I got up earlier than usual yesterday due to the hedge man coming to do the garden. He wasn’t due until 10am and we’d told him we’d leave the gate open so he could let himself in as I’d be busy. Aside from like, you know, work, I also had other stuff to do.
The first job was folding some washing and putting some washing through. I took the wheelie bin out, as we’d both forgotten the night before. And I did a dog-poo patrol in the garden because, well, aside from it being necessary, we also had a man coming…
…who turned up at 9:50am… He only lives down the road. However, he went straight around the outside back of the garden so he didn’t interfere with my day at all.
I was at my desk relatively early. The first job I did there was finish yesterday’s blog post. I went through my emails, unfollowed a few more people on Facebook, and quickly checked into X, but there was nothing there for me. Then I made a cup of tea and started work. I could see the hedge man on the other side of the garden every time he popped up to trim some more hedge. (It really was badly overgrown.)
Yesterday’s big job was February planning and January wrap-up. I cut myself some slack and I’m letting me aim the magazine at February now, which means the novella has another 16 days too. I decided this was better than abandoning them both altogether, when people have bought the first and are waiting for the next. I could have rushed and finished it, or this way I could have a good shot at a half-decent standard.
I’ve also allowed myself two new short stories to try and write, both for calls for submissions. I did all of my calendar work and worked backwards to make sure I’m not over-facing myself. They’re both 3,000 – 20,000 words. One is due at the end of February, the other is due at the end of March. But I have to start them four or five weeks before they’re due, to make sure I’m not rushing them. It’s really time I did this.
Someone asked me to do the ideas and prompts again, but I haven’t had chance to do any yet this year. They’re not paying for them, they just like them because they get some good article pitches out of them. They take a LOT of time, though, and time is something I can’t afford to give away for free. So I’ll do it when I can. If I can think ahead far enough, I might just do it as a writer’s guide, but it has to be topical still.
I had a look at my story for 12 STORIES IN 12 MONTHS, setting it to percolate overnight. I did my backup and I did my diary work too. And the poet called to say he was half an hour early for his hospital appointment.
The dog needs an eye keeping on him at the moment. I think he’s got something wrong with his teeth or his mouth. He can’t safely have anaesthetic, due to the epilepsy, as it might kill him, so we have to hope it’s an infection or something not serious that can be treated quickly and safely.
It’s been a slow old month with me not doing half as much as what I wanted to do. I abandoned the learning (shorthand and typing) due to various reasons, and I only completed one assignment for the SF Mystery writing workshop. And that one failed because he couldn’t open it.
I’ll still be doing some jobs today but, generally, here’s how January went:
- new month wordcount & progress spreadsheets for January ✔
- THE SECRET OF WHITEHORSE FARM ✔
- (week) daily blog post ✔
- weekly tech scan ✔
- weekly backup ✔
- weekly diary work ✔
- author revisions to naval book ✔
- send naval book to client ✔
- invoice client for naval book ✔
- Monkey Dust admin just once ✔
- Diane’s gig list admin every Thursday ✔
- attend online SF Mystery Writing Workshop ✔
- complete up to three assignments for SF Mystery Writing Workshop ✔
- write a short story for 12 STORIES IN 12 MONTHS (TODAY!)
- collate and publish WORDS WORTH READING ISSUE 1 (deferred to Feb – not completed in time) ❌
- start to learn shorthand ✔
- brush up on copy typing ✔
- hospital appointment (me) ✔
- hospital appointment (the poet) ✔
- finances for February (TODAY!)
- take dog to vet ✔
- monthly schedule planning for February ✔
How did your January go?
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