Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Shifting Scope in Freelance Writing Services

I've come up against a hard question lately.  I know I'm juggling too many things, and I'd like to be able to focus on some of my other projects, such as finishing and self-publishing my novel, and working on building my doll business.

At the same time, I've lost a couple of regular clients over the course of this year.  I am seeing fewer jobs on the freelance platform I'm using, and have reason to believe they're on the verge of going under, which will take with it my last remaining regular client.

I was planning to start marketing heavily and transition away from using said platform once NaNoWriMo was over, but I've been tossing around some other ideas as well.

One possibility is to take a hiatus from writing freelance entirely, and focus on finishing my novel and getting it self-published.  All of that will require a good deal of work, plus I still have some other projects I'm juggling, so I expect not to have it published until mid-year next year.  Taking a break from freelancing would mean one less thing on my plate, which would hopefully allow me to finish those projects sooner.

Another possibility is to change what I do.  Right now I'm building (within the provided software) and writing a website for the stables where I board my horses, and I'm enjoying it very much.  It's as much visual design as it is writing, and I find the combination very satisfying.  I was thinking last night that I'd enjoy specializing in something like that.  Maybe I could offer blog packages or ongoing blogging as part of my website services.

I haven't decided yet what, if anything, I want to change.  I may just keep things the same through the holidays, and give myself some time to think it through before making changes early in the new year.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Simon Memory Game of Life

I feel like, ever since Panama started getting better, I've been playing one of those games where you add something every round.  You know, like the Simon memory game.  Remember the lighted button/tone correctly, and next time it adds a new one to the sequence.  And on and on, until you mess up.

That's what I'm doing right now.  Every time I master making time for something in my schedule, I add something new.  And on and on... except I don't get to exit this crazy game, I just have to make it keep working!

Juggling several businesses and projects can require a lot of schedule compartmentalization.  In the months while Panama was gradually getting better and requiring less care, I made a habit of blogging and working on my websites regularly, in addition to my client work.  And as I got a little more time back, I added some doll and photography stuff to my schedule.  Then he went back to his corral (requiring a lot less work) and I added novel writing to my daily schedule for NaNoWriMo.

Now NaNoWriMo is almost over, and I'm planning on continuing to work on my novel daily after November ends.  I do want to try to get this book published in 2023, so I need to keep working on it until it's finished.

But at the same time, I'm planning on adding another new daily thing to my life in December: I want to ramp up my work on dolls and start getting some of these projects done and out the door.  I also need to do better about taking pictures regularly, as that's part of the marketing for my doll business.

I have a lot that I do, and I don't really want to give up any of it, so that means I need to optimize my schedule so that I have time for everything when it needs to be done.  I don't always succeed, but I think I do pretty well.  I've learned some approaches recently that have made it easier, too, which I'll share in a future post!

I hope all of my US readers had a good Thanksgiving and are able to enjoy a long holiday weekend.  Back to work on Monday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

A Quick NaNoWriMo Check-In

I honestly wasn't sure how NaNoWriMo was going to go for me this year.  After the year I've had and all the struggles with my horse's care, I wasn't sure I'd be able to devote enough time to writing to be successful in the challenge, even with Panama going back to the corral just before November started.

As it turned out, though, I needn't have worried.  I don't know if the past year has taught me better time management skills, or just made me eager to do my own thing once again after six months of being at the barn almost constantly, but I dove right into writing and have been writing consistently every day since.  I've had some prolific days (a few 2,000-word days and one 8,000 word day), and some less prolific days (a few 200 to 400 word days), but I've made sure to write even just a little every day to maintain the habit (and to keep getting the achievement badges on nanowrimo.org for daily updating).

It helps somewhat that I've had a light work month as far as freelance work goes, possibly because of the holidays.  It's allowed me to devote more time to writing.  But I've also been managing my time a little better lately, I think - more on that in a later post.

Right now, I'm at 28,189 words.  That's more than halfway to the 50,000-word goal to "win" NaNoWriMo.  Of course, my personal goal is to finish a round of revisions and rewrites on the novel, so I will soon change my goal to be more reflective of what I actually want my finished word count to be - probably around 90,000 words.

We're halfway through the month, which makes it seem like there's a lot left, but in reality it's only a little over two weeks.  Once NaNoWriMo ends, I'll have to find a way to continue writing and working on my novel while still maintaining my freelance work and my other businesses.  I do want to keep working on this novel, and hopefully get it published this coming year, rather than petering out on it as I've done in the past.  Fortunately, it feels like I've hit my stride this time, so I'm hoping I'll be able to maintain this habit.

Friday, November 04, 2022

NaNoWriMo Whirlwind

Lately my client work has been a bit slow, but that's been just as well, since my entire week has been consumed with NaNoWriMo: Our kickoff party was Monday night, so much of Monday was spent in preparation for that, and I've really thrown myself into working on my novel this week.

The result has been worth it: as of right now, I have 11,682 words.  I think this might actually be a record for the fastest I've passed 10,000 words during November.

I'm enjoying immersing myself in my characters' world once again.  Ruby Ransome is a world I created over ten years ago (I wrote the first draft of the first novel in 2011), but it's been a long time since I've been so deep in it.  I am remembering how much I loved writing it.

I have other things to do in November, of course, but right now I'm enjoying the thrill I'm getting from working on my novel, and hoping I can maintain a good balance of progress on my novel and attention to other things on my to-do list.


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