Tag Archives: Freelance

Update: 12th July 2017

BY JON PILL

Goodness, gracious, where does it all go? The time that is. The time between tossing out the last fortnightly missive to Jim and the sudden tumbleweed silence of the last two months.

This is not a return to your regularly scheduled programming unfortunately. Work, by which I mean, writing work – off which I have been living for the last month or so – has slurped, and continues to slurp, up time and, far more importantly, energy. The blog, with its pious penury is fun to write and in its own way an important place for me to expend some of my creative soilings, but it does not cough up the necessary potatoes and so cannot take up too much of my time at the moment.

That said. I am hoping to get at least a skeleton posting schedule back up and running shortly. In the meantime, consider this a hopeful fluttering in the ribcage of the corpse.

Here’s what you’ve missed:

Writing

June was my most productive month possibly ever for writing, a little over 40k in words the vast majority of them for Poker Tube, where I was doing the live tournament reporting for the World Series of Poker.

I’ve also got back on the Buzzy Magazine roster and should have something out with them shortly on Season 7 of Game of Thrones which is airing this Sunday.

And I am continuing to write for Front Vision. But there is always room in my schedule if you need something written, or know someone who does. Blog posts, ghost writing, articles, erotic poetry… you name it I’ll write it. Get my email from the About part of the site and hit me up. I’m not proud and I gotta eat.

Reading

A lot of this, mostly disciplined until the last few weeks when my ‘Currently Reading’ pile exploded to sixteen books. Among them is Finnegans Wake which I continue alone, having been abandoned both by the GoodReads group and by Jim, both of whom were reading it with me.

Other key books include The Expanse series (on book 2 atm, not as good as the TV series, but fun) and the gigantic The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism which I suspect will be an endless frustration of pseudo-intellectual gabble about stuff which sociology, anthropology and psychology are all studying by looking at facts.

Much to Jim’s relief, I have also started American Pastoral.

Life

Keeping on top of writing, reading, and the various habits I try to keep going: eating well, meditating, exercising, socialising and various smaller things mostly aimed at keeping my mental health solid as the little grey cells will allow, all makes for a certain amount of cat juggling and ball herding.

While May was a fabulous month where everything lined up, the last month and a half-has been rather more chaotic and as a result, while specific things have been working it comes at a cost of other things. Word count goes up, exercise gets pushed out for example.

Being self-employed gives me plenty of flexibility to manage my time. But it is possible to get a little paralysed by the choices. I’m hoping that there will be a series of articles on time management in a little while, but not until I get back into practice what I intend to preach.

Till then there should be a few more Dear Jim’s and book reviews coming out. But they will probably remain sporadic at best for the next couple of months.

For everyone reading this, thanks for sticking with me. You’re my kind of sucker.

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Where did all that Summer go?

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June in one of the years of Victoria’s reign. Now that we’ve Brexited I assume we can also start reinstating the Empire. Image from this guy’s Pinterest.

In November when I quit work and moved from my island home to Bristol, I had a pretty clear timeline for The Novel in my head, and a years worth what I thought was a years worth of savings in my bank.

Now, I am several months behind on the novel and looking at falling much, much further behind. And as for the savings… yeeesh.

This isn’t entirely a negative thing. A lot of the time lost on the novel has been to ‘reading weeks’ spent working on research, and on time given over to payed writing of the freelance variety. Some of these distractions have  even turned into regular gigs with Poker Tube and a few more articles – and now a longer term contract – writing for Front Vision. And then there was the move earlier this month from Bristol to Leamington and all the hassle that things like that entail.

For those who are interested, here are the highlights of what I have not been posting about over the last 2.5 months.

First, There Was June

  • The first of the pieces went up on Poker Tube (my full oeuvre there can be read here).
  • I also learnt the hard way not to read comments on Facebook for anything, especially articles (like this one) where you talk about something people love in highly-qualified but negative terms. The comments on PokerTube’s site were pretty civil, the ones on the FB page, less so.
  • I also had a trip back to the island home for a friend of the lady-friend’s wedding. It was lovely to see those few I did manage to see while I was there, and heartbreaking to not see all those I didn’t. On the whole though, I am still thrilled to be away from the place. Small island life is exactly as small islandy as you think it is.
  • I read a bit, wrote a bit, and time moved on…

Then After Came July

  • July brought with it some bad news: a parting of the ways between me and the lady-friend, and some good: new start in Leamington and getting moved and settled with huge amount of help from some top qual friends.
  • I also did some volunteering at Bristol Zoo before the move. It involved more yelling at kids who wanted to pull the lemur’s tails than actually cuddling the adorable – or wrestling the dangerous – animals. Several people dropped their phones in with the seals.
  • I then spent a couple of weeks in Leam on Jim‘s spare bed, while hunting up a flat and generally sorting the new life in Warwickshire.

And Now, August

  • With the kind help of loads of nice people at the Warwickshire end I have completed the move of all my stuff and said a farewell to the Ladyfriend and to Bristol.
  • I have begun tentatively to get back into the novel (aiming for a minimum of 30 minutes a day on it), and am juggling that with the other various writing commitments while also cautiously hunting for some sort of more regular employment.
  • I now have the pleasure of re-ordering my books on their shelves to look forward to, and now have access to the youth restoring springs of the Leamington Spa. Ponce de Leon, eat your heart out.

I think that covers most of it. Hopefully things should start getting back to business as usual now. See you mid-week for something about reading most likely.

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Dans les pays étrangers

It’s been a little quiet of late on the blogging front as me and the ladyfriend have been moving from our island home to the civilised north. It was something of an adventure complete with sea voyage (Condor Ferries late night service to Poole), a road trip across three whole counties (four if you count St Peter Port, which you don’t), and a grand arrival in the bright lights of a big city (Bristol).

Since then, there hasn’t been all that much room for sitting down to type, not least because the chair on which I am sitting down to type right now only arrived from IKEA a week or so ago.

The study is all set up now, so I’m sat on a first floor mezzanine looking out of a three story window. I’m hedged in by my books and feeling pretty darn smug about the whole sitch.

Photo on 17-12-2015 at 13.59.jpg

My office.

As I am off to the US shortly for a couple of weeks I am yet to get stuck into any writing. But all that should begin in earnest upon my re-arrival en Angleterre on the 2nd.

There is a whole slew of administrationy things that need sorting alongside that. Getting a work email address, setting up a website, the publicity engines of social media, registration with National Insurance, the NHS, with HM Revenue & Customs as a sole trader, setting up a new current account for business transactions, and beginning to find markets and contacts for freelance writing. Even just making sure I have all the relevant stationary requires scrolling through endless identical printers on Amazon and an early Christmas gift of a ledger from the LF. No doubt there’ll be longer posts on some if not all of these things to come for those who are interested. But for now Happy Holidays and I’ll see you in the New Year.

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