I need to be more prolific

(Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay)

Friday 20 August 2021

Friday was one of those busy days where you don’t stop all day but by the end of it you don’t know what you’ve done. You have nothing to show for it.

I deleted the paid-for newsletter on substack (not the free one) because by the time I’d filled it with about 50% of the material for the first issue, I was getting a warning that it was too long.

Apparently, there is no limit to the length of the newsletter, but Google Mail doesn’t like long ones and truncates them. So that’s of no use whatsoever to a fiction magazine. Looks like I’ll just be creating an e-magazine, as though it was any other ebook.

So I copied everything over to a Word file and deleted the newsletter.

I have to write one more short story for the first magazine, but I can’t see me fitting it in before 1 September. I might have a look to see if I have an old one that I didn’t do anything with so that it’s a brand-new story.

And I think I also have to write a news story and come up with a couple of ideas for new stories for the second issue so that I can announce them in Issue 1.

Here’s how the contents stand so far for Issue 1:

  • Welcome ✔️
  • News ???
  • Short story ???
  • Series The Ace of Wands – a Tarot Tale: volume 1 The Suit of Wands episode 1  ✔️
  • Book reviews ✔️
  • Novel serialisation Night Crawler Part 1 ✔️
  • From the archives A Stranger at Eight ✔️
  • Next issue ✔️

And here’s where I am for the ‘Next Issue’ list:

  • Short story ???
  • Series Title – a Tarot Tale: volume ? Title episode ? (or something else?)
  • Novel serialisation Night Crawler Part 2 of 4 ✔️
  • From the archives Arrivederci Roma ✔️

As you can see, I still have some work to do.

The magazine will include novel serialisations or novella serialisations. Each excerpt will be roughly the same length. Dean Wesley Smith includes a complete novella in his Smith’s Monthly magazines, but I’m nowhere near as prolific as Dean Wesley Smith.

It will also always have a serial or a series of some kind. The serial will run on from one issue to the next, whilst the series will be, well, a series of standalone but linked stories.

The next thing I did was go through the diary and move everything along by another day so that I was working on Book 6 of the ghostwriting on Friday and Saturday, and starting the next instalment for Book 5 today (Monday).

Once I thought I had a workable schedule, I transferred it to Asana.

I drafted a new article for Medium, but popped it into the drafts folder to work on more fully when I have time. Then I wrote up the book review for NetGalley, posted it everywhere and shared it everywhere.

That cleared one of the 189 books I had outstanding (188). I had a look at one that took my fancy but realised I wouldn’t be able to stick with. So that one went back with a no-star review. I won’t publish a poor review for a book I haven’t even read (187).

I chose another one to read, and that one grabbed me straight away, and I went in and updated my Trello board. Then an email came through saying I’d been selected to receive another book to review. That took me back up to 188.

Ah well… It’s a nice book by an author I like.

We finally agreed on the contract for the (new) ghostwriting (#2?) gig and the client sent back both the agreement and the NDA with both of our signatures on. This work will start on Monday 13 September and it looks really interesting. But I think it will be running parallel with Book 7 for ghostwriting client #1.

I plugged in a spam filter to the new website as the comments were getting spammered to bits. If the spam stops, I’ll remove comment moderation.

We went and did the shopping so that I could have a full swing at the ghostwriting without interruption. I familiarised myself with the story and fixed it firmly in my head that it was this one and not that one. And then I cracked on with it.

I finished work on Friday at 10pm.

Saturday 21 August 2021

When the poet woke me up on Saturday morning, I thought it was still the middle of the night, it was so dark. He had considered going fishing while I was working, but the weather forecast was not great. So he stayed home instead.

I got to my desk at 11am and as it was a Saturday, I didn’t allow myself to be distracted by other workerly things. Other than the ghostwriting. And the words seemed to rattle out quite well. Within an hour I’d written my first chapter of the day.

I turned down another ghostwriting ‘opportunity’. The books would have been quick and easy at only 40,000 words, but the client wasn’t paying anywhere near enough. Honestly, all they have to do is add another zero and maybe I’d consider it. But until then? Nah.

I worked late into the night on Saturday, and I wrote 12,271 words.

Sunday 22 August 2021

On Sunday we were supposed to be finishing the filming for L for the alphabet adventurers. However, several things conspired against us:

  • I hadn’t finished my ghostwriting
  • our alphabet adventurers t-shirts were still drying
  • heavy rain was forecast

So we postponed it until this coming Saturday.

We did nip out to visit the mother-in-law. But I had to be back so that I could finish work.

I worked until 9pm on Sunday, whilst the poet kept me fed and watered. But I finished and submitted my work and I wrote 8,091 words.

This week

I’m going to be chock-a-block with wall-to-wall ghostwriting until the end of the week, when I should finally also be able to get the proofreading back to the client. Hopefully I’ll still be able to fit in the occasional blog post and at least finalise the magazine.