Tuesday 25 June 2024: Back to work!

The biggest sweet shop I’ve ever seen (© Diane Wordsworth)

I’ve included a few more scenes from Poland today, but only for illustrative purposes.

It took me a while to get going on Monday. First of all, it was the first day back after almost a week off. Secondly, the poet was off on another business trip but he had a Teams meeting before he went. I finally got started at around noon.

First job of the day was collecting the photographs off my camera from the Poland trip. I moved them over to the computer, edited them, and selected a few I wanted to use on the blog. Second job of the day was writing up our trip to Poland. Once I’d uploaded it to WordPress, I uploaded the pictures and created the galleries. It took a long time to do all of that.

The next job I had to do was this week’s diary. I already had my tasks scheduled on TickTick, and I’m gradually using that more and more as a diary. But I still have my desk diary and I still like to have the week mapped out in front of me without having to turn on a computer or navigate to it on a mobile device.

As I added in the week’s jobs, I realised I simply don’t have enough hours in the day. I’m writing 2 books now, a novella and a writers’ guide, so ideally I’d like 2-hour slots for both of those. I like to work on a short story every day too, which only takes up a 1-hour slot for things like brainstorming, outlining and proofreading. But I also like 2 hours for the first draft.

So there’s up to 6 hours before I’ve even started my client work, which is also an ideal 2 hours a day. And now we’re up to 8 hours. Add to that admin jobs like tomorrow’s blog, weekly tech scan, weekly backup, next week’s diary, finances, etc, and I’m up to needing something like 9 hours every day if I can spread them out over the week.

Factor in meal times and I’m up to 11-hour days. I didn’t give up the rat race to work 11+ hour days!

And then I have household chores to do too. Plus errands, such as to the post office, the dentist, the doctor, the hospital, the hairdresser. Oh yes, and other unexpected time-sucks, such as tech that doesn’t work or having to do the jobs of professionals I’m paying to do them for me.

More dwarfs (© Diane Wordsworth)

Something has to give somewhere, but there’s nothing I really want to give up. Apart from the rubbish tech and the tardy professionals. And, perhaps, the dentist.

I went to have a look at my newsletter yesterday. Oh yes I did! But it won’t let me send anything out at the moment due to a change at their end regarding DKIM and DMARC, or something. Remember when my host moved everything over to a new server and it stopped working? Well, I think it has something to do with that as well. And I couldn’t get Brevo to make the adjustments for me as Dreamhost apparently have protection installed.

Honestly, I’m sick to death of stuff like this interfering in my already busy days. If I earned a load of money, I’d be able to pay someone to do it all for me. But I don’t, and I don’t believe in subsidising my business from personal savings. If I have to do that, then the business isn’t viable.

Once upon a time I was paid for producing and distributing a union newsletter. I paid someone else to do the stuffing and posting then because it came well within what I was getting for the job. I was also commissioned to write interviews for magazines and, from what they paid me, I could afford to pay for a typist to transcribe my tapes for me.

This is all my work, my admin, my business. And the only way I can justify paying other people to do certain jobs is if I have a regular income coming in to cover it.

So, apologies to subscribers, for now, about the absence of my newsletter. Perhaps a change of newsletter provider is required…But then that will take time to research and learn again.

Next week, and maybe for the rest of this week, I’ll try fiddling with my hours. Get up earlier, finish later, have shorter meal breaks. Of course shorter meal breaks probably mean fewer household chores, so it really will be a case of trial and error until I settle on a routine that works.

For the rest of the day I partook in the first of my writing with depth workshops. I took copious notes, but I’m sure there are things I’ve forgotten already.

Today, I have to do all the jobs I didn’t finish on Monday first, like today’s blog. And then I can start today’s jobs.

Enjoy the pictures!

Close-up detail of one of the frontages in Wroclaw Old Town Square (© Diane Wordsworth)

4 thoughts on “Tuesday 25 June 2024: Back to work!

  1. I think things are intentionally built to fail, especially when it comes to tech. They pretend it’s about security, but it’s to make it so frustrating that people will pay more (and then it won’t work anyway).

    I figured out the latest change in MailerLite, so that newsletter is going out tomorrow as planned. They’re a bit of a pain, but better than Brevo or whatever I was on before that, although they do not offer tech support on free accounts. I was looking at MailerJet. A friend who runs everything off her WordPress site (including paid subscriptions) used Mailpoet, a WP plug-in, and likes that. More and more writer friends are investigating the additional WP tools because, since they’re paying for their domains anyway, why not make use of the tools that are part of it?

    I still feel like I need to take a class in web development, though, and I’m looking at grants that would fund it.

    1. I never thought to apply for a grant to fund something like web development learning. I used to teach IT, but everything has changed a lot since those long ago days.

      I wanted MailPoet to be the one, and it still may be, one day. I’ll see how EmailOctopus pans out, although it’s already sent the initial welcome letter out to everyone again, apparently…

      1. In my area, there are often grants for professional development, sometimes through the local Chamber, sometimes through regional sites. As a freelancer and as an artist, I’m considered a “small business” and often eligible for grants, even without being incorporated. If I was farther from retirement age, i would probably move to LLC status for Fearless Ink and then get certified for government contract work, but those are usually mutli-year commitments, and I’m just not in that place right now. However, if I can get a small business grant to learn web development, it would enchance my own work, and be something I could then hire out to do for other small businesses and artists.

        The thought of learning coding makes my head ache and my eyes cross, but, at the same time, it’s something I need to learn, especially when it comes to something like writing new CSS coding in a web template, so I can make my sites do them what I want them to do.

Comments are closed.