Friday, June 29, 2018

Update Day: Gosh I'm Busy

Last Friday of the month means it's time for another update day. In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, a group of us have set some crazy/very important goals. Then on the last Friday of the month, we post updates on our progress. You're welcome to join, if you want. All you have to do is click here for more details.


As you guys might remember from last month, I got a major contract that's really a massive jump forward for me. This was the first full month I did this, and guys... I just really love it. More than that, though, I'm proving myself to be more and more inexpendable by being able to understand economics, write articles, and read French. That last one seems to be especially handy, since the company I'm writing for is active in Africa, which has large francophone portions. As a result, the source documents I have to use in creating my articles are all French, and it looks like no one in the comms department (which is what I'm contracted to) can read it.

At any rate, this job has proven to be basically the only one I've ever done that has my brain firing both hemispheres. So yeah, it's awesome. Also awesome is that it totally does count as using my writing skills, which means that as of this month, I'm just under halfway to my five-year monthly earnings goal.

Overall, though, I can say that my life is the best it's been in... about four years. Although there are some major unresolved issues, it just becomes so much easier to cope when you're making decent money.

But there's a bit of a storm brewing, namely a massive and growing frustration at the fact that I'm not able to work on my own stuff as much as I want. See, when I was beyond stressed out 90% of the time, a lot of my creativity just... vanished. Now I'm unstressing and it wants to play. Don't get me wrong, it's loving the day-job right now. But let's just say my muse is a bit pissed that I'm not making massive progress on my own books.

For this, though, I can't blame the job. I'm just super busy all of a sudden. A lot of new opportunities are opening up for my family so, as the only one who's "accounting literate" (as in able to tell the difference between debits and credits), I have to pitch in a lot and help. On top of this, I'm making a seriously concerted effort to brush up on my French.

One reason for this is the French reports I have to read. The other is that I got sponsored by someone to go to France for ten days in August. (!!!) We're going to a rural area up north, though, and will be living with people who really aren't all that good at English, so I'm doing as much as I can to be conversant in French. I've kept up my vocab for years by reading French, but because I don't have a lot of access to French speakers, I'm seriously rusty on the speaking part. You know... just having the ability to spontaneously convert your thoughts into speech that the other guy understands.

This meant that I had to put even more of an effort into immersing myself, so more reading French, more French TV series (thanks, Netflix!) and just practicing on Duolingo. Oh and narrating almost everything I do to myself in French so I can get used to verbalizing thoughts. Most of this takes up a chunk of time, though.

The French trip also meant that I had to renew my passport (because of course it would expire the one time I really don't have time to renew it), and will mean that I have to get my visum. Sigh.

So all in all, my life is still getting in the way of my writing, but just in a good way. This month, though, I really really want to finish revisions to Book 3. It's been languishing long enough. I'm just going to make that my goal for July.

What about you guys? How are you doing? Any goals achieved, since we're at the halfway mark?

15 comments:

  1. That's a big plus you understand French. It is easier to retain when you are immersed in it. (I used to speak fluent Japanese but forgot most of it when we moved back to the States.)
    Hope you can carve some time to write.

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    1. Yeah immersion is definitely a big thing. But it's hard work when you don't live in a country with a lot of people who speak that language.

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  2. Being busy and having skills in demand is awesome. Life can make juggling all of its demands challenging to say the least. Do write on your own projects when you can. While they may not be the top priority, if they are a priority, then progress, even if slow progress, will be made.

    Me? Just finished a novella which is off to be edited, and started a new novel yesterday.

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    1. I have to say it's just such a relief to be able to say I'm having to juggle good things.

      Well done on finishing your novella!

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  3. Busy is good:) I'm rewriting an MS for my agent right now, so keeping busy too:)

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    1. Fingers crossed that the rewrite goes well!

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  4. Welcome to my world. I love my publishing company. I love my authors and doing work for them. Yet it leaves me NO time to do my own writing.

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    1. Yeah that must be frustrating sometimes.

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  5. Glad things are taking a positive turn. The day job sounds an awesome fit for you. As for the rest, maybe it's worth asking yourself what is most important to you ... and then following through to the conclusions. If it's important to help your family then that is a decision that has consequences for writing. On the other hand, if writing is important then maybe family commitments could do with some boundaries. The only thing for certain is that you can't do everything.

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    1. Yeah that's true. It definitely is about priorities. At the moment, it just feels like everything is on the same level. Which I guess means a rethink is needed. :-)

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  6. That's great Mischa - so pleased for you ... way better to be busy, busy, busy - than wondering about life. Gosh and going to France - how wonderful ... you'll find the French will come back asap - then better get a french friend in SA to keep on talking to ... or communicating with a French blogger ... anyway - take care and look after yourself ... but am so pleased for you - cheers Hilary

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  7. I'm so glad to hear things are going well. I don't know why I keep forgetting about the end of the month. Probably because I'm not doing much to reach my goals.

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  8. Awesome. Keep at it! I love that you're in a position you're so uniquely qualified for. The sun does come out after the storm, eh? Here's hoping after your trip you'll be able to free up some time for the muse!

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  9. Good for you! I haven't tried to speak in a different language since college and have forgotten so much.

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