Pomodoros rule!

I was late again to my desk on Friday morning, but I had done a lot of work already on the mobile phone, both in bed and over breakfast. For example, I checked emails, the bank and social media, and I did another job search. At my desk, the first job I did was an hour of date work. Then I had to answer some final (I hoped!) queries for the interview I did for The War Cry magazine. For both […]

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Stormy night

Image by janrye from Pixabay We had a heavy storm overnight on Wednesday. It was more windy than rainy, but I liked this image above as soon as it popped up. Wistfully we said it was good that we didn’t have to worry about any chickens or the greenhouse blowing away. But I do think it spooked the animals a bit. They were both very restless, and that meant that so were we. By yesterday morning, it seemed to have […]

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NaNoWriMo Prep: Days 2, 3 & 4

I’ve been working through the prep days for NaNoWriMo, trying to do everything in a certain order. Because I’ve decided on The Beast Within, much of the character work is already done, and the book is semi-outlined all the way through. So I’ve just been reading through all of that to refresh my memory, and adding anything else that’s popped into my head. Scrivener Something I really, really wanted to do was set up a series binder in Scrivener for all […]

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NaNoWriMo: And the winner is …

Today should have been NaNoWriMo Prep: Day 2. But after a long weekend, and with NaNoWriMo looming only this weekend, I had quite a lot of admin work to do. First of all I had to tidy up my online calendar. I had to mark as done all of my usual jobs and chores for the whole of October, as I’ve not been using it properly. And I had to ensure that the remaining jobs are still pertinent. Pomodoros Then I […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 20 (last day)

With me finishing the revisions of Twee Tales Too on Wednesday, I already had an extra hour today. Then when I checked in to the content-editing workroom, there was no work, so that was another extra hour today. I hoped that would be enough to finish today’s work. First of all I had the last 3,106 words to write for this month’s instalment of Catch the Rainbow. Then I had about 90 pages to finish proofreading for a client. I went […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 19 of 20 (in the end)

So this great plan of mine to be at my desk by 9am and write for 4 hours was foiled before I even got there. The poet was working from home and he had a Skype meeting (or a Team meeting) at 8am. For 4 hours. (FOUR hours!) I fannied around for a bit, doing what chores I could, making us both breakfast and cups of tea until I felt the urge to just get my earphones (earbuds), find some […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 16

Oops, skipped a day … From this week, my 10-project writing planner has a new project attached. It’s a proofreading job, and I want it finished by the end of Friday. Next week, I add a different project to my planner. This week’s proofreading job means I’ll have 2 projects on the go at the same time for the first time since I started to properly use the planner. Next week’s proofreading job means the same, as this week’s should […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 5

I say Day 5, but is it really Day 7? It was certainly Day 7 of the month, and it’s probably Day 7 for a lot of other campers. But I’m not doing a 31-day writing month. I’m doing a 23-day writing month. Because I don’t work at the weekend. Monday was a Very Busy Day. Tuesday was slightly less busy in that I don’t do the content editing job on a Tuesday. I only do that Monday, Wednesday and […]

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Diary of a non-fiction book: Website research

I have been beavering away at the biography, but it is dragging on a bit now. We had so many interferences and interruptions that the deadline kept on being pushed back. I was ill and then the poet was ill and then we were burgled and then we had another attempted break-in … and, and, and …  Even I’m sick of the excuses. I am, however, currently in the writing cave furiously trying to finish this book. I didn’t want another […]

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Thursday 14 November 2019

Hmm. Not only is the old classic WordPress interface much easier and quicker to use, it also posts when I schedule it to. The new editor isn’t exactly on a winning streak at the moment … Yesterday was a good working day. I got up on time, was at my desk on time, and I finished all of my daily admin jobs and household chores early. If ever I don’t have any client work in, mornings are now spent doing […]

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Thursday 10 October 2019

You’ll be pleased to know I finally made some inroads on the copywriting job yesterday.  I started with some handwriting practise because my handwriting is becoming quite unreadable. Then I wrote up the day’s Pomodoros, because I hadn’t had chance to do that the day before. And I wrote my daily writing blog post. Then I spread out all of the information in front of me that I have for the copywriting job and came up with a more detailed […]

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Wednesday 9 October 2019

The morning went well yesterday, starting with me writing up the day’s Pomodoros. I was out on Monday afternoon and didn’t have time to do it at the end of the day.  I wrote my daily blog post and I wrote up the report for the writers’ group. Then I settled in to some writing for the Cadbury book. For the morning session, I managed 1,550 words. Then the afternoon began and I spread out all of my notes for […]

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Tuesday 8 October 2019

The day began yesterday with a blog post, and then I was onto the client copywriting job. I located and printed off all the research notes I wanted, and collated everything together ready to go. I also started to jot down a few things. Then the phone call came in that my deadline had been moved from next Wednesday to this Friday, and could I do that. Well, normally I’d say no as I’m working on the Cadbury book. But […]

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Monday 7 October 2019

Friday morning began with some Pomodoro admin and a jigging about of each one, resulting in one Pomodoro less per day and a shorter dinner break, but longer Pomodoro breaks. I certainly didn’t feel quite so rushed by the end of the day and had more time to breathe. I wrote my daily blog post, tidied up my Twitter feed, was approved for two more NetGalley books, and did some work on the Cadbury book. In the afternoon, I scheduled […]

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Friday 4 October 2019

Twelve Pomodoros a day with 5-minute breaks plus one 60-minute break isn’t really working. I’m managing the Pomodoros okay, but the short breaks are too short. Five minutes isn’t long enough to empty a full dishwasher or fill it with a full load. Five minutes isn’t long enough to sort out, hang out, fold up or put away one washload. Five minutes isn’t long enough to go out into the garden and do a dog-poo patrol or feed the birds or the […]

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Thursday 3 October 2019

I was very pleased with my output yesterday, and I didn’t even need to switch over to the focused (i.e. not connected to the internet) laptop.  The day started with my daily blog post, for which I wrote 459 words. Then I moved on to the Cadbury book. I only had the morning scheduled in for this as I was expecting a new client job. I managed to write a very respectable 2,411 words. Not quite my half-day target, but […]

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Wednesday 2 October 2019

October suddenly got busier late yesterday afternoon. But it’s okay, I was half-expecting it.  It’s the new writing job I was in discussion about towards the end of last week. And it’s only 10,000 words max. I can do this … Yesterday started with me writing up the day’s Pomodoros, as I hadn’t had chance to do them the day before. Then I wrote a 465-word blog post. And then I completed the screen edit for the Hong Kong client […]

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Tuesday 1 October 2019

October already. How did that happen? I have a deadline this month, and then it’s NaNoWriMo next month. Looks like I have some work to do and less faffing. Yesterday morning I did the hard copy edit of the job from Hong Kong. I emailed the client to let him know, and to tell him I’ll do the screen edit today. He already replied and told me to send in my invoice. In the afternoon I drove over to the […]

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Monday 30 September 2019

I can’t believe it’s October tomorrow. How fast has this year gone again? I have a book due in at the end of the month. I need to pull my finger out. Friday morning went fairly well. I wrote my daily blog post first, queried another publisher about whether or not they consider self-published works – but they look like a subsidy publisher, so I may not pursue them too hard – and then I went into my 25-minute Pomodoros. […]

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Friday 27 September 2019

I’m running out of steam or getting distracted in the afternoons. So I’m moving more work to the mornings and more faff to the afternoons. I’m not sure if that’s working or not yet, but time will tell. Yesterday started on a positive note with a job query arriving overnight and a big publisher agreeing to consider one of my previously self-published books. I wrote my daily blog post, did a halfhearted job-search and pitched for just one editing job. […]

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Thursday 26 September 2019

First job yesterday was the new NetGalley book over breakfast. I moved the daily Pomodoro write-up to the last session of the day as I usually start to run out of steam at around 4pm, and for the past few days I’ve been writing them up the night before anyway. I wrote my daily blog post first, which has now been moved to the very first session of every day. With me concentrating on the biography at the moment, I was […]

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Diary of a non-fiction book: Reading and making notes

The writing part is going very slowly at the moment. This is because I’m still in reading mode and still only making notes. What I do is, working in 25-minute Pomodoros, spend two Pomodoros reading and then one Pomodoro writing my interpretation of what I’ve just read. This way, it’s already in my own words for when I come to add to it or edit it. As I read through the material, I use sticky tabs to mark the place, […]

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Wednesday 25 September 2019

Over breakfast yesterday, I finished the NetGalley book I was reading and I wrote up today’s Pomodoros. That meant the first job at my desk was a 500-word blog post and my daily warm-up. The next thing I did was write up the report for this week’s writers’ group meeting. I had 25 minutes of social media, 25 minutes of job searching, and I pitched for one ghostwriting job. Then I wrote up the latest diary of a novel blog […]

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Tuesday 24 September 2019

I had a late start yesterday. I was quite tired, the poet had left early for a business trip, and I slept in. I got to my desk at around 10:30am, but I’d done my first Pomodoro’s work on the phone the night before, so I didn’t really lose anything. First job was yesterday’s writing diary blog post. This job has moved to the top of the list and I’m giving myself 25 minutes to write it. It seems to […]

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Monday 23 September 2019

Well, by the end of the week, I’d done a load of Pomodoros and got a lot of work done. Very productive indeed. I did start to wilt around mid-afternoon on Friday, though. The morning began once again over breakfast with me reading the latest book for NetGalley.  I’m really enjoying this Christmas story and looking forward to starting the next. My first Pomodoro was writing up the day’s Pomodoro targets. This is really working for me as I’m not […]

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Friday 19 September 2019

I was surprised at how much work I got through yesterday as Thursdays are usually rubbish. I generally wake up tired and often don’t want to get out of bed. Perhaps having a goal is helping. The day began at breakfast, funnily enough, with me reading the next NetGalley book. It’s a Christmas story and I love Christmas, but I’m enjoying the book as well. Always useful, that. My first Pomodoro of the day was deciding what to do in […]

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Thursday 19 September 2019

The Pomodoros seem to be working. I had a very good day yesterday. First job of the day was chasing a client for payment that was due on Monday. By midday they’d come back to me to say payment will arrive before the end of the week. I did my 25 minutes on social media, and I jotted down what I wanted to achieve for each of my 12 Pomodoros throughout the day. I’ve reactivated my Trello board for this.  […]

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Wednesday 18 September 2019

So yesterday, this happened. I finished my 14 Days to a Solid Writing Habit FREE course from WritersHQ and I was rewarded with this shiny new badge to display on my blog/Facebook/whatever. I do like a nice badge to display on my whatever. It was a good morning yesterday. I started with my first 25 minutes on social media, emailed the Australian client with a niggle (I had a niggle, the client didn’t …), wrote up and posted this week’s […]

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Tuesday 17 September 2019

Wow! What a wild weekend we had … well, it was busy. And interesting. Friday morning I had my first 25 minutes on social media, and I wrote a blog post. A Sky delivery that was supposed to arrive between 10:30am and 11:30am finally arrived at midday, with no apology from the driver. I had a hair appointment at 12:30pm, so didn’t have a lot of time to do much else. In the afternoon, I did my 14 Days … exercise. The […]

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Friday 13 September 2019

My first 25 minutes yesterday were spent looking at houses. We’re not planning on moving any time soon, but I do like to keep an eye on the market and I needed to clear a load of sold properties out of my RightMove account. The next 25 minutes were spent on my social media morning fix. A new proofreading job came in yesterday morning, but there’s no rush. I had told him I could probably get it back to him […]

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Diary of a pocket novel – the end of Act 1

Thanks to my Monday afternoon writers’ group I’m being forced to work on the pocket novel. We’re supposed to bring something new to every session, either something we’re working on or something set to a theme. As I’m working on so many different projects, I decided to use this as an excuse to crack on with The Fool. It’s taking a while because I have to do other stuff in between, like edit client work or write my contracted biography. […]

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Getting out of the doldrums

I was feeling a tad overwhelmed this time last week when I posted about the various piles of work I had. But sorting them out and discussing it with the poet really helped. The first thing I did was finish the big proofreading job that was already in. That was completed yesterday and I nipped to the post office to send it off. I got there just in time as the postie was just leaving (I was sending it “signed […]

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Working with a timer

When I’m really, really busy and start to feel overwhelmed with the amount of work I have yet to do, I resort to the Pomodoro Tomato technique. In fact, I swear by it. I’ve covered this before, but for those who don’t know what the Pomodoro technique is, it’s a kitchen timer technique that you set for 4 blocks of 25-minute bursts interspersed with 3 x 5-minute bursts and 1 x 15-minute burst (or 10 minutes). For each 25-minute burst, […]

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