Stella time! Today saw the announcement of the Stella Prize longlist for 2015. Of these I’ve read Laurinda, Foreign Soil and This House of Grief. I have The Strays and Heat and Light sitting in my to-read pile already, but that leaves so many more to enjoy before the announcement of the winner in April.
As an aside, how beautiful is this collection of covers?
It’s February! This is exciting, because it means I’m relieved of my summer childcare duties and back to the writing desk. Lots of ideas have been percolating over my break, and I’m very eager to get back in the swing of things. Obviously there isn’t much work to update you on, but I can report that my reading challenge for this year is well on track. In fact, I’m two books ahead of schedule. Lets see if I can keep that up once my writing hours increase.
I have spent what little time to work I had over the summer on planning and preparing to work. Setting goals, creating project management plans, plotting timelines. It’s hard to hold back from just diving into the writing itself, but I know myself well enough to know that a good plan to keep everything on track is vital, otherwise I’ll find myself neglecting certain projects or aspects of what needs to be done.
So here I am, staring at a freelance writing life. But what does that actually look like? Well, for me, it means having approximately six hours per day, five days per week to dedicate to research, pitching to magazines, journals and newspapers, managing paperwork, dealing with corporate clients, dealing with editors, corporate editing and writing, writing features/articles/reviews/opinion pieces and working on the Big Project.
I haven’t had chunks of time like this to write in for a very long time, so I have used my project management skills to try to create order where there could very easily be none in the messy landscape of freelance writing. I thought I would share how I go about managing both the projects themselves and my time, as I think it’s something lots of us writers have to learn the hard way. It has taken a lot of years of frantic working up until deadline, or underestimating the time involved in a job, before I have gotten to a comfortable system to keep myself on track. Hopefully breaking down how I go about it will help other people struggling with workloads and competing timelines. Look out for another post about this soon.