Tag Archives: work

Seven (7) in (in) Five (5)


Seven in five.

September, 2016 to February, 2017.

That’s my timeline.

“For what?” you’re wondering.

I have seven books in the works and my plan is to have them all written and published by February, 2017.

“Seven books in five months? Are you nuts?” you might be asking.

Yes, it does seem daunting. A novel length book is a minimum of 50,000 words. Multiply that by 7 and you get 350,000 words. That’s a decent amount of words.

Unless you’re a writer. On average I write 5,000-15,000 words a week, not including Facebook posts, emails, blog posts or messages. That’s 20-60k words a month, mainly about stuff I really don’t care about. In five months, that’s 100k to 300k words.

But the good news is that I don’t have to actually write that many words. Three of the books are at various stages of completion (two over 50 percent completed). Two of the books are going to be more novella length (less than 50k but more than 25k). I guesstimate having to write around 235k words between now and late January, early February. Which is more than doable.

Well, don’t overwork yourself. Don’t burn out. Pace yourself. This has been the advice from many. I appreciate the words, I know they are meant to be helpful.

But hush already. LOL This is how I want to make my living. I don’t want to write for mills and impossible clients anymore. I don’t want to spend my days writing about stuff I don’t much care about. I can deal with doing it for a few hours a week, but not all day, every day. Not anymore. I’m starting to view my work with the same disdain reserved for “traditional” work gigs. And I can’t allow that to happen.

So, I’m diving in and getting these books written. This is what I want to do with my life, it’s how I want to make a living. Are the next few months going to be easy? Nope. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Perhaps. I can always change my schedule if I need to, but I’m going to try like hell not to do that. I’ve been saying “I’ll do it later” to my career for more years than I even want to think about. I’m staring at 50. If not now, when? If not me, who?

So, wish me luck. Ask me how things are going. Say prayers, light candles, think good thoughts as I dive into my career, the career I’ve always wanted, for what feels like the first time. I’m excited. Let’s do this!

 

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A “Typical” Work Day…


I’ve been asked more than once what a typical workday for me is like.
Well, short of taking you on a Periscope trip (which I might do when it gets warmer and I’m on the road more), the best way to describe it is to show you a picture of my desk at any given moment of the day:

20160222_115345[1]This is what three businesses on one desk looks like. At least when I dump it all out like this to take a picture so you all can see what three businesses on one desk looks like. 🙂

I took this pic this morning while I was determining what all I had going on today. The receipts represent the mystery shop reports I have to complete. The jewelry supplies are for jewelry orders that I need to complete this week, and the notebook (far right corner) has a list of my writing assignments for the week.

Now, when I’m *actually* working, my desk looks more like this:

Writing

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Jewelry making

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Working on reports…

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There ya have it…a peek at my desk and a glimpse into my work day. So, what does YOUR desk look like?

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Yeah and Meh…


The last few weeks have been challenging, and I’m not sure why.

I’ve pared down my client list to three clients I love, so work isn’t really a chore at the moment.

I’m making progress on my “Quest for National Publication,” so that’s good.

I don’t have any pressing issues, obligations or major things to worry about…so yay to that.

And yet…here I sit, uneasy about it all.

Maybe things are too easy…they’re going too smoothly.

I’m not used to smooth. I’m used to craziness, chaos, bedlam.

That I can do — I thrive on that.

But this…this is foreign to me.

Now, I know some of you are thinking, “Be glad it’s going smoothly, and enjoy it.” And, I know you’re right — I should be…

But I can’t. And I don’t know why.

And that bugs me.

But not enough to make me feel better.

And if you followed that, well, I don’t know whether to apologize to you or applaud you.

What does it say about someone who can’t be happy when things are going well?

Ok – that’s a bit of a reach. I’m happy…just uneasy about the happiness.

That doesn’t really make it sound better, does it?

I’m just more comfortable with chaos. I know what to expect with chaos.

I’d like to get comfortable with things going well…

I guess it will take practice.

Until then, I’ll just stress out about not being stressed out. That always makes me feel better.

Again — apologies and applause. 🙂

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This Ain’t a Date — Pay Me!


Do I have you attention?

Good. 🙂

So, I got an email from one of my clients, one of the few content mills I still write for occasionally. They are revamping their site, and part of the overhaul includes writers updating their profiles. Okay, I can understand needing me to re-size a picture and explain my writing background. So, last week, I did that.

Today I get a followup email. They want me to “flesh out” my profile “so they can better match me to clients.” Oh, and they want sample articles for each area in which I write.

Um…I have three major areas of expertise, and  countless other areas where I can write with some level of authority (I think I counted 20 or so areas on their site). And you want me to complete a mini-profile for each other them.

Guys…it’s so Not Happening.

I’m not sure when this happened, but suddenly, sites want to know everything about you. I’m not willing to do that. This ain’t a dating site. I’m not trying to woo you, and I don’t want you to woo me, past giving me gigs and paying me. That’s really the extent of our relationship.

Want to know what you need to know about me? Here ya go:

My Name

My Resume

A couple of writing samples.

My PayPal email address so you can pay me.

This is what I need to know about you:

Do you pay?

How do you pay?

Do you pay on time?

Do you have work?

That’s it. This could be one of the least-complicated relationships either of us has ever had, and you want to go and ruin it by getting to know me. I’m afraid that if you insist on taking our relationship to the next level, I might have to rethink it.

I know you’re disappointed. But, it’s not you, it’s me.

Okay, it really is you.

 

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Houston, We’ve Got Downtime…


Today is a pretty light work day for me. My regular gig won’t start in earnest until tomorrow, and the content sites for which I do work haven’t started up for the month yet, so all I have to work on is a textbook review. Slow days like these used to bug me — I’d feel like the day was wasted. But now, I see it as an opportunity to market and promote myself in other places. So, I’m posting this blog, and I’m going to apply to gigs on some job boards and bid sites. Then I’m going to either crochet or make a piece of jewelry to add to my stock. I’ve also got a HUGE box of ceramic tiles in varying sizes and colors that are calling to me to turn them into coasters and heat pads. Told you I was crafty!

So, how do you handle “downtime” on your work days? Anything you like to do that you might not have time to do otherwise?

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New Year – Day 1…


Well, it’s the first day of 2012, so you know what that means…

You’ve got a clean slate. There are 364 days ahead of you, and they’re just waiting for you to do something with them. What do you plan to do?

Me? I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. 2011 was a pretty good year, both personally and professionally, so I plan to build on what I accomplished during the last 365 days. I just plan to do things better.

My motto: work smarter, not harder.

I made a list of goals for 2012 that spans two hand-written college-ruled pages, but I won’t torture you with the list. I’m just going to summarize it in three sentences.

1. Be the Expert. I spent most of last year making others look good, and I intend to continue doing that this year — but to a lesser degree. If I have the knowledge and skills to make others look like pros, I really need to apply those same skills to make ME look like a pro. To that end, my relationship with content writing is all but ending. I still have a few private clients through content sites, so I will work with them, but my days of writing from the content pool are limited at best. I never close a door completely or burn a bridge (well, not ALL of them, anyway), but I don’t anticipate working with them nearly as much as I have in the past. I have three solid clients, and a handful of periodic clients. Between those and gigs I pick up here and there from job boards and bid sites, I should do okay, only working half the hours I worked last year.

2. Me Me Me. I’m going to make time for me this year. On average, I worked 96 hours a week last year. Ninety-six. I’m not doing that this year. This year I’m going to actually do things that don’t require an Internet connection. I might even, *gasp* date. Baby steps, though. Baby steps.

3. Indulge my passions. I have been a crafter since I was a kid. Crochet, jewelry making, plastic canvas, looming, needlework are all things I enjoy doing, but over the last few years I’ve stopped, with the exception being the jewelry, and even it has taken a back seat to other things. Well, this year, I’m going to reintroduce myself to those passions. Might even pick up a couple of new ones. We will see.

And that, ladies and gents, is how I plan to spend 2012. What big plans you do have?

 

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