Words worth editing

The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed it’s gone a little quiet here in Breezy Bottom. That’s because I’ve been frantically searching and pitching for work.

Writing the biography last year took a lot of time out of my working week. In fact, it took most of it. And for four months, that’s pretty much all I worked on, with the poet admirably and gallantly supporting us both.

However, I did lose some work along the way, including – it appears – one of my longest standing regular clients. I’ve sent them emails, but they’re ignoring me for some reason. If they don’t have any work, that’s fair enough. But – call me old-fashioned – a little bit of courtesy surely wouldn’t hurt.

Anyway, I’ve written them off now.

I did seem to lose another more recent client, too. In fact, when I approached them for some editing work a short while back, they did have the courtesy to say they had all of their editing requirements covered for now. However, as part of my frantic searching, I did discover that they’re again looking for proofreaders. I fired off a quick email, and they responded immediately. The result? I’m hired again.

For the past five months I’ve not earned very much at all. Fortunately, we’ve managed. But it’s been a lot of pressure on the poet. He doesn’t mind, and at least we’ve proved that we can do it if necessary. But it has been hard. So at the weekend, we discussed it and decided that if I’m ever commissioned to write a book again, or if I want to take time out to write a novel, then I must have at least three months wages in the bank. At least.

Yes, the book did take me five months to write and recover from, but some of that time was spent fretting about not having any work or contributing to the household. And that meant I spent time looking for work when I should have just been getting rid of the book. By the time I delivered it, it had become a millstone around my neck, which is a shame.

And so we’ve pretty much decided that my own writing needs to take a bit of a back seat, at least for the time being but for as long as it takes for me to get that three months-worth of wages in the bank. I’ll still have down-time, and in that time, I’ll work on the pocket novel or a short story. I’m afraid I can’t be very creative for the first hour or thousand words of the day if I’m worrying about work or money. It’s simply not in my makeup.

For the past few weeks I have done a lot of pitching and emailing and the work has been trickling back in. I’ve been adding tentacles to my income octopus, and I’ve been replacing the withered ones. I’ve been full-time busy for about a week, with work starting to come in on a regular basis again. And today, my octopus developed a ninth tentacle with a British company asking me for a regular 8 hours every week!

I’ve had to rejig things and merge a few together. But here are the tentacles now:

  1. Publishing Company (Greece)
  2. SEO Content Producer (Pakistan)
  3. Organisation Website (England)
  4. Publishing Company (Hong Kong)
  5. 2 x Job Boards (Various)
  6. SEO Content Producer (England)
  7. Writing Work (incl. ALCS, PLR, Royalties, Advances, Short Stories, etc.) (Mostly England)
  8. Surveys & Competitions (England & America)

The job board work will keep me on my toes and still in circulation should any of the above drop by the wayside for whatever reason.

The work I already have in will keep me busy until at least the end of March, with the new contract starting on my birthday week.

So I am still here, but I’m busy, and it’s unlikely I’ll be doing a lot of writing in the coming weeks.

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