That was the week that was

I didn’t have a great start to the week due to a rough night on Sunday and a long lie-in on Monday. However, I did manage to get some things done.

Monday

One of the things I wanted to do was see if there was any other editing or proofreading work coming up.

I checked the job board, and of the 5 jobs I selected, 4 had already hired and one wanted a Canadian/American English speaker only. I can do Canadian, and American, but if they say that’s what they want, then I think you’re at a disadvantage straight away. So I don’t waste my time or theirs.

There was one new ghostwriting job I’d been invited to pitch for. This publisher has invited me before, but they wanted “steamy” that time, and I’d sooner not do steamy. She must have remembered me, though, for this one was for “steamy or clean”. So off went my pitch for that one. I think she’s in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai).

In the meantime, I thanked Greece for authorising payment for last week’s submission, and he came back to me asking what my availability is once this one is done. As I don’t currently have any new work in for after this one, and as he already has a new job in the pipeline, it looks as though I’m already sorted.

Generally, I work on a first-come first-served basis, unless an existing client sends me an advance warning or query.

The next thing I did was check my dates for this coming week to see if there was an anniversary that looked like an interesting topic. The first one I came to piqued my own interest, and so I scheduled that to also post as Wednesday’s writing prompt for this week.

I was determined to start catching up on some of my book reviews, so I wrote up 2 and sent them to NetGalley. They weren’t great reviews this time, and I’d sooner not share poor reviews. However, as it’s part of my agreement with NetGalley to post my reviews on my blog (as well as everywhere else), the only ones I don’t post are those books I don’t finish.

These and the writing prompt became my 3 scheduled blog posts.

I was still feeling a bit icky by the time the poet came home from work, and so I called Monday a day, retiring to the front sitting room to read another chapter for NetGalley.

Tuesday

Before starting work on Tuesday I had already checked all of my social media, saved an article on Twitter to read later, tidied up my Twitter (made sure I’d unmuted everyone I wanted to see and unfollowed everyone I didn’t), and checked my bank. I’m trying to check all of these over breakfast in a bid to make sure that when I hit my desk at 10am, I’m hitting it to start work and not to faff.

The Twitter thing took longer than expected this time. I’m looking at Twitter more and more now because I’ve finally worked it out. I’m winding down my LinkedIn, though, because I don’t like all of the ads and there’s no way to hide them without doing it individually every day. I really don’t want to be scrolling through wall-to-wall ads on my social media. I need it to be as quick and as streamlined as I can. And if it isn’t, I’m leaving.

I also went through the daily competitions on my tablet over breakfast (or my cup of tea by now), and I checked the job boards.

Once at my desk, the first writing-related job was to go through the dates websites to see if there are any interesting anniversaries coming up this year and next year. It’s too late to write up anything topical for February 2021, but it’s never too early to start thinking about February 2022, not least for any full-length works that may start to percolate.

I need to get back into the swing of my think/query/write/submit thing, and I usually start with the idea part 6 months from ‘now’. So if I can make notes for up to 6 months ahead at a time, then I’ve broken the back of it. It’s a big job whenever I return to it, but it’s very quick once I’m on top of it.

Using what I discovered, I updated the blog post I’d already scheduled for this Wednesday’s writing prompts, and I wrote and scheduled a post for next Wednesday’s writing prompts.

I got as far as the end of March before running out of steam and also needing to do something else. So I left it there, for now, to come back to on another day.

Wednesday

Once again, first job of the day before even hitting my desk was checking social media, emails and the bank. I also did the daily competitions, and I surfed the job board, saving just one job to pitch for.

I had another dates session, and I corresponded with Hong Kong.  And then I completed my 10-project planner for February … Yup, I’ve only just got around to it.

This admin took up the entire day. It will be great once I’m back on top of the dates thing.

Thursday

On Thursday, I received an invitation to pitch for another ghostwriting job. It was one that took my fancy, but I realised that my existing editing & proofreading profile would not sell me as well as perhaps a writing & ghostwriting profile would.

My first job, then was to create a new profile. This one will run alongside my existing profile, but it means that I can select either the editing one or the writing one in order to showcase me and my work.

That also meant that I needed to upload some new books to my profile, so that potential clients cans see that I already have a track record.

Once I had done all of that, I calculated 3 new fees: Fee 1 for if they provide everything and all I have to do is write it; Fee 2 for if I need to work on the structure and outline myself first before I begin writing; and Fee 3 for the full monty, including interviews, research trips and expenses.

I emailed these fees to the poet, to make sure my maths was right. It was. Then I sent over my pitch for Fee 3.

While I then pitched for 3 other jobs (1 ghostwriting, 2 editing), the reply bounced back as too high. I’ve asked him what kind of fee he would suggest, and now I wait. But I really can’t afford to do it for the same rate as a client who sends me everything when all this client is doing is sending a title and a word-count.

A new book arrived, unbidden, for me to review. So as the admin work above had taken the best part of the day, I called it a day and retired to the poet’s office to do some reading.

Friday

While I’ve been trying to keep on top of social media, an idea occurred to me for a short series of stories. I don’t know yet if they’re going to be short stories, novellas or full-length novels. I’ll see if the idea has legs first. But as soon as I hit my desk this morning, I jotted the idea down. It’s now percolating at the back of my mind.

Honestly, it baffles me when people say they can’t think of any ideas to write about. I get them all the time. While it’s true that they don’t all necessarily pan out or have a lot of steam, I’m still left with loads by the end of the day.

Then I carried on with my dates work. I’m trying to get back into the think/query/write/submit habit. At the moment, I’m on May 2021, so that means I’m almost up to date. In February, it should look something like this:

  • THINK: July 2021
  • QUERY (OR RESEARCH): June 2021
  • WRITE: May 2021
  • SUBMIT: April 2021

I’ll be looking at June during my next session, which will probably be Monday now. And I’ll be looking at July during the session after that.  I’m also jotting down two lots at once – one for this year and one for next.

My dates usually start 6 months down the line, but it looks as though they’re already a month behind one of my short story markets. So I think the stories I’ll be thinking about and writing *this* year may go off for *next* year’s subs.

However, there’s a topical anniversary coming up in May for which I might be able to dash something off really quickly – if I pull my finger out, of course. It’s a personal experience piece (Reader’s True Experience, RTE), so it won’t need any research, other than to check the odd thing and maybe rustle up an old photograph.  I’m going to jot the idea down in my notebook just as soon as I’ve finished writing this blog post.

For the rest of the day, I need to get stuck into the ghostwriting, otherwise the deadline will be looming and I’ll be rushing again.

Have a great weekend!

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