Taking the leap

Last month I decided that crying in my car after work every day probably wasn’t healthy. So I handed in my notice. It’s now been a week since my last day at work and I’ve been trying to make a go of it as a freelance proofreader and copyeditor. I just completed my first job – a 3,000 word proofread of a warehouse logistics study.

I’ve given myself two weeks to get things up and running, before turning my attentions primarily to finding a more traditional job. The first week has been one of learning – learning how Elance works, for starters. Learning a bit about how to win jobs there. Learning that now procrastination will have a real-terms impact on my ability to earn money. Also I’ve picked up learning French again, and signed up for several FutureLearn courses (it’s interesting and who knows, maybe something I learn will inspire a story or help me win a proofreading job).

My first week is over and I have one week left. So far I’ve created an Elance account and submitted several proposals. I’ve tweeted it, made a page here on my website for it, and designed a poster I can put up in some of the local shops and takeaways around town that allow local business advertisements. Yesterday I created template proposals, reflecting some of the proposals I’ve submitted so far, that will enable me to just copy and paste the most relevant version of my proposal in and then edit it as needed, rather than typing out very similar information each time.

The other side of what I was planning on doing hasn’t been so productive. In my “rough daily schedule” I produced, I designated mornings to proofreading and afternoons to writing. Afternoons were never my most productive time of day when I was in the office and that’s still the case now I’m at home. So I need to step that up. I’m considering trying the Pomodoro technique – 25 minutes working, 5 minutes break, four times over. I’ll give that a go this afternoon and see if I can write a short story or two, and maybe get things into shape as far as something a bit longer is concerned.

There are two things I’ve achieved on the writing side of it, though. I finished researching and writing my next article in the Magical Creatures for Magical Worlds series I’ve been slowly working on for Mythic Scribes. I have also made a list of a few paying markets that accept fantasy short stories, to whom I can submit when I have something written – several of which I am now reading too.

Yesterday, when I was meant to be writing, I was instead reading some old stories I wrote several years ago. While the stories themselves leave something to be desired, one of the concepts jumped out at me. So I’m thinking about reviving that. I’ll see if I can set a few short stories in that world, with a different focus compared to what I wrote before.

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