It’s the start of the new UK tax year and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to it (she writes wincing). For many of us who work for others, it’s the start of our annual leave year and for even more it signals the start of our appraisal year. For those with businesses or the self employed, it’s the beginning of a new financial year – the opportunity to set your business stall and put in place mechanisms to make your administrative and financial life easier if necessary. You have new targets, a new budget, possibly new communications and marketing plans.
What are you doing to plan for the 2014/15 year?
One of the key things I’m doing is getting my finances order. I registered as self employed for my writing income and expenses (from writing etc) towards the end of the last tax year and spent a very stressful weekend going through my receipts for the year. Doing this retrospectively has not been easy, so I’ve created a spreadsheet so I can record all my outgoings as and when I have them. Everything will go on there from my phone bill to my ink cartridges.
While I’m using technology to make life easier in some areas, I’m definitely going “old school” (or Skool… I’m very down with the youth) in others. While I’m eagerly waiting for replies to submissions for my first book, Relative Strangers, I have commenced penning the second in the series, Death in the Family. Having learned that I’m quick to write and slow to edit, I’ve reverted to long hand and a note book for my first draft. So far, I’m at 10,000 words and I’m already happy with them. Long hand has given me time to think about what I’m writing, but still allowing me to scrawl at a relatively decent pace. I found on the first few drafts of Relative Strangers that getting everything down on the PC was easy, particularly as I’m a fairly fast typist, but there was an awful lot of repetition in the language which was an absolute pain in the butt to sort in the end.
I’m also determined that this coming year will be the year of opportunity. As I’ve said before, the only way to progress in life is to recognise when opportunity comes along and then to grab it, whether that is personally or professionally. Professionally I start a twelve month development opportunity on Monday (wish me luck!), a temporary promotion which will focus on stakeholder engagement and communications with another department. The next financial year will see the publication of both Relative Strangers and Death in the Family- one way of another. If I’m not successful in securing a publishing deal for the former in the next six months, I’ll be pursuing self publication later in the year, benefiting from other writers experience and publishing both books together. By then I’ll hopefully have made good headway on the third book in the series (I’m not going to give away the working title for that just yet).
But it’s not all about me. I’m still going to be doing lots of volunteer work with Cats Protection and will be managing the Twitter feed of my local branch with sustained enthusiasm. I’ll be trying new techniques for twitter management and I’ll be sharing them with you I’m sure. I’ll also be branching out with other communications work for them, as well as helping out at adoption days and anything else that’s needed.
On top of that, I’m going to be sharing my experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) so that you all can benefit – be they of writing, career management or life in general. With over thirteen years as a recruiter, plus a successful career in careers advice and coaching, I’m going to share my tips with you. I won’t be preachy but watch this space for useful tips on how to get more out of your life and why it’s important. I won’t be shying away from a sharing a few of my mistakes too – personally and professionally – from #writetips to mental health, from making better use of social media to promoting social change. And of course, you’ll still be getting tasters of my fiction writing and updates on what’s coming next. Occasionally there may be some flash to keep you ticking over.
Yep, this blog is going to get pretty exciting this year.