An excellent work week followed by the first few days of a wonderful writing retreat. Really great progress on exciting new projects.
Back to the cafe today for a full day of writing and editing. On my new schedule, starting after I get back from retreat, Mondays in the cafe will be dedicated solely to paid editing projects, but I had a mixture on my list for today, as I needed to finish everything off by the end of Wednesday.
I started with Legacy first again, intending to complete revisions to half the remaining scenes. But I got into the flow and finished the whole thing! I have no idea if it really works, but I’m very happy with the changes overall, and I have more feedback due from my editor, so I can also improve it more after that.
Then, I went back to the prison autobiography and started editing the penultimate section.
After that, I went back to a short story I’d had feedback on from a publisher and revised it, based on their comments. Once I’d done that, I resubmitted it to them, hoping they would now accept it for publication.
After lunch, I completed editing the penultimate section of the prison autobiography and making comments on the penultimate section of the memoir. It felt really good to be coming to the end of all my current projects – though I knew I had a new one to do later in the week.
I woke up early and the subconscious crew had a few things to say about the end of Legacy. So, I got up and made some minor amendments to the last two scenes.
I also managed to catch messages from a new client in Australia, which meant I could secure the contract and get all the relevant information, to be able to complete the work today. As this fit nicely with my available time and schedule for the rest of the week, this was excellent timing.
I finished both the prison autobiography and the memoir, and sent them back to the clients for review and approval.
After lunch, I blitzed through the new paid editing project, an Ayurvedic diary.
I had set aside today for the re-edit of the final version of the book about lessons learned from a grandmother. There had been an issue with the initial edit, where most of my amendments hadn’t saved properly in the file I sent, which resulted in an understandably dissatisfied client. However, once I explained and gave a full refund, she very graciously gave me the opportunity to edit a new version for the same fee. So, I completed edits very, very carefully and hoped, this time, they would meet expectations.
And then I rejoiced that I wouldn’t need to do any more paid work until 14th June!
All packed and ready to head off to Stickwick for another six glorious days on retreat!
I brainstormed a new short story on the train and came up with some good ideas.
I woke up at 7:30am, did my morning pages in bed (luxury!), had breakfast – then went back up to my room and was confronted with all the different options of what to work on first!
So, I decided to ease in gently, by going through the new edition of Writing Magazine and adding any interesting submission opportunities to my spreadsheet.
After that, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I collected all my resources on the bed and wrote in my journal about not being able to decide where to start.
As I had made decent progress on my new short story on the train the day before, I eventually decided to launch into a first draft and see where it took me. I managed the opening scene quite quickly, then decided to go for a walk.
My walk was shorter and wetter than intended, but still good.
So, I had more time before lunch than anticipated – I started reading a book on writing nonfiction, using it as the basis for planning my own nonfiction book, now to be known as Meditations. I worked out my purpose, audience and theme, then put together a fairly comprehensive outline of the whole book. I got a lot further with it in a lot less time than I’d expected, and felt very good about the whole thing by the time lunch rolled around.
After lunch, I went back to my master outlining process and added some extra steps and notes from various other sources I’ve collected along the way – the ten-day outlining book I used to plot Legacy, Charlie’s Six Month Novel Programme resources, Tarot for Writers, the Emotion Thesaurus, my homemade tarot deck, notes I’ve made from other books I’ve read, etc.
Then, I played around with World Anvil for a bit, as it’s something that people have started recommending to me for organising the outline and information for a novel. It seemed very comprehensive and potentially very useful at first browse, so I signed up for a year and decided to try using it to plan, outline and draft Darkness. It also prompted me to come up with names for the world of the novel, as well as the two protagonists – and I even had some inspiration about how the climax of the story would work, so I wrote some more notes.
After that, I went to the beginning of my master outlining process and started some proper work on brainstorming and planning for the novel – number five!
It went really well – I tried to organise what I already had and then came up with a ton of new ideas to add into the mix. I’d never had this many ideas for a novel so early in the process – and it was a bit overwhelming. I had no clue how I was going to hold it all in my head or put it all together into a coherent outline. But it was very exciting, all the same!
Up around 7:30am again, and back to work on my own writing by 8:15am.
I started with the new short story again, adding a few hundred more words. It was flowing well, but I was too excited about my two new book projects to want to spend too much time on it. I thought it was shaping up okay, though, and that I would be able to pull a decent draft together by the deadline at the end of the month.
I wrote emails to all the people I wanted to provide contributions to Meditations and also posted a job on Upwork to collect proposals for the illustrations. After the outline had come together so successfully the day before, I was feeling very positive about this project. It seemed like it was going to become a real thing much more quickly than I’d anticipated, which was awesome!
Then, I went back to Darkness and started putting together the first pieces of the outline for that. I put together a chronology of events for the whole novel, then compiled a list of questions about aspects that still needed work.
Later, I watched the film and wrote my notes for the next podcast episode.