Diary of a Tiger: w/c Fri 4 Mar

Image by Jan Barkmann from Pixabay
Chapter 10: Week commencing Friday 4 March

On Friday morning I added a few more books to the publication schedule, so I could identify what work I need to do and when. You can read more about this in Monday’s publishing challenge post.

The next thing I did was add the three new calls for submission to the schedule. Two are non-fiction and 1,200 words each, one is fiction and 3,500–6,000 words. Then I added in the two short story markets I really want to start at least targeting again, if only to get whatever feedback they feel able to send me.

I did have wall-to-wall ghostwriting to do too, so I had to step away from the nice sparkly jobs and force myself to do that. With the beginnings of a cold rumbling, I didn’t want to be working all weekend. Saying that, having my jury service cancelled was a big help.

By the time I finally started the ghostwriting, my eyes began to droop. It had been so long since the last time I had such a bad cold that I did a Covid test. The poet has loads of test kits as he was having to test himself before going to visit all of the various factories. They’ve dropped the testing now, though, I think. So now we have the best part of two boxes left…

Anyway, I tested negative, which is great, but I did take two flu tablets, and I think it was those that were making me drowsy. I sent an email to GW1 client, telling him not to look out for my delivery on Friday as it would more likely be Saturday now. He replied almost straight away, thanking me for letting him know. (He’s so patient with me!)

I was about to go back to work after dinner when I remembered I’m taking part in the Smashwords sale (details below). So I added the information to this post and I scheduled a blog post for Wednesday just gone.

I had one quick job to do for GW2 client, plus I had wages to collect. (Yay!) Then I dragged myself back to work, where I hoped I’d do enough ghostwriting that my weekend wouldn’t completely disappear again. But oh, I was very sleepy, and in the end I gave up after only one chapter.

The Weekend
Following a particularly rough night, I got up late on Saturday and had to drag myself to the office. I gave myself mini-targets of 500 words each, giving myself a pat on the back each time I achieved one. It was a slow plod, though.

We decided that we must have picked up our colds the previous Sunday when we had to ‘do people’ for the poet’s birthday. It was a celebration for his granddaughter’s birthday too, and we added mine in for good measure, killing three birds with one stone. And we had a lovely meal. But I’m not used to people, and nor is my immune system, and the restaurant was very, very busy.

I won’t even mention what time I worked until on Saturday night/Sunday morning, other than it was a proper ghost shift. I did get Part 1 of Book 9 ghostwritten, though, and submitted to the client, and the poet stayed up with me. That meant Sunday morning disappeared and Sunday afternoon was spent shopping. We were both full of cold and didn’t feel like doing much more.

On Sunday I saw another call for submissions that I fancy having a go at. I added the link to the home screen on my phone so that the next time I’m doing scheduling work I can add in all of the stages (brainstorm, outline, draft 1, draft 2, revisions, submission).

On Monday, a new Wordsworth Collection was published.

Ten Short Stories: Wordsworth Shorts 1 – 10 is the first of the new-look anthologies of short stories. I had to rush this one through as I thought I was going to be doing jury service on publication day. It took longer than I thought it would to collate and format ten short stories, but at least I had the cover ready.

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.

This week, from 6 March to 12 March, I’m taking part in the site-wide Smashwords sale. I have 6 books on for half-price, and 3 stories for free.

I got in touch with Smashwords last week to see if they had a logo I could use, and they sent me four different ones by return. I tried to match the palette, but the blue in these flyers was the closest I could get.

Do hop along and have a look. There are hundreds of books in the sale, and .mobi users don’t have to go via Amazon in order to download their preferred format.

Yes! Personal development is back in the diary and today I started with half-an-hour of typing practice followed by one of my online videos. I’ve gone back to the beginning on both of them, for continuity and retention purposes.

Today I started writing again. (Yay!) People are buying Project Management for Writers: Gate 1 – What? Therefore, I thought I really ought to get going on the second book in the series.

I went through each of the chapters, adding the content to the index card in the Scrivener file, and I checked the introduction and the section on the gates, and I updated the end matter.

Another job I was back on with today was the editing work for the Yorkshire client. The poet had an appointment at the hospital, ahead of his operation (we hope), so I took the editing work with me to do in the car park while I waited.

One of us always drives the other to hospital appointments in case parking is difficult. The one who has the appointment can hop out of the car while the other finds a parking space, and it means the dog gets to come with us too.

It took us an hour to get there, he was in for 90 minutes, and it took us more than an hour to get back as we went to get dog food and cat litter on the way. That actually wiped out the entire afternoon, but I was determined to keep on top of my projects for the day. I had my dinner in the car and I did do some editing, but then the dog wanted to go for a walk.

When we got home, I finished the day’s editing, did some publicity work, and finished at 6pm.

I was only half an hour late to my desk on Tuesday, and by the end of the first two sessions, which were typing practice and the day’s online lecture, I’d caught up a bit at least. I made more mistakes in my typing practice than I did on Monday, and I made myself type out every group of letters again and again until I didn’t make a single mistake.

The poet was forced off the road by an aggregates lorry on his way to work. Fortunately he was okay, but the car wasn’t. The alloy wheel was buckled and where it was scuffed, it shredded his tyre. So he had to hang around for first the RAC to tell him what was actually wrong with the car, and then a tyre company to come and change the tyre.

The tyre-fitter filed the alloy wheel down where it was cutting into the tyre, but it meant the poet had to wait all day for someone to come and fix it.

Monday showed me that I need to start scheduling in some of the blog posts. This one I do as I go along, so I update it after every single piece of work. Monday’s, though, can and should be done in its own block of time, plus any others.

Therefore, I needed to find a time slot, either on a Monday (which is usually busy) or during the week for the following Monday (easier), or whichever day the additional blogs are planned for.

For the publishing challenge blog posts I found a half-hour slot on Fridays. This is an ideal slot, actually, because preparation work for publications is on a Thursday and are also half an hour.

Then I had a bit of a reshuffle and made a momentous decision:

I’m only going to do work for two clients at a time, maximum.

There, I’ve said it out loud now, so I’ll have to do it. Time for my work is in the mornings; time for client work is in the afternoons; time outside of my working week is family time. Just lately, client work has been encroaching on my own work time and my family time, and that’s resulted in me not coping well and working late too often. Far too often.

If I don’t have two clients, then half of the afternoon will be spent looking for a new client, i.e. hunting and/or pitching for work. It’s unlikely, at the moment, that I will have no clients. But if that ever does happen, then the afternoons will be split between job hunting and my own work.

So ner. 😝

This week I still have three clients. Next week I will have two. Next week I start to write short stories again, in the mornings.

Soon I hope to start doing weekly writing prompts on a Wednesday again, especially once I get into the swing of things again with my own work. This will probably happen on a Tuesday, because I know for my own writing work, the only thing I have in for a Tuesday is outlining, and that usually only takes half an hour.

I already know when I need stories to be topical. I need to decide which ideas/topics/anniversaries I’m using, and then throw the rest up there. Or at least for the time sensitive ideas. If I’m not going to do anything for a certain anniversary, someone else might and I won’t be touching it for at least another five years.

The plan is to have one long piece to work on for myself, one short piece, plus the admin jobs (blog posts, tax returns, invoices, publicity material, etc). At the moment, my one long piece is the next project management book, which will be the case until all four new books are written.

I’m also getting back into my reading. Once I’ve cleared a few books I want to read for pleasure, I’ll be back on the NetGalley wagon.

I built in some time to rejig the schedule and see where I could fit regular and recurring tasks and projects, and by the time I’d done all of that, I was only 15 minutes behind schedule.

Next job, then, was to write Chapter 1 of Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 – Who/What? And I added 1,871 words to the running total.

After breaking for dinner, the next job was supposed to be editing. Instead, I invested some time in planning ahead, slotting in short stories, articles and chapters of longer works. I also scheduled in that call for submissions I saw at the weekend along with one or two others.

I was still full of cold, so at 4:30pm, I clocked off.

It was my birthday on Wednesday, so I was kind to myself and didn’t dash around.

On Facebook I found that my wall was closed to posts from others, so I thought my social hour would take a lot less time than it usually does on my birthday. However, some folk didn’t let that put them off, and they still found ways to send me messages, one way or another.

I opened my wall again (once I’d found out where FB had hidden the feature), and normality was resumed.

Thanks to everyone who said Happy Birthday to me, and especially to those who went all out to get a message to me by whichever means!

The poet bought me lots of presents, and we were also going to the pictures Wednesday night to see The Batman. I’d seen mixed reviews, but nevertheless was still looking forward to it.

To make sure I finished work on time, so we could go out without rushing, I skipped the personal development part of my day. So no typing practice and no online lecture.

The poet had something to attend at work, but on his way out he saw that his tyre was flat again. So more hanging around for him while the tyre-fitter came out to the house this time.

for my morning session, after skipping the personal development, I concentrated on the second project management book. The plan is to write a chapter a day, and the target is for each chapter to be at least 1,000 words. Much of the information in each of the chapters will be duplicated, so I’m not expecting to hit this target every time.

I went in and added a few more hundred words to the first chapter, as it’s likely to be the longest, bringing that one to 2,300 words exactly. Then I wrote Chapter 2, which is currently at 1,552 words.

For every session, I plan to read over the chapter I wrote the previous day, so I’m hoping to pick up a few more words that way.

The poet came to sit with me while we had lunch… there was no sign of the tyre-fitter… so far… Until right after I typed that line. Then it was onto client work.

I managed some more time on the editing work, but it’s going really, really slowly. It’s a whopper of a book (more than 400 pages), and it smacks of being an early draft rather than a final, polished draft. Over the next few days I want to spend a lot more time on this so that I can clear it off before the author goes away.

By the time I’d done a quick read-through of the ghostwriting gig to jog my memory, copied each chapter’s synopsis onto the index cards in Scrivener, and calculated how many words each of the next 20.5 chapters need to be, it was almost 5pm. And I didn’t have the wiggle room to do any overtime as we were off out to the pictures and for tea.

I was determined to get some words on the page though, and perhaps at least finish the chapter I left dangling at the end of the last instalment. I did finish it, and I added 1,218 words.

We really enjoyed The Batman. It’s darker than usual, like crime noir, but we thought that worked really well. And there was only one car chase. (Film writers: Please, please, please STOP padding out the film with a car chase! If people want that, there are a gazillion Fast & Furious films to watch.)

We had hotdogs and chocolate at the pictures and I had supper when we got in, but I paid for that late supper during the night (acid reflux) and didn’t sleep well at all. And that, as ever, resulted in a late start on Thursday morning.

I skipped personal development again and removed it from Friday’s to-do list as well. I was too tired to be at my desk in time and I wanted to crack on with the book.

Chapter 3 was the next instalment for Project Management for Writers: Gate 3. It was only a short chapter, as I didn’t want to completely duplicate the previous chapter. The next few chapters are similar, and will also be short. I’m currently on 8,290 words for this book. The minimum target is 15,000 words, so hopefully I’ll surpass that, no problem.

Then it was date work. I missed the submission window for one of the short story markets, but the next window opened up. I just changed ‘June’ on the to-do list to ‘July’, and ‘July’ to ‘August’. The deadline for both is 8 May, so I also checked that both of those stories are scheduled to be done by then.

I also went through and changed the target dates on the other short story market tasks. Even if these stories are rejected, I do welcome any feedback and will make changes if I agree.

The rest of the day was catching up with the date work, as it’s been a while since I was on top of it. I was looking at topics, anniversaries and events for July and August for the two target short story markets already mentioned. Once I get back on top of this, it’ll be a regular weekly job.

I have a lot booked in to do today, from my own writing to editing to ghostwriting, and I have the final revisions to do for GW2 client before we do the first full pass through. I’ve also included a slot to write Monday’s Publishing Challenge post.

Have a great weekend.

Diary of a Tiger: Out in 2023

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.