I started the day yesterday with a lot of bitty jobs but jobs that nonetheless should help me in the future. Once I’d caught up on social media and put through and hung out several washloads, I topped up the garden bird feeders, and I added four extra tasks to my ClickUp planner and removed three.
One of the tasks I removed was surfing the job board every day. I don’t want any new work for the next six months other than for existing clients, and I already know that the next editing job is being stacked up, ready to come hurtling towards my in box just as soon as I’ve sent the current one back. At the moment, this really is the only paid client work I want or need because, you know, my own stuff needs doing too and my own stuff took a very back seat while I published a half-decent inventory last year.
The second daily task I removed was the competitions. This was turning into an unnecessary time-suck again, which is fine when I don’t have anything else to do but less fine when I’m busy or I could do with being busy.
The third daily task I removed was the surveys. I’m earning more at the moment playing games on my phone than I do completing surveys, and I can play the games anywhere whereas I prefer to be at my desk for surveys. I’ve left the phone app on for the surveys, to do when I’ve run out of lives with the games perhaps. But this isn’t going to be a daily task any more.
I’d sooner use this time to keep on top of ideas and submissions for Medium and Vocal. And if any ideas are suitable to go out to traditional or online paying markets, then they will go there first.
All of my income, wherever it comes from, goes straight into a savings account first. Then I cream off 10% immediately and put it in a 10% account. I was paying my wages over every week to cover things like shopping and other expenses, and I was paying money over once a month to cover things like standing orders, direct debits and other payments that go out of my account. I’m still paying the money over once a month to cover the bills, but instead of paying money over every week to cover shopping, etc, I’m doing it at the same time. And now there are two recurring tasks on my ClickUp to remind me to put it in my diary, which in turn reminds me to do it in a timely manner.
(Remember, I do the planning work in ClickUp because it’s easy to move things around or duplicate something, and I transfer it to a hard-copy diary so I can see it without having to switch on a computer or a Smartphone.)
A job I often forget to do until I’m already well into an already well busy month is the wordcount spreadsheets. I have three of these at the moment. One is a planning spreadsheet for short story work; one is the wordcount spreadsheet on a project by project basis per month; and one collates the total number of words written across all projects on a 12-month spreadsheet. If I could get all of these multi-page spreadsheets into one workbook, I would. But so far I haven’t had time to learn how to do it.
Finally, at the moment, I’m also repopulating my Substack with writerly newsletters. These currently go out to the original mailing list I had, which I migrated over to SendInBlue. There are a fair few new subscribers now who aren’t on the Substack mailing list and I want to offer them the chance to subscribe, and the existing subscribers still there I want to give the chance to unsubscribe. The SendInBlue newsletter includes a bonus short story (we can’t say ‘free’, apparently, because we’re sending it out in exchange for people’s data, so I say ‘bonus’ now instead) and the Substack newsletter will be purely writing.
I did start the competitions, and I did do 5 surveys until they stopped compensating me for not qualifying, and then I just zapped them off the schedule.
I paused for dinner and started the afternoon with Monkey Dust admin, which I should have done on Tuesday. This is a Monday job, but it will be moving to Tuesdays for all but one week in May as we have three bank holiday Mondays in May this year. I was delighted to remember that I’d already done the posters for the next public gig. All I had to do was create the event on Facebook and then share it everywhere.
When that was done and out of the way, I made a cup of tea and sat and read through a couple of stories for the market The Long, Unending Day is being targeted at. Only the winning stories each month are published, and I really enjoyed the ones that I read. I set The Long, Unending Day to percolate and turned my attention to Autumn Fayre.
I brought most of the washing in before the sun went off it but left a handful of things out that still needed a bit longer. When I came back in I scheduled the next Substack newsletter to go out this morning at 8am. And then I changed the schedule again so that Medium and Vocal appear once a week instead of every day. I allocated Medium to Wednesdays and Vocal to Thursdays. As I’ve already done something for them both this week, I’ll start this new regime next week. I’ll probably do the same for Substack once I’ve uploaded a few more posts.
That left a far more manageable to-do list and one that I hope will have more ticks on it in future than crossings out.
I didn’t do everything I wanted to, but I did do a few things and some things that weren’t even on there. Today’s list looks a lot better but the diary has a few crossings out. That will at least look neater next week…
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