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December 2020: What’s new & what I have been upto

Well first of all I had had plans for November 2020.

I had planned to sit and relax and write more of the book – about 30,000 words extra to be exact. That worked for about a week.

I am also involved in various projects in a voluntary capacity where I try to provide some assistance somehow. One of these ended up having a lot of drama and that caused a lot of stress.

So I didn’t get to actually have much stress free time to write or do much else.

So what else happened in November?

I was in a Melbourne Fringe show.

Yes you read that right. I was performed in an online space created inside the Animal Crossing: New Horizons game as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

The entire thing was livestreamed via Twitch. You can watch my performance via the video below (I start at 56 minutes in).

My performance at the Animal Crossing X Fringe Gala Livestream event

I also did manage to write a bit more for the book. Not quite the 30,000 I had imagined and aimed for but a decent chunk of say 10,000 words, some of which I have yet to type up.

I also wrote up some character profiles and started trying to name a few more characters.

You can see how far Gin and Tonic is progressing via the Patreon and read all the background and behind the scenes stuff.

I also realised that it was useful to have a set focus for November and a list of things that I was allowed to do in that month because they all contributed to the main goal of having me relax.

So I want to carry that forward and plan December the same way.

What is happening in December 2020?

So these are the things I want to focus on in December

1. I want to do more journalism work

The reason for this is because for all of 2020, I did a lot of editing work. Which was great because I got to read a lot of great work. But I didn’t have a lot of time to focus on journalism as well and I really want to maintain a balance between the two.

So for December 2020 at least I am shifting focus. I have a few clients to mentor through their writing process and their work needs to come first and I am going to take on more journalism.

It’s not a hard no to editing work in December – I just finished something for a client this week for example. But my time is going to be allocated differently and the weekly to do list is going to reflect spending more time on the journalism work.

For example, for the entire month, I have to pitch a total of 18 stories (since I don’t count weekends and am taking a week off), one per day or five per workweek. I don’t necessarily have to do the work in December but I need to send the pitches off.

And I can report back here in Janaury and tell you how I went.

2. I might be on a panel or two

It’s quite a quick turnaround but I might be on some panels coming up very soon, one of which might actually be next week. So keep an eye out for that and I will send a note via the mailing list and social media.

I don’t want to say too much about what the panels are on until things are confirmed. So keep an eye on the social media and mailing list (you can join via the form below).

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3. I am going to take a week off

So this is going to be strange to some people but I actually had not planned to take the Christmas week off work.

But given that it was very much a failure to be stress free for a month, my accountability partner and I came up with a different way to try and make sure I got enough time off: a week off at a time, either once every month or two months.

The idea is to use the time to destress and write and do other pet projects for myself. So I am trialling it in December.

It might still end up being a mix of a week per x period off and then a month off here and there because it’s very different to have a month off versus a week.

I think planning the month out like this is going to help a lot. I have an accountability partner that I check in with once a week but I think having this to check back in with once a month as well will help. And it might help anyone looking to create their own system for managing freelancing right now.

So let me know if you have any tips or ideas.

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is currently based in Melbourne.

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