Early Tuesday post

An early post today, because Geth and I are having guests round for boardgaming this evening.  After doing some editing work this morning, I got another 4,000 words done on my NaNo novel – but I’m only halfway through today’s chapter!  Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more writing done late tonight – if not, I’ll have to catch up over the next few days.  I do have a few days’ leeway throughout the month – twenty-six planned chapters in thirty days – so it will all be fine.

I’ve got a busy few days ahead, so posts will probably be similarly early for the rest of this week!

OOTD 6th November 2018
OOTD: getting towards winter colours. Blouse CD (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017), jeans Levi (2018), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Beatles – A Day In The Life
Carter USM – And God Created Brixton
Duran Duran – Tel Aviv [AIR Studio Version]

A running and writing day

10 miles run this morning, 4,000-ish words on my NaNo novel written this afternoon (taking me to over 20,000 in total).  I’m very sleepy now.

I’ve also not had much of an appetite today, which doesn’t help.  I expect it’ll be a fairly early night.

Looking forward to another productive day tomorrow, though!

OOTD 5th November 2011
OOTD: comfy post-run outfit. Duran Duran t-shirt Amplified (2018), leggings Primark (2018), socks unknown brand (2009), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Spagna – Call Me
Duran Duran – Come Undone
Traditional – Abide With Me
T’Pau – China In Your Hand
Bonnie Tyler – It’s A Heartache
Ram Jam – Black Betty
Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Still getting off to a good NaNo start!

Another 4,000 words written today, taking my NaNo novel to over 12,000 words so far!  I really feel like I’m in the zone at the moment, and like I could easily keep this up every day, even when I have other things to do.  Could be a good year!

More of the same tomorrow.

OOTD 3rd November 2018
OOTD: the last of my items from the most recent vintage haul! Jacket unknown brand (estimated vintage 1990s, bought at vintage shop 2003), blouse Tommy Hilfiger (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), jeans Levi (2018), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Rita Ora – Let You Love Me
The Boomtown Rats – Rat Trap
Lou Reed – Perfect Day

A free Friday

I had all day today free for working on my NaNo novel.  IT WAS AMAZING.  I’m now sitting at over 8,000 words – I’ve never been so far ahead on day two before!

Geth and I are skipping parkrun tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to another productive writing day.

OOTD 2nd November 2018
OOTD: that vintage fair haul is still going strong! Blouse Yessica (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), jeans H&M (thrifted from Steff 2016), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Spagna – Call Me
Duran Duran – Night Boat

NaNoWriMo begins, and another Slimming World award!

It’s been a really good day today, even if it wasn’t quite the start to NaNoWriMo that I wanted!

I was so keen to get writing that I stayed up past midnight last night to start November with a couple of paragraphs, and then managed to get some more done before I went to Slimming World this morning.  I lost half a pound this week, taking me back into target range (I swear staying in range is harder than getting to target in the first place!), and was also delighted when my group voted me their Miss Slinky 2018!  I got some lovely flowers and a certificate.  I felt a bit embarrassed though as it’s the third award I’ve won this year – next year I’ll be happy for someone else to have a chance!

When I got home, I found a client had sent me some urgent work to do, so I got that done and then managed to squeeze in another hour of writing before I had to go to Pilates.  After Pilates (and a detour to the pub to meet Geth), I was finally able to get into my writing properly, and have just finished for the day.  I’ve managed nearly 4,000 words on my NaNo novel today, which puts me well on track for my goal this month (my aim is not just to get the standard 50,000 words for the month but also finish the draft, which I’m expecting to take closer to 80,000 words).  Not bad for a mostly-interrupted day!  Looking forward to a more solid day of writing tomorrow.

OOTD 1st November 2018
OOTD: love these flowers! Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), dress unknown brand (thrifted from Steff 2016), tights Primark (2017). Photo by Clair Turner at my Slimming World group.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bucks Fizz – Piece Of The Action
Swing Out Sister – Breakout
Traditional – Carol Of The Bells
Paula Abdul – Opposites Attract
Cyndi Lauper – True Colours
The Power Station – Some Like It Hot
Ariana Grande – Into You

Hallowe’en week

Because I’ve been doing my month-long horrorthon and have properly decorated the house this year, I feel, for once, like I’m properly celebrating Hallowe’en.  Geth and I had guests round to play horror boardgames last night, I’ve been doing my annual Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror rewatch, and I’ve eaten far too much Hallowe’en chocolate already!

I also finished my outline for this year’s NaNoWriMo novel today.  I’ve got an 8,100-word outline, which is more detail than I’ve ever done for any novel in the past, and I am so excited to start writing on Thursday.

One more day of horror films and delicious sweet things to get through first, though!

OOTD 30th October 2018
OOTD: my newest ’80s jumper. Earrings Primark (2018), jumper Jac (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), leggings Primark (2018), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Housemartins – Happy Hour
Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Danny Elfman – This Is Hallowe’en
Arcadia – The Flame
Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin – It’s My Party
Duran Duran – Late Bar

Busy work periods…and how to cope with them

I’m one week into an extremely busy work period at the moment, with one major project plus multiple smaller ones meaning I’m working twelve-hour days, seven days a week.  I have these every so often – it’s just the nature of freelancing – and thankfully it’s never more than a few weeks at a time.  Still, a period like this requires some fairly big coping strategies, and these are the ones I’ve developed:

1. Schedule every last minute

The first thing I always do with a major project is sit down and plot out a schedule for the work up to the deadline, so that I know exactly what will get done when – if I don’t have an idea of this, I find it very stressful.  Sometimes this means that if things take longer than expected, I have to work a bit longer on that particular day, but having plotted everything out means that this is kept to a minimum.

2. Book in some non-negotiable non-work time

By ‘non-negotiable’, I mean things that I can’t back out of.  For this particular project, the busy period happens to coincide with my ongoing mission on this blog to review one Now! compilation a day leading up to 20th July; each review takes me a couple of hours, due to the length of the compilations, so that’s time that I absolutely have to spend doing non-work stuff.  During my last busy work period, which was in October to November, I had NaNoWriMo going on during the latter part, so I had a commitment every day to spend a couple of hours writing fiction.  Writing is nice and relaxing for me, but a less ‘thinky’ non-negotiable thing might be meeting up with friends, such as for the birthday afternoon tea I’m going to in a couple of weeks’ time, or some ‘me time’, such as the vintage fair I’m going to on Sunday (my first vintage fair trip since the house move!  I can’t wait!), or a scheduled class that I pay for every week, such as Slimming World or my Pilates class.  I’m also having to make running a non-negotiable during this particular busy work period, otherwise I’ll struggle with the Sunderland 10k in a few weeks’ time!

3. Postpone all non-essentials

When I’m working twelve-hour work days, other than sleeping, eating and keeping myself clean and presentable, I only have time for work and the scheduled non-negotiables I described above.  Everything else gets shunted to ‘afterwards’.  This generally includes cleaning the house, catching up with TV and the music charts, and, for this particular period, the ongoing project of sorting out the new house.  It just means I will be doing all that stuff with a renewed appreciation when the work period is over!

4. Book in cooking and sleeping time

During a busy work period, looking after myself often takes a back seat.  It’s simply not possible to get as much sleep as I usually would, as I have to be up at the crack of dawn every day to start work, but I make sure I’m at least getting six hours a night.  Similarly, I need to schedule my food preparation time, otherwise I’ll end up just grabbing something unhealthy and feeling worse for it.

These periods are always a bit of a slog, but they are manageable.  Obviously it would be nice if they’d balance out a bit better with the weeks where I don’t have any work at all, but the benefits of being a freelancer are absolutely worth it for me!