Time management

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Tuesday afternoon was more ghostwriting. I was late getting started with it, due to date work and scheduling a couple of blog posts in advance. But by the time I got around to it, I’d run out of steam.

I was left with a choice: Stare at a blank screen for the rest of the day, or do something else and pick it up again the next day.

So I did something else.

I sat down and started to properly plan the diary again, making sure I have writing time for me and ghostwriting time for my client.  I’ve also built in time for job searching, blog planning, and date work.

On Wednesday morning I managed to get up on time, have my breakfast on time, ‘walk to work’ on time, and get to my desk on time. I also did a job search and some quick daily competitions before finishing my breakfast cup of tea, all on my tablet.

Date work

First job of the day once at my desk was the date work. The date work is taking more time than usual at the moment. This is mostly because I’m still catching up, but also because I’m using a new dates website.

I’ve found that many of the calendar and dates sites are very American-orientated, which is fine if you’re in America. However, our British summertime starts after their daylight saving time, our mother’s day is different, and our holidays are different. And that’s just off the top of my head.

Having found one that’s more suited to me and my work, I’m now getting used to using a new website after years of using proper hard-copy dictionaries of dates. My two books both run out in the early 1980s, which narrows it down a lot.

In February, I should be thinking August, researching or querying July, writing June, and submitting May. Because I’ve slipped so far behind, I’m still looking at June. However, I’m only a week away from the end of the month now, so I should be on July soon.

Looking at my schedule between now and the end of February, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to write anything new for May or June. I should, however, have time to start thinking July and August at least, and as I’m using the dates for fiction, I can skip the querying step or use it for research.

Blog work

The next writing job of the morning was blog work.

I’d got into the habit of writing up my blog throughout the day and scheduling it to post the following morning at 8am. But that had slipped too, so I’ve been catching up there as well.

I already have the Wednesday writing prompts for next week scheduled, which is one job less to do.

The Beast Within

I scheduled in an hour, from 12 noon until 1pm, for some writing work of my own. Doing the job search and entering any competitions while I’m still at breakfast is freeing up that time I used to spend on it after 10am.

As I was ready to begin at 11:50am, I treated us both to a cuppa and a biscuit (or two). Then I opened up my Scrivener file for the Marcie Craig collection, and I reminded myself what had happened so far in The Beast Within.

The first draft for the first half of the first Act (the first 5 chapters), was already done.  I read it all through, just to bring myself back up to speed, and as I did so I managed to add a further 67 words. Whoop!

Then it was dinner time, but as the poet was working through his lunch, I decided to work through mine too. I mapped out the second half of the first Act (Chapters 6 to 10), and I started to write Chapter 6.

My current target per sitting for this one is ‘at least’ 500 words. I added 508 words to the first 67, making 575 for the session, and bringing the running word-count to 7,926.

That might not seem a lot, but it feels good. I was reluctant to leave it there, which is also good. But I still had paid work to do.

Ghostwriting

I know I said I would do the ghostwriting first thing, but that’s not really been working. I’ve not been getting around to it until the afternoon.

It’s as though I still have to warm up to it, even though it’s an easy job for me to do.  Then, because I’ve been late getting to it, I’ve berated myself. That also doesn’t work.

When my dinner break finished, I closed down the Marcie Craig collection and opened up the current ghostwriting file. My target word-count for the afternoon was 3,088. That’s two and a half chapters.

I moved the end of Chapter 20 to the beginning of Chapter 21 and switched the viewpoint character. I aim at around 2,000 words per chapter, and Chapter 20 was more than 300 words over that.

Moving it to the beginning of the next chapter meant I was closer to the 2,000 words at 2,037 words, but it also bumped Chapter 21 along – although that won’t affect the overall word-count, of course. I also changed the VP character for Chapter 22.

I didn’t think I’d be able to switch from 1997 to 1812, but actually, it gave me my second wind. And I wrote 3,924 words!

Plan for today

The plan for today is pretty much the same as for yesterday. So far, the time management seems to be working, although I’ve pretty much decided that I won’t be writing any new short stories in February after all.

I’ll stick to just the date work for the rest of this month. And, of course, two novels.

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