Clearing the decks

I realised that we get the keys to the new house next Wednesday. That’s just over a week away. So I’ve decided to close the office on Tuesday. I won’t be able to concentrate properly after then anyway, so I may as well.

The first thing I did was notify all of my regular clients that my last day of business will be next Tuesday and to tell them when I expect to be back up and running again, which won’t be before Monday 7 September.

Then I went through and updated the 10-project writing planner.

Using today as my start date, I have 6 days of writing left in August, then I have 18 days of writing in September following my time off. I moved the anticipated completion date for this current draft of Catch the Rainbow to the end of September and I recalculated the completion date for this round of proofs for The Life of Richard Cadbury, which is already very late.

The plan was to get cracking on one or the other project first thing, but then I decided to do some personal and family admin work instead, as there’s other stuff I need to do before I close down the office, and certainly before the internet is turned off.

I also heard from Mister Hong Kong client, which was a relief, as I’ve been worried about him and his family and staff with the latest news coming out of Hong Kong. He had some more work for me, which would be landing … yes, you’ve guessed it, next Tuesday.

So then we had a dialogue about whether or not I can fit him in before next week’s close-down or if he can wait until after re-opening next month. He’s going to aim at getting the material to me by around the weekend, so I can give him a few hours on Monday and Tuesday next week. If he can’t make it by the weekend, then he’ll see if he can re-arrange things for September.

By the time I was ready to do some work, it was dinner time again!

This afternoon, then, I plan to start going through the Richard Cadbury book. I want to compare the new draft against my proof corrections on the previous draft and then I want to proofread it all again. Once that’s done, I can dispose of the extra reams of paper at this end, rather than carry it all with us to the new place.

As I go around the house, I’m taking things down off walls and stacking them strategically in the rooms they belong in. As I’m putting clothes away, I’m throwing anything away that’s a bit tatty or needs replacing so they can be replaced at the other side rather than carry them all with us again. And as I finish with things in the office, they’re going into tins or boxes so I’m not touching them more than necessary.

Yesterday evening and over breakfast this morning, I finished reading one book (the Agatha Christie) so I can start reading the outstanding books for NetGalley.

I created a new folder on my Kindle Paperwhite for “Agatha Christie: Done” as I plan to read them all again in the order they were written.  I also have a “Janet Evanovich: Done”, a “Sue Grafton: Done” and a “Stephen Booth: Done”. I enjoy reading all of these authors because I invariably learn something from each of them. And, of course, they’re all very good writers.

Every one of my NetGalley books is now on the Kindle Paperwhite, and as I read and review them, I’ll just delete them. I’ll do the same with any other books I have to read and review too.

They’re all on the Paperwhite now as I’ve noticed if I’m doing anything on the tablet, the Kindle Fire or the mobile phone, my eyes start to drop and I get drowsy very quickly. And then it takes me ages to get to sleep. Reading the Paperwhite is much easier on the eyes, and I seem to go off to sleep much faster.

The Paperwhite uses much less battery power, it doesn’t have any glare, and it updates itself regardless of whether or not it’s connected to the home broadband. Everything else relies on either the house broadband or a mobile signal or both.

In fact, it’s almost like reading a regular book.

It’s quite cathartic to be clearing the decks in this way and knowing we’ll have a lot of fresh, new stuff at the other end. Like a lot of excess weight is being lifted.

Now, if I could only achieve the same effect with my body weight …