Saturday, 24 March 2012

The 12 day working week

Saturday. I've just finished my second twelve day working week this month. I'm not enjoying it.

I have this weekend off and then I start the third 12 day week in a row.

Why am I doing this? I don't really know. In theory I'm working weekends because we are nearing the end of a major IT project and everyone - including me - wants the project to succeed.

That's the theory.

The reality is I do want the project to succeed but I wasn't convinced before we started this last push that working 12 days in a stretch was a good idea.

There's a reason God gave us one day off in seven. Any time I spend a weekend on a DIY project I regret it the following week.

Apparently the Soviet Union experimented with 5 and 6 day weeks; the French experimented with a 10 day week for several years; Mayans appear to have had a 20 day week.

I'm sure I've read several stories where different working weeks have been proposed. A quick search turned up Colin Walls blog where he proposes an 8 day week

In my late teens I worked shifts and essentially worked a ten day week for a couple of years: five days of 12 hour shifts and then five days off. I still think that was a pretty good system though the first couple of days after my shifts ended I wasn't good for much.

I'm fairly sure I would have been more productive working a series of six day weeks over the past month but it was not to be.

How do you cope with changes to your working pattern?

Friday, 2 March 2012

Goal Reaching - guest post by Julie Anne Lindsey

I like to think of myself as the frog in that motivational poster “Never give up.” I think some large cartoon bird is eating a frog and the frog has locked his legs in the bird’s beak. His hands are around the bird’s neck. I’m definitely the frog.

About three years ago, I saw a movie that captivated me. Really captivated me. When my husband told me he heard it was a book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It’d been years since I read anything not meant to help me be a better cook or mom or homeschooler. The book changed absolutely everything. I laid it down knowing I wanted to do that. I wanted to write a story that made complete strangers smile.

I got started that day. I googled “writing.” In hindsight it’s almost embarrassing how little I knew. Nothing doesn’t begin to describe it. But lucky for me this industry is amazing, and competitive and a really big creepy family. LOL. Most writers and agents and editors are straight forward, funny, and charming. They make my dream worth chasing. I’ve found more support, encouragement and information through my writer friends than I could ever explain.

The biggest lesson I learned reaching for my writing goals was to keep going. There is a way in to a big publishing contract. What? There is. I don’t know it yet, but it’s out there. Like getting credit when you have no credit, or experience when you have no experience, you just keep toeing the door until you find a crack.

For me, I’d spent an unmentionable amount of time being rejected by agents and editors at houses who would read me without an agent. Then, I rethought my plan. Fine. I wasn’t the next Harry Potter lady, but I did have a dream. I met a small agent, just opening her doors and we hooked up. We’re a great team. Then, I set out to get some readers. How? I had to get something published! SO, I found a small press looking to begin a new series. I fell in love with a line of books looking for authors. Honey Creek books was the dream of a small press owner and my new boss.

Honey Creek is a small fictitious town in rural Ohio. I AM Ohio. I called my husband at work to squeal. I had this. I knew this. I wrote immediately to ask for more information. Honey Creek was my “in.” I fell head over heels into a wonderful situation at my new press. I’m so glad I didn’t say “I’m going to be the next BIG thing.” Then walk away when it didn’t happen. Writing makes me happy. Writing for this line is an incredible opportunity for me and I am so glad I never gave up. I have two more short sweet romances coming in 2012 for this line and another full length Honey Creek novel next year.

My advice. Chase your dreams. Especially the unattainable ones. They’re the most fun to catch.

And…if you’r reading this and interested in writing for Honey Creek books too, they’re always looking for the next great story! Turquoise Morning Press :)

I hope you’ll make a visit to Honey Creek. It’s a beautiful place where anything can happen. Kick off your shoes, relax into that porch swing, cuddle up to a steamy cup of tea and my debut novella: Bloom. Taking a trip to Honey Creek is as easy as Amazon :) See you there!

Bloom by Julie Anne Lindsey

In a town filled with her past, she never expected to find her future…

Seven years ago Cynthia left Honey Creek with a broken heart. Three years ago Mitchell arrived with one. Now Cynthia’s come home, and these two hardened hearts can’t stop arguing. If they’d only take a break long enough to find some common ground, they might be surprised to find love can grow anywhere.

If they’ll let it, love will find a way to Bloom.

Bloom is book one in my new Seeds of Love series. I’ll be planting those seeds all year.

About Julie:

I am a mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus. Most days you'll find me online, amped up on caffeine & wielding a book.

You can find my blogging about the writer life at Musings from the Slush Pile

Tweeting my crazy @JulieALindsey

Reading to soothe my obsession on GoodReads

And other books by me on Amazon

Thursday, 1 March 2012

...looking for romance?

I have my second guest post on the 2nd of March. If you are into romance novels and would like to meet a new author, check out Julie Anne Lindsey's post tomorrow on goal reaching.

My number one goal is to write an enjoyable, bestselling novel. In my journey towards trying to achieve this goal I am coming into contact with authors who are on the same journey. Some like me are still a long way from publishing our first novel. Others - like Julie Anne Lindsey - have already made a quantum leap towards the goal by publishing one or more novels.

I'm delighted to see Julie selling her novel and I hope many of you out there will enjoy reading it... but I'll let her tell you all about it tomorrow!