So my first post-Demand Media week went pretty well. Other than the lack of income, of course, but I anticipated that.
•I rewrote my short story Fiddler’s Black in response to two editors having the same criticism. I’ll review the changes next month, but I think they’ll work (and improve it a little).
•I applied for three freelance gigs on various job boards, got an offer for one, but had to make a counter-offer. Right now I can live with something that pays less than Demand did, but not if it’s low-paying and a lot of hours. That just puts me back in the boat of having no time to hunt other work. As I haven’t heard back, I’m assuming the “I’ll do it but fewer hours” didn’t fly.
•I submitted a query to Cracked and sent a short story off again.
•I did some market hunting for a couple of other query ideas I have, though so far it isn’t generating any promising targets. I shall keep pursuing them but also generate others—I have a bad habit of focusing on one at a time, and I can’t do that now.
•I did quite a bit on my time-travel book, reworking the text. However I got much fewer movies than usual. Not enough to be a problem, but displeasing. Partly that’s because we had an alumni picnic last weekend so a lot of the time I’d normally have spent on Sunday watching films was taken up socializing.
•I didn’t get very far on Southern Discomforts at all. My mind froze up during my big block of writing time yesterday, so I switched to my time-travel book instead.
I find that satisfactory for my first week, with the caveat that ultimately “satisfactory” needs to involve money coming in. Working hard is not an end in itself.
I’d worried a little that I’d have a problem with maintaining focus but it was actually the other way around. I got so caught up in my work sometimes that I forgot my plans to get up, take breaks, clean, pet puppies etc. Or to use the time I’d blocked of for exercise (that was only today) or voice exercising (most days).
It’s good that I’m focused, and certainly preferable to being unfocused, but I need to take my scheduled breaks. I know from experience that if I don’t stop and walk away for a few minutes or a half-hour (depending on which break I’m taking) I’ll end up tired. By 2:30 today, for instance, I had the start of a headache from staring at the computer screen for so long. I had to stop and spend the rest of the afternoon doing research (a book on the radical left as background for Southern Discomforts).
Still I’m pleased with my week’s work (though I shall think over the weekend of how well my new schedule works and contemplate adjustments). I shall now call it a day and pat myself on the back for my performance. Because I don’t do that often enough.