What I’ve Been Up To

Long time no post, eh? Sometimes I wonder whether I made the right decision to no longer stick to a publishing schedule. Because occasionally things like this happen, where I don’t post anything for over a month. And I don’t like it. Although I didn’t like frantically rushing to publish some piece of crap at 11.59pm on deadline day either. What I really need is to get into the habit of writing every day, which, er, I definitely have not been doing lately. I think that habit would drastically improve my life and business. Probably yours, too. I will do a 28-day experiment on it some time soon. (But not yet, because I’m working on something else right now.)

But I’ve been fucking busy, guys. Promise. Not busy with work, but busy with life. I don’t know if you’re aware of this (j/k – I know you get this) but it’s super fucking hard to get back into your work after a long period away from it. Much easier to arse around all day thinking about doing stuff.

So I’ve been umming and ahhing a lot lately. How the hell do I get back into my work? Where do I start? THERE’S SO MUCH TO SAY. And then I’m like, Jesus Christ, Karen – you just need to do something. So here I am. I figure the easiest way to get back into my work is to give you guys a recap of what I’ve been up to. That’ll be a good place to start moving from, I figure. Or something. Right.

What I’ve Been Doing

Visiting America

I went on my annual pilgrimage to the States at the start of August. I flew into San Francisco, spent a night there and then headed to Modesto to hang out with a good friend of mine for a few days. I spent my time walking the dogs, going for solo walks, reading, journalling, and generally being blissed out in the 30+ degree sunshine. We also went to Columbia, a nearby gold rush town for the day. We rode in a stagecoach and got held up. It was cute.

Stagecoach

After that, I flew up to Portland, Oregon, for the World Domination Summit.

The World Domination Summit

My original plan was to write up a whole post about WDS for my return to blogging, but I’m just not feeling it. I think this may have been my last WDS. Usually I buy a ticket for the next year, but this time I didn’t, and nor did my friends. I don’t go because of the conference itself any more, but because this is my only chance to catch up with my friends. I’ve met some incredible people at WDS, but I’m just not interested in meeting any more people there. I only want to hang out with the friends I’ve already got, and we don’t necessarily have to go to WDS to do that.

I feel like WDS doesn’t have much to offer me any more, apart from the opportunity to have a laugh with good friends and dance my ass off to 80s music at the closing party. WDS is basically a massive inspiration-fest, which is exactly what I needed the first time I went, way back in 2012 (before I’d even started freelance writing). Next year, I think it’ll be time for something new. I guess we’ll see.

WDS2016

Spending Time with Family

As soon as I got back from America, my brother arrived in Edinburgh with his family in tow. It was awesome to hang out with them, and I loved the two days my mother and I spent looking after my 18-month-old niece, Luna. But them babies, eh? Once they start walking, they’re damn fast. Me and Luna had some good snuggles and tickles, and she took a great fancy to my boots. What can I say? The girl has taste. Although if I never have to watch another episode of The Wiggles again, it’ll be too soon.

My mum wondered whether hanging out with Luna made me broody. The answer is no. Nope nope nope. Nooooooo. I love the girl, but I cannot imagine being tethered to a small person 24/7. I am happy being an auntie. I will be cool Auntie Karen, who travels the world and runs a business from her laptop and comes back with stories of high adventure. I will be a badass role model. That’s my plan, anyway.

Oh, I also took the train down to my home town for a couple of days for my uncle’s 70th birthday. EXCITING, I KNOW. But it was fun to see everyone. Although, note to self: don’t make plans to do anything with anyone for at least seven days after returning home on a longhaul west-to-east journey. Jetlag is a bitch and does not play well with early-rising toddlers and social obligations.

Start Fiction Editing Self-Study Launch

When I got back from my home town, Sophie and I launched the self-study edition of Start Fiction Editing. It’s on sale until 6pm BST Wednesday – 30% off. You can grab it here.

The Isle of Skye

Last weekend my mum and I hired a car and drove up to the Isle of Skye for a week. We stayed in an internet-free isolated cabin on the coast. It was bliss. We had to negotiate a winding road littered with cows to get there. So that was fun. Hiking, reading, relaxing. That sort of thing.

photo-10-09-2016-08-36-49

I’d promised to show my mum some of Scotland before I hit the road with my business (more on that shortly) and I also wanted to see some more of it for myself before leaving. I got home from Skye on Saturday.

What I’m Doing Next

A Quick Trip to Slovenia

I haven’t spent more than five nights at home since returning from America, and that’s not about to change now. I’m heading to Ljubljana on Thursday to hang out with friends for a few nights. Lake Bled will be involved too.

The Last Ever Session of Start SEO Writing

This year I’ve been hinting at the fact that I’ll stop running Start SEO Writing at some point. And that time has come. While SEO writing is still a viable way to get started with freelance writing, I just don’t want to teach it any more. I’ve been doing it for, fucking hell, three years now, and it’s getting kind of repetitive. I much prefer teaching Start Content Writing, which is more varied and fun, and this will leave me more time for it.

Plus, I think having the two courses on offer is confusing for a lot of people. The self-study version of Start SEO Writing will remain available for a short time, but I’ll be replacing it with something else soon – something that slots in better alongside Start Content Writing.

The final session of Start SEO Writing commences next Wednesday (21 September). A few people have asked me, so I feel it’s important to stress that I am NOT stopping teaching this course because it doesn’t work any more. It still works. I just don’t want to teach it any longer. So if you want in on the action, now is the time. Click here to sign up.

Bullshit-Free Selling

Yes, I seriously am going to create this soon. Before the end of the year, anyway. Life. Gets in the way of work sometimes.

Hitting the Road

The final exciting thing that’s coming up for me is I’m finally going to hit the road with my business. I mentioned this to my email subscribers a while ago, and I’ll write a fuller post about it soon, but for now I’ll leave it as: I will be giving notice on my flat and leaving Edinburgh within the next few weeks/months. I haven’t set the date yet, as it depends on a few things, but there’s a strong chance I’ll leave before the end of the year.

And that’s all, kids! Everything I’ve been up to lately and plan to do soon. I’ll be publishing more regularly again from now on.

Onwards!

WDS photo by the WDS team.

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    2 Comments

    1. Woo hoo hitting the road! Can’t wait to see pics/updates from all your crazy travel adventures.

      Note on your writing every day experiment (mostly in response to your newsletter): totally do it. I’m in the middle of doing the same thing. I tried for months to form a writing habit that stuck and failed a few times.

      Finally when I moved into comedy I decided to learn the ropes I really needed to practice every single day. Books teaching comedy writing told me that—that you NEED to have a quota of jokes to hit every day. So my quota was 5 and at least 2 I needed to post to Twitter. I’ve been writing for an hour every day (minus weekends) since the beginning of the quarter and most days I do way more than 5 anyway. It’s taught me shitloads since I first started and I totally recommend it. It’s #1 in the morning before any client work.

      I’m still going to do the daily writing practice after one more month of this (when Q4 starts), but it’ll be practicing monologues or sketch writing or something, idk. Something other than short form gags. Anyway, it’s a great idea.

      Also it comes with lots of cool blog post ideas. I’m kicking around “what 90 days of writing jokes for Twitter has taught me” or something. Keep us posted!

      1. Love it, Maison! And yes, daily writing is an awesome habit to get into, isn’t it? I did it for a while last year and looooved it.

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