Two days off

I worked at the weekend – again – but only so that I could at least have 2 days off this week with the poet. He had to go on another business trip first thing Wednesday morning, so I made sure I had Monday and Tuesday with him. On Monday we chilled for a bit before we went out and did a bit of spontaneous shopping. On Tuesday, he worked on the gig list, a playlist for a private party […]

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More rabbit holes

I got up too late and was too tired to do any NaNo prep work on Friday and I ended up down a rabbit hole in any case. Well, I ended up down so many rabbit holes, in fact, that I did wonder at one point if I’d stumbled into a complete warren. Word progress meters I started off by looking for a word progress meter, which was actually sort-of prep work for NaNo. I used to have this wonderful […]

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NaNoWriMo Prep Day 1

I had a late start on Thursday due to working very late into Wednesday night. I finished one of the ghostwriting gigs, though, and by the time I got up on Thursday, payment had been approved and the contract for the next instalment had arrived. Because I was slogging away at the ghostwriting, and because it was peeing down with rain, I didn’t get to walk home from work on Wednesday. That means that, technically, me and the dog were still […]

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NaNoWriMo Prep Day Zero

Prep Day Zero is actually all of the prep work for the prep work. For me, it’s reminding myself of the steps that work when I outline a project, and this week I’ve created tasks in my Asana project file. Including Day Zero, there are actually six prep days rather than five, but the last one is Day Five. What’s the difference? Well, one to five are actually writing work. Or jotting things down. Zero is just setting up reminders, […]

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Getting ahead with publicity materials

From 1 November I have five new products scheduled for publication. Three of them are Wordsworth Shorts (standalone short stories, although some do seem to be falling into collections), one is the first short standalone episode in a series, The Ace of Wands, and the fifth one is my first ever novella, Mardi Gras. These are all scheduled to publish a week apart. These books and booklets are already with the publisher and waiting to go. But I’m going to […]

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Another good start…

… but then, Mondays are always a good start. I just struggle for the rest of the week after that. I should have been having a holiday yesterday and today, as the poet is using up his annual leave before he loses it at the end of the year. I had too much work to do, though. And so I worked yesterday and I’ll work today. However, I’m not going mad. Walking to work works at 9am much better than […]

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Review of last week

Well, first of all, I got my first half stone (7lb) certificate from Slimming World on Thursday. This has been a long time coming despite actually losing 12lb in real life. Still, it’s the weekly scales that register. However, another quarter of a pound and I’ll have dropped down into the next stone zone (SW weigh-in). Maybe next week… Last week What did I learn with the new regime last week? Firstly, I don’t seem to need a full hour […]

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NaNoWriMo 2021

Yup, looks like I’ve signed up to do NaNo again this year. If there’s one thing walking to work and back every day does, it gives you time to think things through. I’m very busy doing a lot of work. I’m currently ghostwriting not one but two novels. One is a Regency romance, the other is a contemporary story. Both need a certain amount of research doing, although I’m getting quite familiar with the Regency era. I’m also editing for […]

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Harder

Never in my life have I been a morning person. And I’m still not. I have much respect for people who can get up at 7am, or 6am, or 5am, or anything earlier than 10am really. It doesn’t come easily to me at all. I wouldn’t mind if I stayed up at the other end of the day to make up for it. But I like to be back in bed by 10:30 – 11:00pm at the latest. My dad […]

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Less easy

(Image by mathey from Pixabay) After a relatively good start on Monday, Tuesday was harder. I wasn’t as late, but it was more of a chore. I struggled to get up, then I lingered over breakfast. But I did it. The biggest issue was that I only had my work to do yesterday and it was only by reminding myself that my work was important too that I reported to my desk. It had been a disturbed night as well (dog twice, […]

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A good start

(Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay) Part of my getting back to a structured routine includes writing up my writing diary as I go along. So I’m back to reporting on what I did ‘yesterday’ or how ‘yesterday’ went. Monday 11 October 2021 Monday started off quite well with the new regime, although I was running about 15 minutes late right up to the morning coffee break. ‘My’ work I walked to work and spent the first hour checking emails and […]

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Adding structure

(Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay) My self-isolation was over on Saturday and I tested negative on Sunday. So we nipped out for the first time in almost two weeks to get some food for the garden birds and to visit family. (The dog and cat also got a new basket each!) Although I worked for most of the time that I was poorly, I didn’t beat myself up if I was late with anything or if I just wanted a rest. […]

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Autumn is here

(Image by Pepper Mint from Pixabay) Aside from still suffering with the after effects of Covid this past week, I’ve also been busy catching up on ghostwriting (1) book 7 part 1, which was due in last Sunday. I submitted it last night, so only four days late. Concentration and fatigue have been the two main factors. I also have what feels like a heavy cold and my sense of smell is dropping in and out. However, it’s not the latter that’s causing […]

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Short n sweet

I nicked today’s featured image from a Facebook friend. I have no idea where he found it or if he made it himself. But I liked it, it amused me, and I nicked it. (With thanks to Paul White!) I had a quick look at Facebook at about 5pm yesterday and when it didn’t load, I just shrugged my shoulders, moved on and forgot about it… until the BBC news told me almost two hours later that there was a […]

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Taking it easy

(Image by Anrita1705 from Pixabay) After trying to fight the virus and carry on with work, I finally conceded and took a few days off to recuperate. I haven’t been as poorly as the poet has, but I have been lethargic and lacking concentration, as well as feeling a bit fluey, even though I don’t usually catch the flu. Today I noticed I had no sense of smell and last week my taste went a bit odd. But other than that… and a […]

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September wrap-up

(image courtesy of Canva) September was a busy month, the biggest thing was publication of Words Worth Reading, and to top it off, we both got Covid. I ran out of time for some things, other things didn’t need doing after all, and the rest will be moved to October. Overall, I’m happy with how the month panned out. I did a lot of work and I worked a lot of hours. Here’s how September went. Anything marked ♻️ is […]

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It got me

Yup, it didn’t even give me the full five days grace. Yesterday, at the poet’s insistence, I took the test, and it was positive. We always have to do things together in this house! Mind you, it doesn’t seem to be affecting me as much as it is him… yet. My temperature has remained normal and I’ve not had the full body aches. I have, however, developed a barking cough and a snotty nose. While I’m still able, I’m going […]

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A surprisingly productive day

(Image by suju-foto from Pixabay) On Monday when I nipped out to get some essentials, I also picked up some sunflowers to cheer the house up. They’re currently bringing a welcome splash of sunshine to our dining room. All things considered, I had a productive day yesterday. First of all I published Mardi Gras as an ebook on Draft2Digital. It’s not out until 15 November, so it has plenty of time to appear in all of the ebook book stores. Once D2D can publish […]

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The lurgy has arrived

(Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay) On Friday and all over the weekend I worked on the novella Mardi Gras. The plan was to split it into two and either serialise it in Words Worth Reading or make two separate stories out of it. I trimmed it down from around 49,000 words to around 43,000 words and decided to keep it all intact. It was added to Words Worth Reading in its entirety. This means that Words Worth Reading is currently sitting at just under 70,000 words. […]

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Beavering away

(Image by birgl from Pixabay) I’ve been working hard on the website today. The bright-eyed and bushy-tailed will notice a few additions to the sidebar (it’s at the bottom on mobile devices), and I’ve also removed the ‘short stories’ page and added a ‘latest news’ page. Have a look around, see what you think, and do let me know in the comments if you feel strongly about something. I’m also beavering away at Words Worth Reading Issue 1 so that it’s ready for […]

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Work harder

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay) I had such a rubbish day on Monday that I had to try much harder on Tuesday, not only for my own personal mental wellbeing, but also for my clients’ benefits. I need to stop getting so behind with my work. I worked until about 6pm, so there was no slacking there. My work So, what did I manage in the end? This was my list: write today’s blog post ✅ import today’s blog post to Medium¹ […]

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And pause…

(Image by Melk Hagelslag from Pixabay) Monday is usually such a good day that I was disappointed when work stalled yesterday. It was my own fault. I disappeared down another one of those pesky rabbit holes and when I came back, nothing had changed. I stuck with what I already had. I was looking at project management software because when I duplicated a project in Asana, it duplicated everything and I had to go in and retype everything anyway. I can make a […]

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Seems like a plan

(Image by congerdesign from Pixabay) The tags for this cover picture today included the word ‘breakfast’. I’ve been looking at the ‘breakfast’, and I think it’s a slice of bread (or toast), with sliced banana on and topped off with chocolate flakes. Dark chocolate flakes. 🤢 Who has that for breakfast? 🤔 The weekend I worked very hard on Friday to get the last part of ghostwriting (1) Book 6 in, and I actually managed it during the day, and while it was still […]

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Faffing with covers (again!)

(artwork for book cover by Peter H from Pixabay) Yesterday’s morning faff was cover work again. I’ve wanted to rebrand my short stories for a while because I thought the old ones were a bit wishy washy. With three short stories appearing in the magazine in October, and with me wanting to release them after the magazine’s been published, yesterday I think I finally did it. These are the short, complete stories that will be appearing in the magazine. Two of them are […]

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I put my rates up

(Image by Kelvin Stuttard from Pixabay) My rates for editing and proofreading have been static for a lot of years now. And when I started the ghostwriting a year ago, I went in low but towards the top of what I already knew the client paid. After all, I was learning the trade rather than an expert in it. Since then he’s given me a pay rise. With all other prices going through the roof now, the time has come for me to […]

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Writing rules

(Image created on Canva) Another thing I faffed at over the weekend was creating images on Canva to make wallpapers and Instagram posts. (You can follow me on Instagram too, by the way…) I’d seen these writing rules in several places and wanted to paste them everywhere to remind me of them, I think they’re so good. Apparently, they’re known as Heinlein’s writing rules: Writing rules You must write You must finish what you start You must refrain from rewriting, […]

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A packed schedule

(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay) I ended up working at the weekend again. I’d like to say that once I knew the poet was going fishing, then I saved my work for then. However, it was almost the other way around. I asked him if he was fishing, and when he said yes I thought Phew! Because I already had a lot of work in. Saturday 11 September 2021 I’ve been trying to do some work every day on the magazine. Saturday’s […]

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Plan for September

(featured image courtesy of Canva) I haven’t done a monthly plan since the July one. Nor did I do a round-up for either July or August. It’s time I caught up with that. With only three weeks left in September, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the amount of work I’ve set myself. And so yesterday evening, after fat club (maintained – even after a holiday), I sat down with my phone and I jotted down every single job […]

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A bit of self-indulgence

(Image by Anrita1705 from Pixabay) I’ve pretty much set my mind on writing a bunch of short stories. For me, aside from the initial spark of an idea, this also means market study. Now, I’m actually moving away from traditional short story submissions and towards indie publishing. So the market study isn’t actually studying the market in the usual sense of seeing who’s buying what. Instead, it’s to study the actual format and see if I can come up with something useable. With […]

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Planning and writing

(Image by webvilla from Pixabay) I lost half a day on Monday, when it should have been my first day back, due to taking the dog to the vet. It knocked me off kilter a bit for the rest of the day, but I was still busy. I was busy setting up the subscription form for the blog posts from Substack. (In case you didn’t see that, it’s in the sidebar too – or at the bottom on mobile devices – and there’s […]

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A lovely week off

(Image: The poet shooting High Force waterfall in Teesdale © Diane Wordsworth) Holiday! It was a bit of a mad rush in the end, but I submitted the last of my work a week ago last Friday. Okay, so it was really late. But it was gone by the time the weekend arrived. On the Saturday, after a bit of a lie-in, we did the holiday shopping and on Saturday night the poet’s band had a gig. On Sunday we […]

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Finance for freelance writers & editors: How to calculate your hourly rate

(Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay) As I’m away this week, here’s one I prepared earlier. It’s a rant I had last week on Medium. When it comes to working out an hourly rate, it helps to know where to start. When someone offers me $25 to edit their 10,000-word document I can feel myself going cross-eyed. Apart from being topics of no interest to me when an interest in the topic is a requirement (cosmetics, poetry, ninja kids…), and apart […]

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Wednesday writing prompts

(Image by JohnNico from Pixabay) I’m away this week, but here’s one I prepared earlier. Short and sweet once again, but here are this week’s writing prompts. The Swallow Sidecar Company One hundred years ago next year, on 4 September 1922, William Walmsley and William Lyons founded the Swallow Sidecar Company in Blackpool. It was later to become Jaguar Cars. What can you find out about either Walmsley or Lyons? What else were they known for? Where were they born? Where did they die? […]

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Polish your work before letting it go

As I’m away this week, here’s one I prepared earlier. It’s a rant I had a few weeks ago on Medium, but the same topic also appears in Diary of a Scaredy Cat. Have pride in your work; at least read it through before sending it out. Writers don’t seem to have pride in their work anymore. When I was learning about being a writer (in class and experiential), it was drummed into me that you should never knowingly send […]

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Planning ahead

Thursday 26 August 2021 I had a lot to do on Thursday, so I was happy when I made it to my desk at a reasonable time again. I started by having a quick look at the short stories I’ve written but done nothing with for possible inclusion in the fiction magazine… It soon became clear that there was a reason I didn’t do anything with them. They were all rubbish. So that was that, then. Next up I selected […]

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Don’t want to

I’m a bit demob happy this week, as we break up for a week’s holiday on Friday (first holiday in more than two years!). I’ve also been feeling a bit demotivated. I think the two may be connected, and it might be why I try not to get too excited too soon too often about things. However, I suppose I haven’t had a bad couple of days. Tuesday 24 August 2021 I did it again. For two days on the […]

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Wednesday writing prompts

I missed another week, so here is another list of dates, this time for the second half of the month, for you to research and brainstorm for yourselves. Choose a topical date or an evergreen, and consider writing an article, a short story, or something longer. There’s time, after all. 16 August Twenty years ago next year, on 16 August 2002, the Africa Women’s Peace Train left Kampala for Johannesburg. 17 August Evergreen: Black Cat Appreciation Day 19 August Evergreen: […]

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Mondays are always good…

Monday’s are always good… but then everything usually goes downhill from there! Monday 23 August 2021 Considering I didn’t stop work all weekend and I finished very late on Saturday and late-ish on Sunday, I was up surprisingly early and at my desk by 10am. I had a lot to do, though, but only a handful of things for myself before the client work kicked in. My first job was to share yesterday’s blog post to Substack, the old site […]

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News flash! Follow the new site!

Apparently (said she hopefully), you can now follow the new site. (That’s this one!) Go to the comment form, start to leave a comment, and the option should appear to either receive notifications for new comments, or receive notifications for new blog posts. You may need to leave a comment first, in order for it to work. But that only needs to be a ‘Yo!’. The tick boxes look like this (But don’t tick these ones here!):  Notify me of […]

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I need to be more prolific

(Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay) Friday 20 August 2021 Friday was one of those busy days where you don’t stop all day but by the end of it you don’t know what you’ve done. You have nothing to show for it. I deleted the paid-for newsletter on substack (not the free one) because by the time I’d filled it with about 50% of the material for the first issue, I was getting a warning that it was too long. Apparently, there […]

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