A writer’s work

Dinnertime – dog watching swans watching dog, River Avon, Evesham (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Phew! It’s been a week and a half – and only 4 days of it too. How busy have I been?

Much of the work so far this week has been new month/new writing year admin. We had a bit of a rush on with the gig list as we were a day short, but that was all done and ready by yesterday dinnertime.

I’ve been busily editing a rush job for a fairly new client, finishing the hard copy edits yesterday and about to start the electronic copy edits today. Then that can go back to the client, along with an invoice later today. (Hurrah!)

Writing admin has mostly been the conclusion of the writing year plan, giving me a good, firm structure (hopefully) to work through throughout the year. You can find out more of what that entails by reading the new diary of a freelance writer, which you can also join in with if you wish.

Writing admin has also included the first of the research work, thinking ahead to April next year. Already I have 4 general topics for which to find as many slants as I can. I also have several “throwaways” that I’ll share here in next week’s diary, including at least one worked example. I’ll go into more detail in the diary.

Another proofreading job came in from an existing client, and that’s pretty much filled me up for at least the rest of September and probably beyond. That means I’m now taking editing and proofreading work for October onwards.

This habit of doing my work in the mornings and everyone else’s work in the afternoons seems to be working very well. I’m not feeling cheated, and I’m getting lots of admin work done too. This morning, for example, I revamped the editorial services page of my website, added a “latest news” item to the front page and asked lovely-already-boss if he’d let me have a testimonial. (He said yes, but I think he’s working on it. 🙂 )

We have a whole weekend ahead of us that, until yesterday, wasn’t filled at all. Now we’re going to look at tents in Leeds tomorrow, maybe some motorhomes (in case the poet goes for a conversion project, but he’s not very excited about that at the moment), and then we’re off on our first “research trip” for the new writing regime. The poet is bringing his camera and we’re hoping for some good photography weather. It will also be a good run out for the dog – and for us.

On Sunday I think we’re going fishing. He has a match coming up next weekend and he wants to get some practise in. If the dog comes too, and if he behaves himself, I may get some extra writing work done. OR … (more likely) I’ll catch up on some reading.

What are you up to this weekend? Have a great one.

We interrupt this broadcast …

website thumbnailYes, yes, I know I promised pictures and mini travelogue, but the new website is now up and running. And I even have a shiny new domain name anorl.

I think I’m happy with it, although there are still some tweaks that need doing. But there’s a “latest news” page where today’s “news” asks for audience participation – or interaction. That means you lot.

If anyone has the time or the inclination, I’d be very grateful if you could hop along to the website and/or the news page and let me know what you think – what you like, what you hate, what you think should be included/excluded, and how user-friendly (or not) it is (or isn’t).

The pictures and travelogue will follow, once normal service has resumed. I can’t believe how time-consuming it is to change one’s online presence.

Thank you for joining in! 🙂

Good Friday

“I’m not cutting that grass.” (Picture: Diane Parkin)

“Hrmph!” said he. “I’m not cutting all of that grass.” But when we got some quotes for it, I said it would be cheaper to buy him a sit-on mower than pay someone else to do it. He had a bit of a grumble at that too, but unknown to me he’d already seen a sit-on mower on ebay that he was watching. So we discussed how much we were prepared to pay for one, and he won it.

Then the weather turned and he wasn’t able to try it out. Until last night. In between work and band practice he was finally able to get the new mower out and have a go … and he loved it! And now he’s talking about giving it another cut. Result.

I’ve been busy this week, publishing one book and sending another 2 off for proof copies. The first one of those came back yesterday, and very nice it looks too. I’ll have a browse of that to check layout and consistency, etc. I expect the other one will arrive next week.

I’ve also been having a play with a new website. You can have a look at it here if you’re interested and have the time. But I’ve not worked out if the blog facility over there allows comments, so I’m still thinking about whether or not to migrate the blog again. I also want to add tweaks like linking to the top of the page again, if I can. But it won’t properly go live until after 1 May.

We’re both off now for Easter, and we’re making sure we’re having a mini-holiday too as we’re usually so busy. We hope to manage a couple of day trips, including one in the midlands so we can see the parents as well while we’re out and about. I think, though, that we’ll also be spending some time in the garden. We need to start measuring and planning and things. I scheduled the blog to post this morning, so fingers crossed it does that.

Have a great Easter!

Official website launch

website thumbnail

I’ve been faffing and messing with it for a couple of weeks, but now, with the start of the new year upon us, I’d like to officially launch the new website.

I had a website a long time ago, long before the blog and even longer before Facebook.

Then these new, easy-to-use social networking resources came onto the scene.

Then I got a “proper job” for a while, and the hard-to-update website slipped further and further down the list of priorities.

Now I’ve relaunched the freelance career I think I need the website again, and now they’re easier to update the only barrier was cost. But part of my Christmas present from my parents resolved that issue. (Thank you!)

I know you’ve been bobbing along to have a look, but if you get the time do take a look at the new features and let me know if you think it needs anything more. Personally I’d like to add news, contests and maybe writing tips or markets, but I think there’s a danger of having too many pages to open.

There is a page for the blog, which I think every website has now, and there’s a page for the gig list, which does supply a percentage of my work. I’m wondering if merchandise and books can go together, though. And should the books for sale be on the home page or should it be about me?

Generally, however, I’m happy with the current content and don’t want to be tweaking it too often. It does need something on there, though, to keep people coming back.

It’s hitting Google and other search engines now, thanks to everyone who followed the links before. It should have taken 1 – 3 months, but the link-followers helped get it up there a fortnight after it launched with the dianeparkin domain name.

So, just in case you haven’t got it yet, the link’s here. Please bookmark it and visit it whenever you’re twiddling your thumbs to keep it at the top of the search engines, and do let me have any feedback. Thank you.

Today’s to-do

The new to-do list actually started yesterday with some things, but the rest start with a vengeance today. I’ve already done my morning yoga workout, surfed the job boards, bid for 4 jobs – 2 of them invited – entered the daily competitions and (shortly) written the blog. (TICK, TICK, TICK, TICK, TICK.)

I still have the gig list to update for January, which will take some time, today’s 2-hour writing session (including 15 minutes free-writing), the dog to walk, any filing and shredding that needs doing by the end of the day (or I’ll start on the backlog pile if there isn’t any), and a choice of jobs to crack on with. I have 2 proof-reading jobs in plus some electronic amendments to do on another.

This evening, if I have any energy left, I have my first high-impact workout to do.

What’s on your to-do list today?