Chapter 9: Week commencing Friday 25 February
First job on Friday was a scheduled post on behalf of a group of friends who are running a writing competition. I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when, and it arrived on Friday morning, when I edited it and set it and liaised with the organisers. The post appeared on Wednesday.
Next up should have been editing, but I dived straight into the ghostwriting for GW2 client. There were only three chapters left to write, and I wanted to get them all done by the end of the day. The first thing I did was go in and check and update the timeline, adding in the ages of the characters by now who feature in these final chapters.
In one of my pomodoro breaks, I spotted a couple of police stories on Facebook that I copied and pasted and filed away for potential future use (all identifying details changed, of course).
I also had a bit of an idea chuntering away in the back of my head and I had to keep pushing it away and telling it to wait until I could start to give it some proper thought.
I’d managed two chapters for GW2 client by the time it was time for tea. We had to do the shopping on Friday evening, as the weekend was booked for birthday celebrations. So I broke off for couple of hours.
Back at my desk by 9pm, I sat down and I wrote… I finished work at 10:45pm, and I wrote 7,496 words today.
It was the poet’s birthday last Saturday, so we took the weekend off. On Saturday, we went to the pictures, and on Sunday we met up with his family for a meal.
On Monday, a new Wordsworth Short was published.
Pancake Race is a short story I wrote a LONG time ago. I have two main characters, Paula and Sophie, and when I moved house about a year after I wrote it, two of the new neighbours were Paula and her daughter Sophie. So when the story was published, my new neighbour thought it was about her. (Clue: It wasn’t.)
You can find all of my books on the BUY MY BOOKS tab on the blog, or you can go to www.books2read.com/DianeWordsworth.
It was month-end on Monday too, so I had admin work to do for that, which started with updating the multi-project word-tracking spreadsheet for February, and creating one for March.
The original target word-count for February was 104,000, but by the time I’d had to rejig a few projects around, that dropped down to a much more achievable 73,000 words. (It was a short month, remember.) By the end of the day, though, this had dropped again, to 62,832 words.
The two big projects that were moved along were Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 and Book 9 for GW1 client, although I was due to ghostwrite the first four thousand words at least for the latter on Monday.
My target for March is 75,000 words, and this already takes into account two weeks of jury service.
I was very tired on Monday, so once I’d written Monday’s publishing challenge post and updated this one, I made a bit of a dent in the editing job then I downed tools and called it a day.
It was the first of the month on Tuesday, so as part of new month day, the first job I did was check for calls for submissions and markets opening for submissions, adding any not suitable for me to my ignore list (no payment, wrong demographic, too literary, uninteresting subject matter). I ended up with 36 potential outlets…
The next time I look at this it will be to decide which ones I might try for, starting with the highest payers and/or the anthology calls for submissions. Yes, I do have my own publishing schedule, but if I can have a story accepted elsewhere first, as I always retain my copyright the acceptance(s) will always add kudos when I come to republish it/them myself.
*** mini rant alert ***
A client asked me to do extra work this week, even after I’d already made it clear how busy I am. My jury service was due to start on Monday and not only did I have a lot of work to fit in before then (hey, does anyone actually notice how busy I really am?), I also had a load to bring forward that was scheduled for during that next fortnight.
It really doesn’t matter how much extra money a client is prepared to throw at me in order to fit their work in. If I don’t have the time, I don’t have the time, and there’s nothing I can do about that. All the money in the world will not give me extra hours in the day.
*** end of mini rant ***
I made myself a cup of tea and settled down for an hour or two of editing.
After the editing, I sat and stared at a blank screen for a few minutes, trying to summon up some ghostwriting. It wasn’t yet sorted inside my head, though, so I switched to projects from later in the week, namely publishing.
First of all I collated ten stories for the next Wordsworth Collection and published that. Then I proof-read the story I wrote the previous week, and published that. And then I swapped two projects from today with those.
It was pancake day, and we had pancakes for tea, cooked by the poet.
There was just one more story I hadn’t got around to publishing on Tuesday, so first job of the day was to get that one out of the way. When the story and the cover are already there, it’s a quick job. I updated the ‘currently reading’ and ‘monthly publication’ graphics in the sidebar on the blog, and I was about to start my editing work when an email came in.
My jury service for next week was cancelled.
Wahey! While I was looking forward to it, I had pulled a load of work forward as well as pushed another load of work back, just so I could fit this fortnight of jury service in. As soon as I confirmed the cancellation, I pushed some jobs back to next week and brought some jobs forward again, and I was able to rearrange some of my publication schedule.
And then I heaved a big sigh of relief!
I felt myself physically slow down again and the day ahead suddenly became more leisurely. That wasn’t good enough, though. I still had work to do, and work that was still due in this week.
Saying that, I did bring back my typing practice and online workshops to start again from Monday. I’d initially moved both of those to restart once the jury service was done, but now I could bring them forward again, along with the next writers’ guide to write. I also updated my multi-project word-count spreadsheet, resulting in a monthly target of 85,000 words.
Then it was ghostwriting for GW1 client: Book 9, Part 1. I still couldn’t get going on the ghostwriting. I was also still euphoric about getting an extra two weeks. I logged on to the British Newspaper Archive to see if I could find out what was happening in the world when my story opens.
Well, I found news of a ball the Prince Regent had thrown recently, written up in great detail, plus the description of a Regency town house that was coming up for sale in Russell Square, and then a story about a con-man who tried to exhort money from strangers by pretending to be a beggar with a child.
Those three stories alone got the cogs working, but my eyes were blind after peering at 300-year-old newsprint on a computer screen. I went for a walk around the garden in the rain to clear my head a bit (and apparently drench my back).
When I got back to my desk, the poet was learning a new song in his studio, at the top of his voice. So I found my mp3 player, plugged in my earphones, put on a heavy rainstorm, and off I went.
I didn’t put a massive dent in the ghostwriting on Wednesday, but I did at least make a start. I was back on with it first thing on Thursday morning. But it took the entire day just to write a single chapter.
I worked until 8pm, as the poet was at band practice. But I could feel a head cold coming on.
Later on in the evening, I sat and went through the calls for submissions I listed earlier in the week. I chose just the one, then I went to see what Chicken Soup were looking for, noting down two anthologies for them. So that’s three anthologies I want to schedule something in for now.
Today is wall-to-wall ghostwriting. I have three chapters to send to GW2 for her files, but the rest of it’s GW1 work. I can also see weekend working on the horizon…
Have a great weekend.
Note: I’m not including links because they take forever to edit out when I’m preparing the final version of the book for publication.