Just a quick update on the first draft of The Query-Free Freelancer — it will be finished ahead of schedule!
As of tonight (I just finished Thursday’s scheduled writing early), I only have 7000 words to go before I hit the rough draft target for the nonfiction book-in-progress. By no means does that mean it’s soon going to be published. But this will be my first completed book draft, despite several previous outlines (fiction). So it’s very exciting for me, and it has me all geared up for the novel draft I’m starting in January assuming I have that outline finished before the end of this year.
On another note, I will also be releasing an e-book under the QFF brand — a 30 Day Marketing Boot Camp for freelance writers — this coming Monday. Actually, I’ll announce a sneak preview purchase day this Sunday exclusively here on this blog. Sunday will also feature a one-day sale for 50% off the $9.97 purchase price.
Things are going really well with personal projects right now, even if not where I’d like them to be on the client side at the moment. I’m feeling pretty good overall though, and the time going into these books, e-books, and site launches looks like it’s going to pay off nicely in the long run. Next time I’ll tell you about my next big project kicking off in 2011, how it ties to the upcoming murder mystery novel series, and how I intend to make money from the series beyond trying to sell books.Read More
As of this week I’m officially working on two books at once. And it’s something I’d better get used to if I’m going to pull off my book writing plan for 2011. Right now I’m finishing up the first draft of The Query-Free Freelancer and I’m outlining the first novel in a murder mystery series. I plan to begin drafting the first of those novels in early January.
The nonfiction book draft should be finished Thursday of next week as long as I stay on schedule. At that point I get to go back to just one book project for a while, drafting that first novel. I expect that draft to take 35 working days (slightly over two months given my four-day-per-week writing schedule). Then it gets really “fun.” I’ll be finishing up that novel draft as I outline the next novel in the series, and start the first major round of edits on the nonfiction book. Woohoo! And on top of that I have a big multi-section blog launch in the New Year, plus a new three-site major project as a pre-launch to the novels. (Sign me up now for a daily nap.) And that’s not even to mention clients (and I plan to announce two new client openings starting in January).
I know it can sound hectic. But really this is how I thrive. When I have a lot to do it’s as if I go into what my boyfriend and I occasionally jokingly call “superwoman mode.” Suddenly things get done…. lots of things. When I’m forced to be careful about setting my schedules, I set them up in the most productive ways possible. That’s how the nonfiction book finally got drafted. I kept putting it off and getting distracted by other smaller projects. It wasn’t until I made that nonfiction book the start of a larger series of projects that I really got into gear and got things done.
It’s astonishing how much you can really get done in a day when you learn to minimize distractions and find efficient ways to work. I don’t expect most people to want a seemingly-insane schedule like mine. But remember that it’s okay to push yourself sometimes.
Even if you feel like you couldn’t possibly do any more, you probably could. And who knows? Maybe one of those things you push yourself to do will be the project you’ve been dreaming of. It might replace other work you aren’t thrilled with or it might simply open new doors for you to explore. Why not give it a try next year? Plan a big project you’ve been putting off. Don’t just think about it. Put it in your work schedule. Take a chance. The worst that can happen is that you realize it’s not for you, and you stop. But in a best case scenario you’ll finally reach a big goal you’ve been putting off. What’s yours?Read More
I just wanted to post a quick update about my work on The Query-Free Freelancer today. Last week I mentioned that I had to make up for lost time. I missed one day’s work — 2500 words — the previous week because I was dealing with a family medical situation. And last week was a short one due to our Thanksgiving holiday with just three work days. That meant within those three work days I had to do five days’ worth of work, or 12500 words. I’m happy to say that not only did I meet that goal, but I exceeded it slightly — a little over 12600 words.
Even better, last week’s writing put me over 43,000 words in the book. That means I finally passed the halfway mark based on my 80,000 word goal for this draft. And let me tell you, that’s pretty exciting. I’ve also been back on track this week, and I should top out over 50,000 words tomorrow.
I have a lot left to do, but things are coming along nicely. I’ll soon be at the point where I can move on to the areas I intentionally set aside until the end — like the book’s introduction and the action steps at the end of every chapter. I’m coming up with additional ideas as I work my way through the book too. Some will make it in during the first edit this spring. Others won’t make the cut. And some things I’ve added will be cut to make room for others so I don’t make the book absurdly long. But that’s for later. Right now I’m just focusing on working my way through this rough draft.
Later this week I’ll also move forward on the novel outline for the first book in my mystery novel series. That’s the book I’ll start drafting on January 3rd. I do have to admit I’m looking forward to starting the new project. I think it’ll be nice to indulge in some fiction work for a while.
I hope everyone else’s fall has been just as productive, and that you’re gearing up for your own New Year’s plans.Read More
I did well during the first two weeks of my new writing schedule (2500 words per day, four days per week). But unfortunately last week — the third — didn’t go quite as planned. Normally I write 2500 words in The Query-Free Freelancer each work day. But I skipped Thursday last week. I was busy taking care of someone who got food poisoning. I planned to just make up for it on Friday, which is usually a day off. No big deal. That’s the perk of having “padding” built into my schedule.
That didn’t go according to plan either. You see, I had to drop my mother at the hospital early that morning for some tests. I was told originally to expect that she could go home in the late afternoon or early evening if they didn’t find anything wrong (otherwise they’d operate right then and there). So I figured I’d just work on my book while I waited. Not so much.
I was a bit worried about the tests, so I didn’t get into the book in the morning. We all expected there to be something wrong. I was just about to have lunch and then work on the book when I got a call telling me to come to the hospital because my mom could leave soon. So on a positive note, they didn’t find anything wrong and she’s good to go. On a not so positive note, I never did get around to making up those 2500 words. And my weekends are always occupied, so that wasn’t an option.
Now I’m left to write five days’ worth of content for the book this week. And to make it even more challenging it’s a short week. I only work Monday – Wednesday because of our Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. (and my Black Friday holiday shopping and the start of my decorating the day after).
I could panic over it. But what’s the point? In the end this week was just a nice reminder that no matter how much flexibility we have as freelancers, life will continue to happen. We can’t control everything, and we’ll have to work around all kinds of obstacles. That’s just a part of the job.
And speaking of that job, I think I’ll be able to get back on track in these three days after all. I took some time to outline which sections need work and how many words to add to each (not many full chapters left to write at this point). So there will be no guessing — just jumping into work. And speaking of that, time to get on it….Read More
I’m a freelance writer. But I’m also a Web publisher, e-book author, and hopefully soon-to-be book author too. I always have a lot going on. That sometimes means I run out of time in my schedule to work on my own projects — blogs, e-books, and books. I found a way to fix that though. I learned that it’s okay to prioritize your my own projects. And I’ve never been happier or gotten more done.
You see, I know I’ll stick to things until I finish my client projects for the week. But when I put those projects first, I feel exhausted and want the work day to end. I also can let them drag out longer than they should sometimes. I didn’t have the time or energy to work 2500 words in my book, plus weekly blog posts, into my schedule after client work. My work schedule that is — my own publishing is business-related, so it’s worked on during business hours rather than my off-time.
I didn’t know if I’d pull off that 2500 word daily goal at first. But I made it my mission to make it work. And so far, so good. Two weeks down, plus two days this week. That’s 25,000 words I didn’t have just a few weeks ago. I did it by working on my book first thing in the morning — all but one day (the one day I couldn’t finish it, and had to reschedule for my day off).
Client work hasn’t suffered. If anything, having less time for it after writing the book has forced me to be more productive. I outline even more religiously than usual. I find ways to group projects so I move seamlessly from one thing to the next. I spend less time early in the day on email, blog comments, reading blogs, and social media sites. And it all came down to making my own project more of a priority.
The simple fact is that if you can’t prioritize your own projects, you run the risk of putting them aside indefinitely. Had I done this when I first started the book, it would have been published by now. We only have so many hours in a day. Are you using yours as efficiently as you can? Or do you let other things sidetrack you and procrastinate on the projects you really want to pursue?Read More