It’s been a few days since I blogged about how Vickie and I are feeling a whole lot more pressure thanks to the release of the federal budget and the likely removal of the utilities discounts offered to pensioners. I ended that post by talking about the things I wanted to do in order to give us some more security back.
Rather than worry myself to death over the work I’m setting myself in the future, I’d like to remind myself that I’m already working hard and have already won some battles in the overall war.
Let me start with the week just gone:
Writing the eBook
I reviewed my progress on my first draft of Three Things, the eBook I’m working on that’s born of my chats with the guests on The Paid to Play Podcast, on Saturday. I intend to publish it as a sign-up reward for my e-mail subscriber list.
I’ve divided it up into four sections; the first two are pretty full, so I want to work more on the second two – which are, of course, trickier to write, as they focus on operating a business and engaging other people in your endeavours. My guests gave me plenty of good advice
I also posted some of that text over on paidtoplay.com.au, and at the moment I have a weekly backlog of four more posts. I’m wondering whether to beef up my schedule on Paid to Play, and I’ve drawn up a rough editorial calendar for it.
It’s funny – I’ve been trying to give RobF.com.au some editorial direction for years but fighting it all the way – yet I have this other domain which already has an editorial direction and is only missing the attention…
Marketing My Writing Skills on LinkedIn and Fiverr
Every now and again I feel like I’m trying to drink from a fire hose of input. There are so many blog posts and status updates, any of which could lead me toward paying work.
I got Facebook and Twitter, but I was always at sea with LinkedIn; I knew it was a tool for work-seekers, but just didn’t know quite how to use it.
So, a few months ago, I shut my LinkedIn profile down.
Then, a few weeks ago, I realised that I could apply my mantra of “start small” to LinkedIn by making my profile about my writing. I re-created my login, linked a range of samples, joined a group of Newbie Freelance Writers, restored a lot of my old connections (who were bombarding me with requests to join back up) and made some new ones.
I’m still working out how to turn those connections into actual business leads, but it’s progress.
Then there’s Fiverr. Marcus Herstik has been extolling the virtues of this site to me since we started working on the BWI Podcast. My main worry was offering my writing skills for five (well, four) dollars. Some folks offer to do three-hundred word blog posts for that much, but I simply didn’t want to sell my skills for that little.
Though I created a profile on Fiverr a couple of weeks ago, it took me until Friday morning to finally work out an angle for a Fiverr gig: Writing blurbs for the back covers of novels. I have no idea exactly how big the market is, but I reckon the boom in self-publishing ought to make it sizeable enough.
Further on the marketing front, I brainstormed potential clients, people who might be looking for a writer and people I’d like to work with. The Escapist was one of them, but I’m not sure exactly what sort of column or series I’d write.
On Saturday, I recorded my first interview for Paid to Play in ages. I’ll leave that for the moment, save to say that it showed me how much I need to re-learn after so long away!
I also recorded a chat with my old mate Gavin Lucan on Thursday night. My objective is a “money-where-your-mouth-is” supplement for Paid to Play, where Gavand I talk about finding work – whether additional (for me) or a basic income (Gav lost his job with SFtv Australia when the owning company shut the channel down).
The practical result was us rambling on for about an hour, mixing fanboyism and freelancing in rather lopsided fashion (you should be able to guess which side we lopped). That hour makes me worried about both uploading it and whether it’ll be of value to an audience.
Yet I get the feeling that it’ll find an audience on the strength of Gav and me just being ourselves.
With everything else going on, new strips has taken something of a back seat. At the moment I don’t have one ready for Monday’s scheduled upload. Still, I’ve been able to nip into KerSplatt! for at least one drawing session this week!
One thing I’m working on is how I store and organise my ideas and to-dos. I cleaned my Evernote notebooks up one lunchtime, shifting a lot of back-burner stuff into a “Someday” notebook and making sure everything had at least one tag.
I’m getting better at working with Remember the Milk, too. I still divide tasks between it and my physical diary, which does double duty with Google Calendar for events. Much as I love that diary, it’s big and heavy and most of the time just gets lugged from home to work and back.
And I only meditated once last week! No wonder I’ve been stressing out some…
The Day Job
I sometimes feel as though I don’t recognise the wins I make while I’m working – perhaps that’s something a lot of us need to recognise, if for no other reason than to help us recognise how capable we really are.
This week was smoother than I was expecting, given that my team was at least one person down. Work’s been going through a lot of changes in the past few months / years and it sometimes feels as though we’re still working out exactly what we’re doing and how we’re meant to do it.
That said, work flowed pretty darned well and after resolving a chronic issue I found myself curious as to how it kept happening, so much so that I sent some e-mails to the folks who know the systems involved way better than I do. I reckon there has to be a better way of resolving the issue on a timely basis.
“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”
― Jessica Hische, sourced from GoodReads
In the vein of the above quote, I think it’s worthwhile writing about the things I did whilst procrastinating.
There was a fair bit of Warframe, of course. I’ve increased my Excalibur warframe (the suit my avatar wears), my Burston rifle and Cronos bladed polearm to their maximum capacity, but although I have an Oberon warframe and some other weapons that I could be working on advancing, I enjoy how the Excalibur looks and plays a little too much right now.
I’m trying to rope Gav in with varying degrees of success and have chatted with Chris Taylor – the gent whom I originally thought was Gav – about creating an insignia for our clan.
I wonder, though – if Jessica’s quote above holds, how would I turn my play of Warframe into something others would find valuable? Perhaps a column on free-to-play games for The Escapist?
Course of the Conflict
Part of me still wants to be making more progress, more quickly: I want work and paying clients NOW, damn it!
But these things take time, provided I keep working away – and not just on making stuff but getting in touch with people in an intelligent, focused manner and asking that hard question, over and over again: How can I put my fantastic writing skills to work for you?
This week’s been good for production and laying the foundations for asking that question and backing the “fantastic” bit up with proof. From here on in, I think I need to push outside my comfort zone and start seriously reaching out to folks.
What are you doing?
What progress did you make on a personal project this week?
What new things did you try in your regular work?
How did you procrastinate?