New Year, New Regime

I’ve been taking December off in order to reassess where I stand on work, depression, how I go about working, promotion and so in. Introspection often isn’t a good thing if you suffer from depression as you will tend to ruminate and be extremely self-critical which really isn’t any good for you. At all.

Still, I’ve come to a few conclusions about what needs to be done to make some changes and how I plan to attack these changes come the new year.

Plucking a stereotypical definition of your average working stiff out of thin air, at least in the UK, he’s going to be working 9-5, five days a week, 52 weeks of the year with something like 20 days off as holiday per year, not counting bank holidays and so on. That amounts to a working schedule of 240 normal work days per year, minus some, but let’s go with 240.

If I wanted a modest income of, let’s say, £12,000 at the best rate I can expect for my work ($0.06/£0.04 a word, sometimes more, usually less, self-publishing is harder to track) that would entail writing a minimum of 1,250 words per day, of sale quality.

Here’s how my days currently run, when I’m fit and able:

  • 7:40am – Get up, check e-mail, reply to work mails where possible. Mess about on social media games/work related topics mixed.
  • 8.00am – Start work properly.
  • 12.00pm – Lunch
  • 12.20pm – Back to work.
  • 1.00pm-2.00pm – Sometimes a nap, otherwise working. The nap is something that came in with the depression which often manifests as exhaustion.
  • 7.00pm – Finish day’s work. Cook evening meal.
  • 8.00pm – Blogging/Reading, semi-work related.
  • 11.00pm-12.00am – Bedtime.

Thing is, I’m often not fit and able. I’m not sure when I became such a workaholic, it doesn’t sound like me. Somehow though, I did. Other writers/creators tell me they’ve never worked as hard as I do and that I even put them to shame. I am, quite literally, killing myself by exhausting myself this way though. Things seriously need to change and I need to learn to relax again, to regain focus and to put it onto one main project at a time so that shit gets done.

To that end I’ll be making the following changes next year:

  • Assisting/fronting for more creators under my ‘brand’ as Ian and Uri, and others, have. This is less work for me, keeps a good product flow and lets me help people out and even mentor new creators.
  • Working on more fiction. I enjoy writing. I want to spread my wings this way some more. You can see some of the stuff I’ve written over on talesofgrim.wordpress.com
  • Setting my workday target to a ‘mere’ 1,250 words. I know I’ll go over that (I’ve been known to crank out 10,000 a day) but as a target that’s achievable even when I feel bad and a mark of progress day to day. Achievable goals are important.
  • Concentrating on one project at a time and once I hit my goal spending my time on projects that my brain WANTS to work on. (I will finish all my outstanding projects before this new regime starts).
  • Picking up my exercise regimen.
  • Learning to relax and ‘consume’ media as well as produce it again.
  • Less freelancing. People can come to me, I shouldn’t need to pursue them for work any more. I’m known now. Hopefully somewhat respected and valued as well but I’ll settle for known.
  • I tend to undervalue my work. A common comment at cons is that people expect my material to cost more. I need to value what I do more and bring myself a little more in line, price-wise, with other indie producers.

I’m telling you guys this because it means that things will likely slow down, but quality should go up. Also because I need the support and understanding of my customers, friends and fellow professionals to make this change. I hope you will indulge and assist me as Postmortem Studios moves forward.

One response to “New Year, New Regime

  1. Good plan, and far more dedicated than my ‘try and do stuff but spend ages looking at Facebook instead’ plan.
    I don’t think if you enjoy what you’re doing it quite counts as being a workaholic, as long as you have time to chill out and spend time with the other half.

    Generally, go you!

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