My current day job is part-time, but unlike most jobs, it’s not every week. I work for Caption Colorado as an editor. As each financial quarter ends (Jan 15, Apr 15, Jul 15, Oct 15), all the big corporations hold earnings calls in which they announce how much money they’ve made and what their upcoming projects are. A captioner takes the call live and transcribes every word the speakers say. Then the transcript comes to me. My job is to make sure the transcriptionist captured every word verbatim, research spellings of company executives and products, and add grammar fixes where needed. This all happens real-time at a rapid speed. I get paid by the transcript, so it’s in my interest to get through them as quickly and efficiently as possible while still keeping quality high.
During earnings season, I often work 12 to 15 hours a day. Not really much time for writing. In effect, I have 4 weeks on schedule, 8 weeks off schedule.
This wouldn’t work for every writer, but it’s terrific for me. Maybe it’s because I’m from an academic background, and the concept of “semesters” works well for me. I love the uninterrupted 8 weeks to focus on my fiction. The 4 weeks are pretty rough sometimes, but I just get through them the best I can. I know many writers are happiest when they write every day, but honestly I find that I’m more productive when I don’t write every day. Usually by the end of earnings season, I’m thrilled to return to writing — and at the end of an 8-week writing session, I have a hard deadline to get more stories into circulation.
Plus, it makes goal-setting easier when I have my time sectioned off this way. Speaking of… For this next 8-week segment, which starts this week, I plan to draft 4 new stories, revise 4 stories, and put 4 stories into circulation if possible. (These might be the same four stories, or I may count ones I have in a drafted state right now.)
I like posting my goals publicly because it makes me stick to them.