Thursday 30 November 2023: November wrap-up

image created in CanvaPro

After another disturbed night (thanks to the dog – twice I had to stand on that freezing cold step wrapped in a blanket), I still managed to get up on time, but I took my time getting to my desk. I caught up on social media and emails on the phone.

The planning work I started on Tuesday got me right in the mood to carry on. The first thing I did was go and see when the first deadline of the year is for 12 Stories in 12 Months. I only completed my December plan on Tuesday, but I would have to jiggle things about a bit if the January deadline was early in the month.

The prompt isn’t up yet, it’ll be up on 10 January, I believe. But the best news is, the first deadline is 31 January. That means I can add it to the January workload rather than the December workload, even if I won’t know what the topic is until 10 January.

Once at my desk, I carried on deleting old stuff from social media, and I was still going through August 2010 when I had a brain murmur. A long time ago I read The Organized Writer by Julie Hood, and she had a daily 20-minute thing that included a 5-minute declutter. The idea was to spend only 5 minutes getting rid of clutter in and around the desk. So I set my timer for 5 minutes and carried on deleting rubbish.

I didn’t clear all of August 2010, but when the pinger went after 5 minutes, I stopped, and I planned to just get on with some work then. But then I started to look for other organised stuff for writers and fell down a right rabbit hole. So again, I pulled myself up and concentrated on just one thing: calendars. Editable, printable calendars. These have been a godsend over the past months.

Parking those where I could access them, I went and blocked out the study along science fiction mystery writing workshop in January on Clickup and I added the three expected assignments as subtasks. Then I created a new task for 12 Stories in 12 Months, and I created subtasks there for the full 12 months. And I did the same for Words Worth Reading, taking it right up to Issue 5 in January 2025.

I made the decision that I definitely won’t be making anything exclusive to Kindle in future. That’s just leaving money on the table, money that otherwise arrives every month. Before I started ranting, I did check, and there have been no page reads and only one sale. It runs out on 27 December, so I unchecked the auto-renew box. That means I can go wide with the ebook on 28 December. The paperback has sold lots but I’m missing the loans.

I finalised today’s blog post, and updated tomorrow’s, then went into the warmth of the living room to read my new book on, erm, the organised writer…

Overview of the month

Well, I was called a liar by a nurse in November, and a so-called friend attacked me on Facebook. But I was told I don’t have asthma and I don’t have COPD, which far outweighs the other two. Saying that, I did have no less than three bouts of illness during November too, mostly very heavy cold symptoms but also a potential sinus infection.

November wasn’t bad, but it was a bit lazy. The poet was away for most of it, and I never work as well when I’m not getting up not long after him and when I have to make my own meals. Plus, for three weeks I spent at least some of the time feeling sorry for myself with the colds. I did feel very lazy, though, and I really, really need to give myself a good kick up the bum.

I decided against NaNoWriMo very early on after losing the first week to various appointments all over the place. I did carry on with The Secret of Whitehorse Farm, though, but it was mostly planning and character work. I didn’t make huge inroads into the writing, but with a clear head and a clear path, I’m hoping that changes in December.

I worked on three short stories in the end, moving two to December, one to whenever I need a story to work on, and cancelling three from the list. I sent two of the stories out, but they didn’t fare well, which I’m actually glad about because now they’ve gone into my own publishing schedule and they’ll appear in the January edition of Words Worth Reading.

The BEST thing that happened in November, workwise, was that I found a memory stick that had been missing since we moved here, a memory stick that had all of my critical data on right up to the house move. Several days were spent backing those files up to the portable hard drive.

November wrap-up

Here, then, is how November went:

  • monthly schedule planning for November ✅
  • new month wordcount & progress spreadsheets for November ✅
  • NaNoWriMo The Secret of Whitehorse Farm
  • (week) daily blog post ✅
  • weekly tech scan ✅
  • weekly backup ✅
  • weekly diary work ✅
  • post the latest chapters of Diary of a Scaredy Cat to Substack every Monday ✅
  • attend PF Writing Hour on X (formerly Twitter) every Tuesday ✅
  • print off the naval book ✅
  • edit the naval book ✅
  • Monkey Dust admin every Monday ✅
  • Diane’s gig list admin every Monday and Thursday ✅
  • invoice client for the extra work for Vietnam book ✅
  • finances for November ✅
  • tax return ❎(moved to December)
  • collect our eye prescriptions ✅
  • see the asthma nurse again ✅
  • take the dog to the vet twice three times ✅
  • have my hair cut ✅
  • The Loch Ness Monster(moved to December)
  • If Walls Could Talk (removed from to do list)
  • Dragons & Heroes (removed from to do list)
  • Digital Love (missed deadline, but will keep and do anyway)
  • Take Your Pick
  • The City of Glasgow
  • The Midnight Labyrinth
  • Across Time (removed from to do list)
  • Fallen (moved to December)

How was your November?

Sign up for my newsletter
If you would like to receive my newsletter, please follow this link or use the form below to sign up and receive your first free short story.

Join my Substack
If you would like to join my Substack newsletter and receive writing tips and articles straight to your inbox, please follow this link or use the form below.

And don’t forget, you can unsubscribe at any time.

4 thoughts on “Thursday 30 November 2023: November wrap-up

  1. You had a very good November! My first 3 weeks were a good busy, and this week, everything kind of fell apart, but I’m getting back on track.

    I’m getting next year organized, and I’m also doing de-clutter blocks — but I’m doing them in 20 minute blocks, some online and some physically rearranging my office! Too funny!

  2. PS The only thing I have exclusive to Kindle are the serials; they want us to do ebooks of every few episodes exclusive, but I don’t. KU isn’t worth it for what I do. I prefer broader distribution. A big group of readers want nothing to do with Amazon.

    1. Precisely. Yes, a lot of readers are happy to get what they think must be a bargain for their monthly subscription, but perhaps they aren’t the kind of readers who’d enjoy my work anyway.

Comments are closed.