Writing Journal 67: (Mac People) Hello, Yosemite

Writing Journal 67: (Mac People) Hello, Yosemite

My writing journal for Saturday 18, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

It’s Saturday, so that means I need to RUSH because it’s a short writing day, and I have coaching calls this afternoon and evening.

To save time, I shortened the writing time for the mystery novel, but managed 1,800 words. I skipped working on the nonfiction books completely, so I could focus on my email backlog.

Then, time for breakfast for Honey. I ate while dealing with today’s email.

Client reports, and dealing with edited material

I didn’t do any client reports for the week yesterday, which meant I had to do them today. I also received a couple of books from editors, which I need to assess for final changes. I’ll do that tonight.

Now it’s time for my errands. I need to be back early for my coaching calls.

A couple of writing students asked me about the new Mac OS, Yosemite. They’re new Mac people, and weren’t sure what to do, if anything at all.

A few tips, if you’re new to Macs.

If you’re a Mac person, Yosemite is here

Yosemite, the new Mac OS X is here. When it was announced yesterday, I promised myself that I’d wait a month before updating. Updating is always risky; if your most-used programs haven’t been upgraded to work with the new OS, you’re stuck.

“Yosemite announced, wait a month before upgrading” — that’s what I wrote in my bullet journal. Then I looked at the features, and noticed Handoff. I could start creating a presentation, and could finish it on my iPad.

And Safari got updated. Not to mention, security features… Sigh. No sooner had I finished my working day, than I decided, oh what the heck, and hit the Install button in the App Store.

I made sure I was ready first, so if you’re installing Yosemite, do this:

  • Make sure that your “MUST HAVE” apps have been updated to work with Yosemite. Visit the App Store, and update your apps;
  • BACK UP… Have a new backup. I use Time Machine, and also back up important files to both Evernote and Dropbox, so I was OK;
  • Make sure that your computer can run Yosemite.

Once you’ve done all that, you’re good to go. Yosemite’s a 5 GB download, so the time to download depends on your connection. Once it’s downloaded, the install took around half an hour for me.

Once Yosemite’s installed, your Mac will run like crap for a while, as it optimizes things in the background. Expect this — don’t panic.

Next, visit the App Store again. You’ll see more downloads, now that Yosemite is installed. Install the apps. Yesterday, the Yosemite download was fast; the updated apps took forever to download. It depends on how many others are doing what you’re doing.

After all that, run your backup program again, now that you have a bright and shiny new operating system.

Back again: coaching calls

I’m back, and need to prepare for today’s coaching calls. I read through clients’ materials, and make some notes. Then it’s time for the calls…

With the calls done, most of my day is done. I do my daily review. I’ve still got the edits to read through tonight, but that’s OK.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 39: Copywriting Workshops

Writing Journal 39: Copywriting Workshops

My writing journal for Saturday, September 20, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Back to normal this morning; I start off the writing day with the novella. I manage two scenes: 2,500 words.

Next week, I’ll begin a new ghostwriting project: a book proposal for a memoir. I’ve already done several interviews with the client, so I have lots of material. In preparation for starting on the memoir, I spend a couple of timer sessions reading through what I have, and developing cluster diagrams.

Time for Honey’s breakfast. Her arthritis is still bothering her, but she’s enjoying the warmer weather.

I eat my toast while reading email, which is light this morning. I need to get to the backlog of student emails, but I can’t see myself getting to it until tomorrow. It’s Saturday, so it’s a short writing day, and I can’t do it tonight, because I have a couple of student coaching calls.

I’m still loving the bullet journaling process BTW. I love the way you can just dump everything into it, and that you can see what you did, what you didn’t do, what you need to remember, and what you changed your mind about.

There’s lots of info on bullet journaling on the Web; I’ll need to do a blog post about them.

Next, blogging.

But before that, I need to mention that October’s copywriting workshop is fully booked. A couple of people missed out, so my apologies. We haven’t promoted it at all, so I was surprised that it filled so quickly. However, you can book for November.

Leap into Copywriting: October workshop is full

Our October copywriting workshop, which starts on September 29, is full. The next copywriting workshop starts on November 3. It will be the final copywriting workshop for the year.

I haven’t settled the dates yet for the NaNoWriMo workshop. I’ll need to get moving on that.

Blogging and SEO: write content to meet your goals

A blog coaching client asked me about blogging and SEO. In a nutshell: write content to meet your goals, and help your audience, add the appropriate meta data, and promote it as much as you can. Do link outreach. Integrate content with your marketing, and your website. Strive to do more with the content you have.

Next, I do some work on the company history; just 1,200 words, but that’s OK.

Time for lunch, then my Saturday commitments. I hope I get back in time to do a little work before I need to prepare for the coaching calls.

Student coaching

I’m back, just in time to prepare for the coaching calls.

The calls are fun for me, as always. I still need to send the students a quick memo on the plans I developed for them, plus their MP3 recordings. I’ll do that tomorrow.

I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had a chance to do more with the Christmas short stories, so I create a quick outline and cluster for another story.

And that’s it for the day. My review is done, word counts are done. Another writing day is done.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 13: Closing Programs, and Blogging Preparation

Writing Journal 13:  Closing Programs, and Blogging Preparation

My writing journal for Sunday, August 24, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Novella: clustering and outlining

Up at 5AM as usual. Yawning after a late night with student phone coaching.

So, just 1,000 words of fiction this morning. I spent an hour doing cluster diagrams and creating a full outline of the novella. Now that I know the characters, the outline is easy to create.

If you’re a pantser, I encourage you to outline, even if you only outline a few scenes ahead. Fiction is all about emotion. Think about the emotional journey your characters — and readers — will take.

They start in one emotional space, and end in another. You need to show that journey, in scenes. Dig underneath the surface emotions. If your character is sad, what lies underneath that sadness? What images appear in your character’s mind?

You can do a lot of digging in your next draft(s). However, if you think about what you’re doing in your first draft, you’re laying the foundations of a strong book.

Consider your character’s flaws, too. I wrote about character flaws here.

Next, on to nonfiction, another 2, 500 words. I mark the areas in which I need to do research with XXXs.

Email, and Honey’s breakfast.

No time to walk today.

Writing programs closing — 5 close on August 30

We’ve got many writing programs, so we’re withdrawing all those programs we’re not actively promoting.

I chose the programs which will close on August 30, and wrote a short blog post for the freelance writing blog.

Time for my own breakfast, while reviewing student exercises. Lots of email messages, and lots of updates on Trello. I set up boards for students on Trello, because it eliminates the fuss of email.

I downloaded Folia yesterday. It might become more useful than Trello. Here’s a review of Folia on TNW.

I’ve started using it, and hope that I’ll be able to use it for writing courses.

Next, I need to create a couple of short videos for students, so that takes us up to lunchtime. It’s Sunday, so lots of things to do, and no more writing time until late afternoon.

Sunday blogging; drafts and more drafts

It’s Sunday, so it’s blog preparation time. I sort through all the blog post ideas in Evernote, and create draft posts for my own and clients’ blogs.

I didn’t get a chance to read through the third novella last night. I got caught up in reading students’ projects, then phone coaching. Finally, I was just too tired.

I still need to sort out the meta data for the novella, and edit the first two novellas, adding links to the others in the back matter.

I’ve done my daily review, and totted up the word counts, so they’re done, and I’m done for the day too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 7: Fiction, Blogging and Coaching

Writing Journal 7: Fiction, Blogging and Coaching

My writing journal for Monday, August 18, 2014. All the entries are here.

Today promises to be a busy day. Lots to write, and a couple of phone coaching sessions at the end of the day.

Fiction and nonfiction: ending one project, and starting another

Up at 5AM, as usual. Wrote 1200 words of the novella this morning. Just another couple of scenes to write. I went over the first couple of chapters this morning, and had to stop myself reading. I’ll create a MOBI file of the novel tomorrow, so that I can read it when I’m away from my work computer.

Then I drew the first cluster diagram for the next novella in this series – there’s a theme for the series, and I want my subconscious mind to start thinking about this new book as I wrap up the current one..

Whenever I reach the mid point of a project, I’m eager to get the project done. With only two novellas to complete, I’m well past the midpoint on this project. The next two stories will be shorter. At least, that’s what I’m hoping.

After a quick email message to my fiction client, I start on the new nonfiction book for the series I’ve ghostwritten for a client.

This client hasn’t commissioned me to write any more books in the series, however I know that he wants me to write several more.

So last night, while thinking about the rest of this year, and 2015, I decided that this will be the last book I ghostwrite for him. If he offers me a commission for the next book, I’ll set him up with someone else to  complete the series.

I’m committed to making 2014 the final year I take on so many ghostwriting projects.

Last year, I had every intention of cutting back on my ghostwriting commissions. However, long writing experience has trained me to grab great projects when I can. So I kept grabbing, which is fine. However, it means that I’m doing much too much “work done for hire”. The fees for the ghostwritten materials are excellent. When I see authors like Russell Blake building wonderful careers, I know that I should be focusing on my own fiction and nonfiction.

I’m resisting working on my own materials, and it’s frustrating.

When you meet resistance, ask yourself why

Resistance is always interesting for writers. I think I know what’s behind mine — fear, as always. When you accept commissions, you’re not risking anything. Enough musing on my psyche. Onward with the nonfiction project.

I write a short description of the project, and create chapter documents in Scrivener. Then I write an introduction of 600 words.

This is odd. Usually I complete a book, then write the introduction. Not to worry, I’ll go with it. Now I’ve started it, I want to get it done. I create a cluster diagram for the first chapter, and write some research questions.

Breakfast for Honey, and then for me. No walking today. It’s raining and windy. Yoga later.

Email and blogging

Julia’s arrived, so we have a coffee while going over this week’s projects. Then I work on blogging.

Next, a dip into social media, and more blogging, for the freelance writing blog.

And it’s lunch time. No time to go out to lunch, so Julia and I chat and read social media. It’s still raining.

I’ve got some administrative chores to get through, so I turn on Spotify and resist the temptation to poke myself in the eye with a sharp pencil. I resist doing essential housekeeping chores as long as I can. Very immature behavior. :-) I tell myself to stop complaining, turn on the timer, and stick it out for two sessions.

Two sessions done, and I stick with it for another session — that’s almost two hours. Once I get started, it’s easy to keep going. I know this, but procrastinate anyway.

Time to return phone calls.

Then ten minutes of yoga.

Authentic writing — project revision

I spend two timer sessions on this. I’ve removed a couple of the exercises, and added another couple.

Late afternoon, and I have two phone coaching sessions for which to prepare. I need to study a student questionnaire from a new personal coaching student, and prepare my ideas for another student’s book marketing project.

The phone coaching sessions go well. The students are enthusiastic, and so am I.

It’s late, so I do a quick review of the day. It’s been a busy and productive day – I broke the back of the administrative chores. My word count totals aren’t as high as I’d hoped, but tomorrow is another day. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.