Stepping up the pace

by Doc Coleman on February 6, 2013 · 2 comments

in Asides

My how quickly things can change. Two weeks ago I talked about creating a new account with ACX and plans to make some money from narrating audiobooks later this year. Now it would seem that sooner would be better than later. We got some news at my day job this past week. It seems my work is being negatively impacted by the economy and they are going to have to make some cuts. They’re not planning on letting any people go, but in order to make the cuts they need by the end of the year, they’re going to be putting employees on furlough in the latter half of the year. For the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year, every employee will be required to take two days of furlough in each pay period. That’s a 20% pay cut…

That’s enough of a cut to make the difference between making your mortgage payments and being homeless. We’ve got some savings, but those will go through quickly if we rely on them. So, that means that I’m going to have to step up the pace for getting into doing narrations. I’m going to need the additional income, and I will be able to start earning with narration quicker than I’ll be able to get new writing on the market. Of course, first I’ve got to get a gig.

One thing that will help is that I was able to take a class on time management last Thursday. I’ve tried to apply some of the principles I’ve learned, and I’ve had a very productive weekend because of it. I’ve taken a couple of big projects and cut them up into small daily increments. Part of that is doing a daily dose of writing.

Thanks to a recent post by P.C. Haring, I’ve learned about the Magic Spreadsheet.This is a Google Doc spreadsheet that awards point for daily writing. The more you write, and the more consistently you write, the more points you earn. In many ways, this is just a game. The points don’t really offer anything except incentive, but it may be enough to remind people to write regularly. I’m giving it a try for now. We’ll see how it goes.

This has helped me make some progress on my story for the Way of the Gun anthology. I had planned on that story being about seven thousand words long, but I’ve surpassed that now and I still have a couple of scenes to complete. I expect the first draft is going to come in closer to ten thousand words, although that may be cut down a bit when we get to the editing process.

I’m still looking for other ways to make up the gap. Part of this is figuring out what salable skills I have that I can legally sell. I mean, I can brew beer, but I can’t open my own brewery. Any local brew pub that might consider hiring me would want me to work the same hours as my current job. And this doesn’t seem the most opportune time to look for a new job, much lest a second one. One hopes that the economy will recover soon, but that is hard to do with some parties working to undermine it.

Wish me luck.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa (My words and pages) February 25, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Oh wow. That is hard, even just a small cut like that – it’s still big. Best of luck to you with all new journeys.

And that spreadsheet sounds like a fun way to step up the word count. 🙂


2 Doc Coleman February 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I have a hard time thinking of losing 1/5th of my income as a small cut. The hard part is going to be setting up new streams of revenue in time, and getting them to pay off.

The Magic Spreadsheet is a great tool for getting your writing in gear. I’m looking forward to being back in a writing phase again.



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