My third seven-day writing/editing week in a row! And I’m still excited about both my paid editing work and my own personal projects! So, that’s nice…
Back to reality after my amazing writing retreat of last week…
And I really did go back to reality, as I spent nearly five hours thoroughly editing an entire business book for a new client.
I was a bit knackered once I’d finished that, but I promised Stanley I’d work on his marketing plan today, so I identified the smallest step I could complete (selecting a tool for managing an email newsletter) and did that.
I also read and commented on a short story draft from one of the TL;DR writers.
I set myself up for success this morning, with my new writing ritual – scented candle, coffee and tea by my side, a brief meditation to create the right atmosphere, and my favourite writing music.
Then I went through my revision notes for Bride and condensed them into as brief a checklist as possible. I read the opening scene and made the relevant changes.
My client project for the day was the novel my editor, Amie, had asked me to edit in exchange for her developmental feedback on Darkness. My first task was to read carefully through all the materials provided – summaries of the first two books in the series, notes from the author about the edits to those, a style guide Amie put together, and the manuscript of the previous instalment with her edits highlighted.
I edited the first 12 pages and really enjoyed it! It took me a while to stop worrying about whether I was doing a good enough job, but eventually I relaxed into it.
I also gave detailed comments on a mid-length short story from another of the TL;DR writers.
I had promised Dave faithfully that I wouldn’t do any more pitching until September – but it’s not my fault if previous clients come calling with well-paid and interesting work, is it? My regular prison memoir publisher client dropped a 100k-word manuscript in my inbox this afternoon, so I had a fun time moving everything around and increasing my planned weekly working hours for July and August (from 9 to 11 – oh noes!), so I could fit it all in.
Then I did all the upcoming submissions with July deadlines.
Later, Dave and I went through Stanley’s marketing plan for Meditations and Dave came up with some excellent ideas to get things off to a good start. I created a Google account for Stanley and got him an email address.
I also dug through some really old projects to find something I rediscovered while on retreat (it was on a decade-old Trello board of projects I found when creating a new board for Stanley’s marketing plan) – a book of interconnecting stories about robots – and I made some notes on how to resurrect it. It’s an illustrated book of ten robots, cut into three sections (head, body, legs) with the idea that you can flip different ones over to create hundreds of different combinations. The tricky part is writing three-part (very) short stories that go with each robot but can also work if you mix and match the sections.
I gave up on it years ago (after putting a huge amount of effort into drawing the robots) firstly because I couldn’t figure out how to physically put the book together in order to get the right effect. And somehow, today, I had a brainwave about it, dug the pictures out and made the whole book in about half an hour!
The next tricky step is coming up with the stories…!
I went back to the ancient Trello board of old projects and scrolled through them all, also looking at the physical notes I’d made for some of them in a concertina file. I updated the board with ones I’d actually since completed, ones I didn’t intend to progress with, and ones I might look at again one day. I also added the new projects I was currently working on, as a good way to track next steps and achievements.
I also did some research about building email lists and Instagram followers for Stanley’s marketing plan.
The crew were bursting with ideas for Stanley’s marketing plan at 6am, so I added some notes to my task list.
Once I’d had breakfast and settled down to work, I edited the next scene of Bride as my new ‘eat the frog’ project.
I edited the next chapter of Amie’s client book and sent what I’d done so far for her to check she was happy with my approach. I was mightily relieved when she replied fairly quickly that she was.
Then I started in-depth copy edits on a historical fantasy for a new client Amie referred to me – so all my paid work today was courtesy of my own wonderful editor!
Most of the morning was taken up by CP’s mid-year theme workshop, which was a really wonderful experience. It was great to look back on the first half of the year, reflect on achievements and mindset, and share thoughts with a really lovely group of people.
Later, I designed a logo for Stanley merch, which was a lot of fun… I also did some more research on how to build an Instagram following.
Then I found an email from my prison memoir publisher client in my spam folder – with another book attached for editing! Luckily, he was very flexible on deadlines, so I managed to fit it into the schedule for end Aug/start Sept – it’s nice to be in demand!
In order to try and make sure I managed to get all my work/writing done today, I set out to the cafe at 7:45am and was settled at my usual table by 8:15am. Then I had breakfast, dealt with my emails, looked up new podcasts to listen to, messed about on Facebook (in my defence, this was part of the Stanley marketing plan…) and generally faffed for an hour…
At 9:15am, though, I buckled down and did a small, urgent editing project for a previous client, then edited some more of the Bride novella.
My other client work for the day was more of Amie’s client book and the historical fantasy.
I also worked on Stanley’s marketing plan and added some new notes to the old novel idea I found earlier in the week.
I did some more work on Stanley’s marketing plan.
I also finally added a new entry to my much-neglected Her Odyssey solo RPG.
Later, I created four more designs for Stanley’s merch and created a shop for him on Spreadshirt!
I created a Twitter account for Stanley – mostly just to secure the username, as I’m not sure he’s actually going to use it. I did the same on Mastodon, which I’m more likely to use.
I also wrote reviews for a book I finished and a film we watched the day before.
Later, I made a cute graphic to represent a metaphor I came up with in CP’s mid-year workshop earlier in the week – about making progress but also appreciating the moment. It came out really well, so I added it to my laminated cards that remind me of important things.
In CP’s focus workshop in the evening, I went through all my notes from my marketing research and added them to the relevant cards on Stanley’s Trello board. Then I went through all the tasks and identified which ones I should do next and in what order.