Ducks in a row

Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

So I’ve been spending the past few days planning for the new year.

I did very well this year in that I was able to complete all of my outstanding work in good time to take the whole of the Christmas period off, for a change.

But that, of course, left me with a gaping January with no income, as everyone was due to pay me before today (and they have).

And so I contacted a couple of clients to see if they would have any work for me in the new year.

So far, several of them have said yes.

The Hong Kong client will be working on material over Christmas and he would like me to look at that in my first week back. I also have his February magazine to proofread in January, and the March magazine to edit.

The Greece client has a new ghostwriting job for me that will take me to 19 February, but he pays me once a fortnight. I start his new job on my first day back, Monday 4 January.

It’s likely the India client will have the usual dozen or so short articles to edit.

And the Yorkshire client has a new book on the horizon for me, but I don’t know yet if it’s proofreading or editing.

But anyway, that’s January full. And this is before I even add in my own work.

However, I am determined to do something of my own writing at least every day. I’ve selected The Beast Within because I’m already working on that one, but I’m only going to give myself a daily target of 500 words.

This means that my new working day, starting 4 January, looks like this:

  • 9AM breakfast/admin
  • 10AM blog post + 500 words of The Beast Within
  • 11AM 2,000 words ghostwriting #2
  • 1PM dinner
  • 2PM client editing/proofreading
  • 5PM finish work
  • 6PM tea

If I run out of client editing/proofreading, then I’ll continue with the writing, either my own or the client’s.

If I run out of steam on The Beast Within, then I’ll work on a short story. I want to write 12 short stories in 2021 so that I can release another anthology.

If I don’t have anything interesting to say on the blog, then I’ll provide a writing prompt or an anniversary topic or a jobbing writer topic.

And that, I believe, is all of my ducks in a row for the new year.

I’m trying not to plan too far ahead so that I can stay flexible. For example, the Greece client may want me to do a quick proofreading assignment.

Or I may hear from the Australia client or the London client, who both went quiet at the start of the first lockdown.

Or I may have new clients to work with too.

So I’m just planning a month ahead at a time.

In the very old days, when I was a prolific writer and had several columns and many regular commissions, my diary used to fill up for three months at a time.

Now that I’m working on longer materials, I think a month ahead is quite sufficient.

And, of course, it’s all less stressful. I’m earning enough, I have enough work to keep me busy, and enough time to work on my own stuff or take time off.

All of this makes me a very happy bunny.

Over to you …

How is your new year shaping up?

2 comments

  1. Haven’t given much thought to the New year. AT the moment it’s simply one day at a time. However I’m in the privileged position of being ‘retired’ and not needing to fill the coffers.
    It reads like your clients are virtually knocking at your door…great stuff.
    Wishing you both a happy, healthy and successful 2021.

    Like

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