I have included some tips for writers throughout this article.
- Look for bullet points and bold text.
Today started with a half seven phone call, I had requested no work as I am booked out the rest of the week and have several writery things in the diary, a story commission group, a book launch and a Stanza meeting which I need to prepare a poem for.
I was awake and didn’t get back to sleep. I started with a Polar Cup of Coffee and my offline laptop.
- arm yourself with Polar cups of coffee
I had Admin to catch up with – my records stopped in September, next years resolution will be to keep on top of these. It has taken me an hour to catch up with monthly activity/submissions and expenditure.
- Keep financial records up to date – log and go
As a freelancer it is advisable to keep records and receipts for tax purposes. As yet I am making no money from writing, but in the future I know I will and these records will show my expenditure before profit and hopefully enable to claim some expenses back from the initial outlay or tax back from the money made (which is almost guaranteed – as we are allowed a personal allowance of nearly £10K before we have to pay taxes *although the government take it for a year before they reimburse any struggling artist!) and I know Poetry is a small market, the smallest of all and is a tough one to make money from, poetry however is my passion and my love, but not my only writing plan.
- Be realistic – On gaining financial reward – writing is a small market and Poetry…
- Poetry is a mere stall on that market, somewhere on the far side miles away from all the amenities!
I will reveal some admin information at the end of the year – as much for my nerdy interest as anybody else’s, this year has cost a small fortune but far less than a hobby like horse riding or racing cars!
It is money well spent. I had originally set aside £450 to 500 that is what a years membership to the slimming club would have cost me. As for my weight, I can address that issue next year!
Needless to say I blew that budget before the summer.
- Create a writing budget (cut corners from somewhere, you’re worth it!)
I am now working my way through the writing magazine (I finally took out a subscription for) and writing a DECEMBER Action Plan, as I have not committed any intention to paper since the beginning of the Autumn.
- Set goals for the month, know what you want to do, need to do, how you are going to do it and when!
It was exceptionally hard to stay organised during NaNoWriMo, but now that’s over there is no excuse.
I would like to take part of the day to catch up with PAD poetry challenges which I abandoned just over half way through, if they are still online.
I then spent another 2 hours creating my December Action Plan, including a list of 30 opportunities for submissions I want to look into today on my day off.
- Give yourself time for Admin, check it off the TO DO list.
- Weekly slots, save sifting through the files and paperwork for mindnumbingly boring hours.
- Do it offline if you can. YOU KNOW WHY!
I skipped breakfast and ate lunch. Which reminded of all the chores I have to do downstairs. It has been ages since I had a day like this to organise writing and dream up future plans, I think the last time I dedicated a day to all the tasks surrounding the writer was perhaps August and as I cannot afford a PA and UK Interns don’t work for free, there really is no choice.
Over lunch I made calls to estate agents and have finally moved onto actioning the 2nd part of trying to sell my apartment by going with the Estate Agent I should have used in the first place.
I was just settling back to the PC upstairs when there was a knock at the door – the postman with parcels… parcels that CAN be opened before Christmas and are for me! I knew what it was. Funny on this writing day that I should receive my 2nd subscribed magazine and the Writers & Artists Yearbook 2014! Did a little happy dance and then turned straight to the Poetry Section.
Now, for the 1st time since September*, I am working through my Action Plan.
* I wrote one in October and abandoned following it. Was busy with Inkspill, the Literature Festival and performing Poetry. November I didn’t write on, because of Nanowrimo.
- Don’t just write an Action Plan… DO IT!