I started writing this blog with the admission that I’ve never read a ‘how to write’ book, but had ploughed my way through several ‘how to edit’ books, which felt true as I wrote it, but made me pause and run upstairs to check my bookshelf because something didn’t seem right about the admission. True enough my shelf has several ‘how to write books’ and I’m sure I’ve read at least two of them and probably more. I have a terrible memory, some people are cursed with the inability to forget anything, they can tell you exactly what they had for breakfast on Tuesday the 12th June when they were five years old. I’m the opposite, my brain ditches information at an alarming rate. It always has so at least I know this isn’t early onset dementia. Continue reading
What set it all off?
What on earth possessed me to set a 100 books published challenge? Two things converged for me over the last few of weeks. The first was a realisation that I was working with a number of clients who want to transition from office jobs to new careers as creatives. One of my clients wants to ditch the day job and do art, another wants to be a singer whilst a third wants to be a designer of cryptic crosswords. I have encouraged each of them to follow their dream, and worked through strategies to make it happen. Yet at the same time I haven’t pursued my own dream of becoming a writer. This is odd because I really enjoy writing and would like nothing better than to be able to focus all of my attention on that and not have to worry about finding other work to pay my bills.
The second was a book. I have just finished reading Chris Gillebeau’s book, The Happiness of Pursuit, Find the Quest that will Bring Purpose to Your Life. I have always liked the idea of a quest, who doesn’t? Many of us are on mini pursuits, be that train spotting or bird watching, walking from Lands End to John o’Groates, or a friend who planned 40 miniature adventures for her 40th year. They have an instant appeal. Continue reading
I am not a very reflective person. I tend to look forward to what’s coming rather than to review what has gone before. I also have a terrible memory, which is good in some regards as I can re-watch films or re-read books a couple of years later and not remember a thing about them. So if people had asked me how far back I can remember about being a storyteller or a writer, I wouldn’t have been able to give them a good answer.
Recently though, I have been working as a coach specifically helping people live a happier life by finding what they love doing and helping them set up in that. Many people are desperate to get out of jobs they hate and an equal number of those don’t know what else they could do so feel trapped. One of the most interesting questions I have found to help them discover what they love comes from Marianne Cantwell’s book Be a Free Range Human. It asks, when you were eight years old, what were you most likely to be found doing?
Whether you are a freelancers, sole trader, small businesses or multinational, it always pays to review how you run your business and whether you are doing things in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. It’s especially important in an era when technological advances are happening so quickly that it is sometimes difficult to keep up with all the opportunities available. With internet start ups and the sharing economy it is becoming easier than ever to hand over parts of the business that eats into valuable time or you don’t enjoy doing to a freelancer or an app.
1. Move onto the cloud
Most freelancers need to be out and about, on site, commuting or on holiday on the beach, and still be able to get at all their documents. You can have everything on a laptop, but what if that goes on the fritz or gets stolen? Even if you have been meticulous about backing everything up, chances are you’ll have lost data and time in retrieval. It is much more efficient to store your data in the cloud. There are plenty of cloud computing options that are free (Google Apps and Dropbox) and, believe me I speak from experience, a lot more secure and stable than an in-house intranet. If you need more data security there are also plenty of paid for options. Continue reading