Day off? What’s that? That is what I ask myself as yet another weekend dawns with the prospect of me working through it. I haven’t had a day off in weeks – a whole day where I do absolutely nothing work-related at all.
But I really can’t complain. Everything seems to be taking off at the moment. My wildlife website, Go Be Wild, is picking up more and more followers all the time. Taking photographs for it is a truly wonderful and relaxing thing, so I definitely don’t feel as if I am working when I’m busy doing that! I make notes for my nature blog as I go, too, on a voice recorder app on my phone, so that I am using my time as efficiently as possible. During the whole month I am also coming up with ideas for the big feature I will publish on the site on the first of the month (I do one large, in-depth feature every month) and doing research when I have a spare moment. Plus, I am thinking ahead to what will be coming up in the next month for nature’s diary in the Wild Times section of the site. At night, I settle down to read one of the books I will be reviewing in the Wild Reads section.
The thing keeping me busiest currently, though, is editing my second novel, Flowers For The Dead. I’m trimming it down, perfecting it, and ensuring that it is in the best possible shape ready for publication next month. I’m lucky enough to know a very talented designer who did the cover of Invisible for me, and now we’re working on ideas for the cover of Flowers For The Dead. It’s fun, as it gets me thinking about the book in a whole new way.
While doing all of this, I am, of course, still very busy as a journalist. It has been a roller coaster of a week, with some truly uplifting stories such as a woman who discovered she was pregnant just six days before she gave birth to a child doctors said had a mere 20% chance of survival. Her beautiful little girl, Ava, beat the odds and is now eight months old. Then there was Pepe, whose horrifying story I blogged about earlier this week. And finally there was an interview with a mum whose 12-year-old son was murdered within minutes of him leaving the house – that tragic tale shall haunt me forever.
I have also picked up a new role writing short fiction stories for a women’s magazine called Love It! It’s a whole new world for me, as I had never written a short story until I had to submit my first one at the start of this week. Luckily, they really liked it – phew! The brief is to come up with erotic fiction with a surprising twist in the tale, and it’s been great fun coming up with ideas for it. Once the magazine has published my first story, I will share it with you and you can let me know what you think.
So although I am constantly busy there is such a wide variety to my work that it doesn’t feel too stressful. When editing my book gets too much, I do some nature stuff; when nature stuff feels too stressful, I move on to journalism; when journalism feels too weighty, I write a short story. And then, to relax, I grab my camera, take my dog for a walk, and get some nature shots – which counts as work too. So it’s not so bad never having a day off right now!