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.