Excellent week, all round. Good progress on client projects, plus interesting revelations about how to work best on my own projects. And breaking ground on brainstorming for novel number five!
Hopefully, back to ‘proper’ scheduling this week. I was at my favourite cafe table and ready to work shortly after 8:30am, at least.
I started with a new project, editing a short story about job-hunting from a new client. I completed it in one sitting and sent it back to the client for review and approval.
Then, I edited half of the final section of the Vegas thriller. Nail-biting stuff!
Next was another new project – a memoir requiring developmental feedback, so I made a start on that.
After lunch, I went back to editing the prison autobiography for a bit, before doing some Legacy revisions.
I made comments on a bit more of the memoir, and edited a bit more of the prison autobiography, and then called it a day.
Later, I went out for a walk to finish my latest audiobook, and wrote my review.
I also did quite a lot of thinking about my current, mostly self-imposed deadlines and whether or not they still made sense. I was trying to get an awful lot done before setting off on retreat again in June, and ultimately decided I would like to keep trying, albeit with an awareness that it would be foolish to rush things and do them badly, rather than putting off completing them until I got back. I made it very clear to myself that I was only doing this because I *wanted* to, which I hoped would stave off any sense of resentment or overwhelm in the days remaining before my trip.
Getting really lovely feedback from my two most recent new clients during the day certainly didn’t hurt! I’d been very thorough with my edits for both of them and had feared they might be upset, but both of them praised my feedback as exactly what they’d been looking for, so that was reassuring.
This was a working-from-home day, and I made it to my desk by 8:30am.
I completed editing on the final section of the Vegas thriller – and it turned out to be the first in a potential series! The climax was very exciting, but I was a bit disappointed not to know the final conclusion. However, I wondered if the writer might eventually ask me to edit the sequel.
Then I edited more of the prison autobiography and wrote more notes on the memoir.
Today would normally be a day off, but I didn’t work on any of my projects the day before, and I was still keen to try and finish the current draft of Legacy before going on retreat, so I worked on Legacy revisions in the afternoon.
I knew the next scene required a lot of work, so I only intended to complete that one and perhaps one other. But I ended up getting really into it, and completing revisions to six! It felt really good to spend some dedicated time on the novel, rather than fitting it in between client projects on work days. So, perhaps there’s something to be learned in terms of separating out my scheduled time, so I can focus more on my own projects when I have time to work on them.
Proper day off today – but I did write a review of the book I finished the night before.
I’d been thinking more about a potential new schedule arrangement, and I’d put together a plan for when I come back from retreat. Today, at the cafe, I decided to spend the whole morning on Legacy revisions, to see if I could recreate the flow of Wednesday afternoon.
I was planning on doing six scenes – and I did ten – in just over two hours! Some of them required quite a bit of revision and new material, too, so I was very pleased with my progress.
I felt pretty tired, after focusing on the novel for so long, but I still had paid editing to do, so I went back to the prison autobiography and carried on with that. I alternated between that and the memoir, for part of the afternoon, then called it a day and headed home for a rest.
Later, Dave and I packed some picnic food and went out to a nearby park, to talk about my new novel idea, now referred to as Darkness, rescheduled from last weekend. And it didn’t go how I expected at all! Dave wanted to start with a very broad view and work inwards, but that felt very scary and nebulous to me, so I suggested we start with one of the characters I already know about and work outwards, thinking about what aspects of the world we need to know about, to flesh out her existence.
What followed was a fairly free-ranging conversation, which established the basics of the religion of the society (which I’ve never done before), the rough technology level, more specifics about the external threat (which was very useful to think about) and the introduction of a potential new (and more active/present) antagonist. We (or rather Dave) also came up with several interesting ideas about the logistics of fighting the ‘darkness’, which has opened up a whole new aspect to the novel.
So, I wrote tons of notes, my brain was buzzing with ideas by the end of it, and all that was great. But it also demonstrated that there’s a lot more to this whole worldbuilding process than I anticipated, as we barely scratched the surface – and we’re definitely going to need to come back to the discussion at a later date!
I finally got around to editing the most recent episode of the podcast – the day before we were due to record the next one!
Dave came up with some more ideas for Darkness, so we had another brainstorming session, which garnered quite a few more notes. I was starting to get really excited about working on this novel, but knew I’d have to put it off until after I’d finished the current draft of Legacy. I also wasn’t really sure if and when I’d ever get back to working on Machine – though that was currently doing the rounds as a novella, so I didn’t feel any pressure to work on the expansion at the moment.