Organizing Life and Freelancing Demands without being Overwhelmed

With multiple demands on my time I have to maintain some kind of schedule for my freelance writing as well as the many other demands of ‘life’. Freelance projects are somewhat easier to schedule as they come with definite deadlines but other projects can disturb this regimented order.

Take for example my organization of a large event taking place this June. It will not only celebrate Canada’s 150th but also be a showcase for all the local artisans, cultural groups and organizations and associations that are within Strathcona County. With the Arts & Culture Council and the Diversity Committee boards involved there had to be a ‘central hub’ for information – yep you guessed it – me! (I am the President of the Arts & Culture Council so I suppose it should be me). It took me seven hours to produce a master list of performers, contacts, reservations, transport, displays, and more. Now it is a lot easier to update with a detailed layout.

Heritage w shuttle

I was invited to present at a writers conference, which happened last Saturday. http://wfscsherwoodpark.com/node/3090   The theme was all things Canadian so I presented an interactive workshop on Building a Canadian Character. The session included each attendee choosing a particular province and building a character from its particular landscape, economy, resources etc. With numerous handouts I managed to compile, each attendee went home with helpful resources.

When I created the individual folders I pinned a small cloth doll to each and then asked everyone to choose – this meant they went for colour or pattern unaware I had put a photo inside for another exercise. Sneaky maybe but it worked well. Then later I asked everyone to describe with as much detail as possible the person in those photos. After they read their description they shown the photo to everyone else. It was a lesson in description. 

Conference 2017 logo

Both of these activities require concentration and commitment just like freelance writing. You commit to a project and see it through.

How do you deal with scheduling multiple demands on your time?

This link shows several freelancers schedules.

https://www.sitepoint.com/freelancer-schedules/

Freelance Projects Can be Diverse But That’s The Joy Of Them

Today saw the completion of several projects I have been working on and progress on another. It is always satisfying to finish assignments, knowing your client is happy with the end product.

manuscript

I edited and beta-read two vastly different manuscripts – one a thriller and the other personal essays/memoir. In order for me to remain ‘in touch’ with each manuscript I read them in different locations and time of day. This ensured my mind set was right for the theme I was reading. I find it is not a good idea to ‘mix’ these type of assignments – the brain needs to be clear of other demands to make clear assessments.

The other project – ghostwriting a book – is much more complex as I am working with a client whose vision for the book is clear and precise. They know what voice and tone they want for the book as well as the addition of a host of images.

With multiple clients it is essential to schedule each one giving thought to the time it will take for each one (plus a little more time for a safety margin- this is vital). You can use a reverse calendar for organizing or a large wall calendar to plot each one in different coloured pen or highlighter.

I utilize a reverse calendar and colour code to give me a visual reminder.

I found these links which give good advice & some tips on scheduling processes.

http://www.talentedladiesclub.com/articles/the-art-of-juggling-how-to-manage-multiple-freelance-clients/

https://thefreelancecollective.com.au/my-top-5-tips-for-juggling-several-freelance-projects-at-once/

What method(s) do you use?

juggling

The variety in my freelance work is what makes it enjoyable and worthwhile. I have ‘learnt’ about such diverse subjects as accounting, yoga, massage therapy, furniture, non-profits, boarding kennels and more!

What do you feel freelancing gives you?

The Greatest Ghostwriter?

I found this article to be intriguing, informative and interesting – original link: http://thgmwriters.com/blog/lessons-americas-greatest-ghostwriter/#more-2727
Alexander Hamilton was America’s greatest ghostwriter. Here are five lessons he leaves us, with quotes from the musical that bears his name.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius of a writer, taking the fairly base form of entertainment that hip-hop is and elevating it to artistic grandeur. Hamilton: An American Musical contains layers of meaning, and pulls people into the story of America’s greatest ghostwriter.

What? You thought Hamilton was a banker? Or a politician? Or a lawyer?

Well, yes, yes and yes. But he was also a ghostwriter. For several years, George Washington relied on him to ghostwrite most of his letters and speeches.

Let’s take a look at some of the references from Lin-Manuel’s script that offer lessons for today’s budding writers.

Alexander-Hamilton

Writing lesson #1: Write early, write often. Write and write well. Write whatever comes to mind. The more you write and the better you write, the more doors will open for you.

Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned. Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain. Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain. And he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain.

Well, the word got around, they said, “This kid is insane, man.” Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland. “Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came, and The world’s gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?”

Hamilton wrote that famous letter to his friend Edward Stevens, then at Kings College in New York City. That letter ended up being published, impressing enough people that some locals sponsored Hamilton’s education, which ended up being at King’s College. By writing early, Hamilton literally wrote his meal ticket and became a scholar.

Writing lesson #2: Write to arms! Your pen is your weapon. Use it to win whatever battle or war you’re fighting.

Hamilton’s a host unto himself. As long as he can hold a pen, he’s a threat.

His enemies recognized Hamilton’s chief strength. Washington might have taken his popularity and gone home, but Hamilton remained with his quill. And his quill was still a dangerous weapon.

Writing lesson #3: Just keep writing. Write and write and keep on writing. You are a writer, so keep writing. Write what you see. Write what you feel. Write whatever comes to you. That’s what writers do.

Why do you write like you’re running out of time? Write day and night like you’re running out of time? Ev’ry day you fight, like you’re running out of time?

Why do you write like it’s going out of style?

Then, in another song, after Hamilton’s death:

I try to make sense of your thousands of pages of writings. You really do write like you’re running out of time.

Writing lesson #4: Write your ticket. Your words have power to win people over. Your writing is your strength, so use it to achieve what you want. You can win people’s minds and their hearts with the words you use and with how you assemble them. Your words can change the world.

You and your words flooded my senses. Your sentences left me defenseless. You built me palaces out of paragraphs. You built cathedrals.

And in another song, from another woman:

In a letter I received from you two weeks ago I noticed a comma in the middle of a phrase It changed the meaning. Did you intend this? One stroke and you’ve consumed my waking days.

Writing lesson #5: Be more than a writer. Be not just a writer. Be many things, so that you will have much to write about.

Let’s finish with Hamilton’s own words. Well, Lin-Manuel’s attribution of what he supposes Hamilton might have said. But it fits with the rest of the play. Words are powerful. The pen is mightier than the sword. And Hamilton just kept writing.

To call Hamilton anything would be to diminish his importance. Yes, he was a writer. But he was also a founding father and the founder of the American monetary system and the Coast Guard and the New York Post and the first planned industrial city in the New World, Paterson, New Jersey. He also founded the New York Manumission Society (for freeing the slaves).

Yes, he wrote the bulk of the Federalist Papers, but it was not just because he was a writer. He was also a scholar. He was also a statesman. He was also a thinker and a Patriot. And that’s why he could write them.

I wrote my way out of hell. I wrote my way to revolution. I was louder than the crack in the bell. I wrote Eliza love letters until she fell. I wrote about The Constitution and defended it well.

And in the face of ignorance and resistance I wrote financial systems into existence. And when my prayers to God were met with indifference I picked up a pen, I wrote my own deliverance.

And so, here is a summary of the lessons we can take away from America’s greatest ghostwriter, or at least from the musical that bears his name:

Talk less. Write more.

Good advice even today!

ghostwriting

 

When It Rains, it Pours – Be Careful What You Wish For- Multiple Freelance Clients

We all know that old saying be careful what you wish for now don’t we?I had wanted more clients…

busy-professional

So I am in the midst of a complex project ghost writing a book, it entails thinking outside the box as my client wants a particular mood and look for this publication. It entails focus and with no other projects waiting I was fairly happy that along with my personal writing commitments I would easily handle them all. Then a past client contacted me out of the blue to ask if I could write a couple more online lessons for her (I have written several previously) and could she have them prior to 1st March – her launch date! Now I am juggling and can see a weekend away from the distractions of home hiding in the library!

Obviously client work comes first and these projects take priority over my other commitments which are:

  1. Book reviews for two authors.
  2. Manuscript review for one author
  3. Editing & revising one of my own manuscripts
  4. Planning Canada 150 year celebrations for my writing foundation (as secretary) and Arts & Culture Council (as President) and a writing conference.

So I will not be wishing for more work just at the moment.

How do you handle multiple projects at the same time?

Very busy businesswoman

 

 

Ghost Writing Project Review

ghostwriting

Further to my previous post, some of you know I was approached by my publisher, Dream Write Publishing concerning a ghost writing project a couple of weeks ago. I met with the client and discussed in detail her vision for the book she wishes me to write. Not only will it be a book available through the normal channels but also as a marketing tool for her speaking engagements.

I like to meet face to face with clients as it allows me to not only get to know them but also their ‘energy’, humor and a more in-depth perspective of where they are coming from and their ‘vision’ of the finished article/book.

This particular individual is bubbly, enthusiastic and driven. These facets of her personality need to be reflected in the book. She loves memes, image driven inspiration and wants the book to be informative but also fun. This gave me plenty of information to base my plan on for the project.

Her main aim is to inspire people to take their idea and make it a reality.

It will be an interesting project and I hope she will allow me to work for and on behalf of her to create