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 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 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?

Not a do diddle day today

02 whitby

Today would normally be a do diddle day and this would normally be the picture that accompanied the do diddle day. However, this month’s do diddle day is going to be on Friday, and we’re doing diddley squat together after having 2 quite busy weekends on the trot. But I like this picture so much I thought I’d use it today anyway. It was taken at one of my favourite places, Whitby, and it’s on the current calendar for November.

I don’t think I’m doing a calendar for next year. I don’t have enough new images, although I do have quite a few I didn’t use this year. But by the time the manufacturing costs have been totted up I think they’re too expensive. There are cheaper alternatives, but I need to spend time checking those out before utilising them. So there won’t be a calendar next year.

It doesn’t look as though I’m going to complete NaNoWriMo again. I got too far behind again too soon and the story just wasn’t working for me. I need to start something totally fresh so that I’m excited about it, and I need to put in the planning time.

In April I very successfully completed 30,000 words in 30 days and I earned an extra £325 for my efforts. I think I’m more likely to just give that a go again and be more successful.

December is going to be a very short month with almost a fortnight off over the festive period. But I have to get into the swing of writing something for me for my first work slot of the day, and I also have to discipline myself to get the paid work shifted in time too so that there’s a steady flow of income throughout the month.

Looking ahead (already) 2014 is going to be another good year for me, an exciting year with one or two changes. The last time I knew I was going to have a good year, it turned out to be an excellent year, so I’m optimistic for 2014. This means I’ll be working on my goals and targets over the next few weeks so that I can post them at the start of January.

I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown, and the summary of 2013 will also be slightly more interesting than usual. I’ll work on the review so that it can be posted at the end of December.

I’ve been asked for more lists, so during December I’ll revive those. It seems that quite a few readers are quite inspired by my lists whereas only a few feel a bit daunted by them. So, watch out for more lists and list alerts.

Last weekend was busy with a visitor and a gig on Saturday and a run to Birmingham and another gig on Sunday. This week I have 2 books to shift and I’m waiting for at least another to get started on. I’ve done this week’s walks report, I have the job boards to surf, and I have the gig list for December to upload.

It’s still a short week, though, with a do diddle day on Friday, so I’d best crack on.

Catch up

This week has mostly been about catching up after having to restore the factory settings on my pc the other week. Fortunately I’d done most of the hard copy work, but some of the recent electronic work had been lost in the system restore. All of that work has now been caught up on and I’m taking new work in again and pitching for jobs.

I’ve caught up with the walks report, which was several weeks’ worth, got that written and submitted to 6 local newspapers. I also had to sort out 2 photographs with captions/credits and I’m hoping the 2 newspapers who have asked for them will both use a different picture.

I managed to keep on top of the gig list, although I didn’t update that until yesterday. Gigs are now coming in for December so that will be my big job on there next week – uploading December.

Altogether I’ve pitched for 14 editing or proofreading jobs this week and 1 writing job. I’ll also have shifted 2 books by the end of today and let lovely already boss know I’m now up to date and ready for more books to edit.

The blog only got posted on Monday (and today), but that’s mainly because I didn’t have the laptop switched on. Much of Wednesday was spent completing forms I’ve already completed but that have been lost at the other end. I hope they don’t get lost again, it takes a lot of time and I don’t get paid for that.

Today, then, I’m finalising the electronic edits on those books and getting them sent back to the respective authors and off to typesetting.

We’re having a lazy evening tonight, entertaining tomorrow afternoon, we have a gig tomorrow night, and we’re off to Brum on Sunday to see the parents.

Have a great weekend.

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Crazy weekend

windowsill

This is one of my favourite pictures of Tinker and Holly. I often wonder where Tinker went that day she walked away and never come back. But I have my suspicions. I stumbled across this picture this morning and decided to share it for those who remember when she disappeared. She was a lovely cat.

We had a terrific weekend, crazy but lovely.

On Friday we had a fantastic gig in Doncaster. The band played really well and there was a great atmosphere. It was a very late night, though, as they didn’t finish packing down until 2am. But it was a goodun.

On Saturday I made it to the Leeds write-in to join in with this November’s NaNoWriMo. I met a few new people and it was nice to see some old faces. And I got a few words written too. While I was NaNo-ing, the poet and Rufus were having a wonderful time walking and watching telly and chomping chews … the latter being the dog rather than the man … Saturday evening we were visiting and shopping, and finally arrived home at 9pm.

I went to Leeds on the train from a different railway station. The ticket is cheaper, by about £2, and the journey is slightly slower, with just one train an hour, but the station is closer to the house and I was able to cadge a lift. When we got there we were surprised to see the once-vacant and derelict railway buildings back in use. I did a bit of research and discovered that a café has been allowed to lease the buildings and I thought that was a great idea. All unmanned stations should consider doing that.

On Sunday, the poet went fishing – and came third, well done, sweetheart 🙂  – and I had a really lazy day catching up on sleep (I did quite a lot of overtime last week) and recorded television. Then on Sunday evening we went out to see a new band for both of us, but made it home again by 9pm.

Today I’ve started the week afresh and tried to do everything scheduled in the diary. On Friday I started to surf the job boards again, rewrote my blurb and pitched for 14 jobs. Today I pitched for a further 6 jobs, and I’ve already written the walks report, which was lagging behind due to me being without computer or internet.

I have 2 books to edit, both non-fictions, and I’m in correspondence with the author of the historical fiction I filed last week.

I have a full working week this week so intend to get a lot shifted. I’d best get on …