What I’m Focusing on Until the End of May

Winter is coming to an end and with one and a half months left until school is out, it’s decision time. I have to decide what projects I’m working on or have agreed to work on that I will receive most of my focus and energy during the Summer months. It also means that I need to have my business systems in place for writing, book designs, and blogging if I don’t want to waste the little time I have to get work done.

Yesterday I worked out my Summer Schedule so the bulk of my writing will be done in the early in the morning and all book designing will be in the evening time. Like all plans it will probably change from day-to-day, but at least it’s a guide to work from. The day time will be devoted to work I don’t need a computer for, like story planning, bills, balancing the accounts, etc.

You know when I moved to the country I thought keeping a close eye on the kids wouldn’t be like it was in the city. I could work and see them from the window and not worry about them getting hit by traffic or kidnapped from the front lawn. But instead I have to worry about them getting too close to the river that flows all year-long about a 100 feet away and drowning, or the ditches filled with water. Then there is the threat of Mountain Lions and Bears, being chased by skunks and hissed at by raccoons, hit by porcupines, and trampled by protective cows. So, yeah, I keep a close eye on them and do the simple work that doesn’t keep me inside.

Since I need to carry my work with me, I started creating an Office in a Bag, starting with an accordion book project folder and a second one for Client Work folder. I’m also minimizing all my financial information that I need, like invoices, income streams, and expenses to at a glance sheets so I don’t have to carry the big file box with me. 😀

I hope to have most of it ready by the end of the month. By the end of May I hope to have most of this to-do list done:

Finishing Death’s Lover

I’m nearing the end of the book which is making me really excited because then I can go correct all the small details at the first that has been bugging me the last few weeks. This means I can print it out and take it with me, if I’m still working on it in June. I figure that I have about 20,000 words left and if I keep with the 2,000 words a day I should be done at the end of April. Of course now that I’ve said that, I’ll have writer’s block and not finish until May. 😛

The Co-Authored Books with Ruth Ann Nordin

These are moving pretty steadily and something that I will continue to focus on until they’re done. Now all I need to do is get the cover done for The Rancher’s Wife.

Getting my Business Systems is Order

I love organization, but I’m not great at it. So I decided 2014 would be the year I do better and so I scoured the Internet for ways to run my freelance business more productively and more efficiently. I found some systems I like that work for me and my very small office space. Like going paperless as possible, creating templates, and downsizing information to just what I need (like an ISBN sheet for my books, or an income and expense sheet rather than every invoice and royalty statement, or an invoice sheet that lets me know whose paid and who hasn’t, or creating a digital filing cabinet for all the projects on my computer, etc). These are small things that will save me time that I don’t really have to spare. While it has been time-consuming to work on getting it working, I’m hoping the long-term benefits of having templates for things I use and better ways to find things will help in the long run.

Updating this Website

This has been on and off the whole of 2014 because a)  it’s not top priority and b) I keep changing my mind on how I want to set it up and what I want on here. I also haven’t found a theme I like better than the one I’m using which is far closer to what I want than others I’ve run into. So for the moment I’m leaving most of it as is and only updating the individual pages as needed, then adding pages that should be here. Other things might change as I figure it all out.

And lastly…

I’m keeping to the no social media

Other than the automatic updates from this blog, the occasional sharing of articles I find helpful, and answering comments, I haven’t been on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Google+ since January. This has freed me up to work more on building my platform as an author and book designer, and business related stuff that has to be done. The likelihood of me returning to them is slim to none.