This is the first day back at the writing desk after Christmas, today I will mainly be writing offline and attempting to meet submission deadlines. I also have the task of emptying and sorting email accounts. So far I have spent 30 minutes and I am up to date deleting and archiving messages in my writing inbox.
My personal inbox will take longer and the 2nd writing email will take a while too. So I thought I would pass some managing admin tips your way because even as partially organised as I have been I need to do better in 2014!
The first thing to realise is that ADMIN tasks do take time and that you need to invest this time and allow for it within your writing schedule.
I have learnt a lot this year, including how important it is to deal with emails. Emails build up in a blink of an eye especially if you sign up for newsletters and so on.
1) Firstly you need a selection of email accounts to cover different aspects of your life.
2) Keep on top of them – better done as a daily task.
3) Make sure you reply to any urgent ones straight away.
4) Create folders within your email account to file and organise messages that are important to keep.
Some people get so good at this that they save any relevant information onto hard drives or memory sticks and then they delete and empty ALL emails. I have never been that good, there are always some saved emails about something.
But as with real life clutter, think about how often you look at these saved emails? You could probably let them go. Print them or save for reference and wipe the account clear.
Sweeping emails is something I leave to my junk mail filter, but I may try next year!
The Blank Screen – Productivity for Creative Writers – A workshop at ‘Book to the Future Festival’ with William Gallagher.
Rushing into the city last night I barely arrived on campus in time for William’s workshop, add 20 minutes wandering around in the dark and generally in the opposite direction to the Arts Building (and that was with a map I had the foresight to print!) I was rather late for this session and they were already on Point 5 …. fortunately I can email William today and not only get the notes but apologise for the late arrival and sharp exit … I was performing in Jan’s Phenomenal Women (see previous post)!
I have found that in the last 2 workshops I haven’t learnt anything new (due to my own hard work researching and finding the information) – but they have confirmed that I am doing the right thing, that my own research and learning has taken me in the right direction. I am just as eager as I was at the beginning of the year to attend as many workshops as I can and hear from writers who are doing it for real.
My notebook gets filled with a few extra scribbled names or books to seek out if nothing else.
William Gallagher is a great speaker and if you get a chance to attend any of his events or better still buy his book then I would recommend it. He has a humorous, relaxed approach and I wish I had managed the entire hour of his talk.
I have to retract the previous statement of not learning anything new – in the short amount of time I was in the workshop I have picked up on new knowledge. New actions that I am attempting to put into place this morning. Especially email… yes, William, I am one of those with 1600+ in an inbox and having opened several new accounts to offload the problem have only compacted it – with new addresses storing up to a 100 emails!
So thank you for your wisdom and insight. A great workshop!
I woke up early enough to take advantage of an entire morning – I started in the garden with coffee before spending hours online. (Need to discover if the Wii Fi works up the garden.
I managed several hours of uninterrupted research, and caught up with emails.
I have also started looking for writing work – paid freelance opportunities – thought it was about time I did!
I think I have managed to find a website that doesn’t make you pay before you send proposals for work at ‘people per hour’ just wondered what other sites were out there? Does anyone have a favourite they use for work?
My writing day got off to a speedy start. I was up an hour earlier than I had planned, and my plan was an hour in blogland reading and posting, breakfast and 9am start on the children’s book manuscript redraft which has to emailed today, followed by time on my short story for Camp NaNoWriMo.
It is 9:12
I have been stuck in my inbox since just after 8! With all 1000 emails to delete, shuffle, sift and reply. I now realise (after an hour and we are still only just down to under 900 I won’t be able to do it all this morning. Perhaps not even today!) I am speed reading checking for important ones – like my rejection from Weave Magazine (oh well. More material to submit elsewhere.)
Then I am coming off the internet and onto my laptop – which for a while had a working wifi and now doesn’t recognise it is already connected and refused to uncross the network icon AGAIN!
I NEED MY TECHNICIAN BACK!
I know social media + internet time are the worst enemies for eating up writing time – and until today had managed the temptation quite well.
Communicating with people whose shows I just missed on the 4th and the 10th July was important though and I haven’t opened many non-writing emails at all.
(Trying to kid myself that I am still on track!)
Quit writing excuses instead… JUST WRITE!
Up early this morning to make up for the 12 hour sleep plus 2 hours powernap after work that was yesterdays story of exhaustion!
Armed with a breakfast of yogurt bar and allotment fresh raspberries (I really should buy some cereal) I sat down in Camp. I caught up in the Cabin and found I am not alone in my 2nd week struggle for words. I read 2 inspiring motivational emails sent by the camp leaders. And I THOUGHT about my short story. I would fire the other laptop up and start but I have to be out the house in 20 minutes to go and meet an estate agent at my apartment. I feel a bit like a Pageant Mum must feel, showing someone my beloved pad. I really need to clean it up first but the appointment is an early enough challenge. It’s an agent not a buyer.
Still my early morning stroll around Camp has inspired me – I am now hoping for some time between appointment and work to write!
I wrote over 1000 words last night – unfortunately it didn’t count towards my statistics (I had been estimating some word count updates and I was 1016 words over reality! Oppps!)
Right off to get a deal on my pad.
And think about my characters on the drive over!
Well the good news is I survived the last 48hrs… and everything now should be smooth runnings to the weekend…
BUT … I have been locked out of my hotmail email account (which has research and information I need, not to mention emails) 24hrs later, I still had not received an email – tonight I opened a new email account and tried again, unfortunately I had to enter it twice and I got a message that too many attempts have been made. I now have to wait another 24hrs before I can try again?! I am supposed to be submitting proposals via email tomorrow!
Is it just me these things happen to?
Another day withhout a writing slot. I spent 4hrs on the laptop reading blogs & deleting emails. Checking the junk filter had nothing important in it. I also spent 2hrs taking action on my future February plans.
I woke up this morning and found out about a trip some friends of mine had booked, it is a place I have had on wishlist! I knew seeing Patrick (family visiting from USA) would fuel my wanderlust! I have to ease my twitchy, itchy feet… well I haven’t used my passport since 2010 & it expires soon!
I have little surplus money, especially as I am currently paying out lots on making this the best year ever! I will just have to sell some writing.
I was at work until 5pm, this is just my evening, glued to the laptop. I have been writing in my head though. Do you do that? The ideas just play over, like dreaming at the same time as being active!