for several weeks.

Here’s to a very happy, successful, healthy and prosperous new year.

May to-do list

Here is my to-do list for May:

  • 2 bank holiday weekends
  • proof-read new client novel
  • write sample chapter for own non-fiction
  • proof-read non-fiction #1
  • write 1,000 words every day (1k a day in May)
  • weekly walks’ reports for 6 local newspapers
  • daily dog walk
  • edit new historical fiction
  • proof-read non-fiction #2
  • update gig list weekly
  • weekly banking
  • weekly diary work
  • hair appointment
  • weekly invoices/book-keeping
  • 2 trips to Birmingham
  • ad-hoc work as it comes in from new contract
  • MOT car
  • surf job boards daily
  • attend 2 gigs
  • 1 Do Diddle Day

Here is May’s picture on the calendars.

Greylag Geese, Cleethorpes
Greylag Geese, Cleethorpes

How went April?

So how did I do in April?

  • 1 week’s holiday 
  • write 1,000 words every day
  • update price list 
  • author and proof-reader edits on historical fiction #1 
  • weekly walks’ reports for 6 local newspapers
  • daily dog walk
  • edit 145,000-word auto-biography
  • update gig list weekly
  • weekly banking
  • proof-read non-fiction #1 – c/f
  • proof-read new client novel – c/f
  • write sample chapter for own non-fiction – c/f
  • weekly diary work
  • 2 x dental appointments (shudder)
  • GP appointment 
  • hair appointment
  • weekly invoices/book-keeping
  • author and proof-reader edits on historical fiction #2
  • 1 x trip to Birmingham
  • ad-hoc work as it comes in from new contract

Extras

  • final author edits on historical fiction #1 
  • additional trip to Birmingham 
  • quote on 3 invited jobs 
  • take car for new exhaust 

And finally, 30k in 30 days …