Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Getting the reference

It was 1 hour and 28 minutes ago that I sat down to write this blog. How do I know? Because I wrote the "What's on the turntable" entry below. Then I killed the blog and have just restarted it, and it's the same song - and I have exactly 1:28 hours of Steely Dan music.

What have I been doing in the last hour and a half? I have been writing the Table of Contents for the planned reference book. It's a programming manual for a large and well-known publisher of such reference books.

I had sent some notes on what I thought should be in it to my co-author, he'd responded by expanding it with his stuff. So I took the TOC suggested by the company, and his notes on my notes and ran them all together, sorting them out into some semblance of a logical sequence and incorporating the headings of the publisher, just to show them that we're not ignoring them.

I had this rather nifty idea, since we need a website to demonstrate the principles we will be describing in the book why not build a website that will potentially make us some money? Along with the free advertising from the book. Mercenary, moi? (Hey! I'm 50, and though I'm not planning on retiring [what a waste of time that would be] I'd like to have lots of pennies rolling in so that I can live in the style I wish to become accustomed ... to.)

Speaking of plans. You might like to try this: A couple of years ago I sat down and worked out how much money I would need to generate in order to handle all my debts and do everything I wanted to do. The figure came out at about £300,000. Then I multiplied by 3.3333etc to round it up to a million. (I had my reasons.)

Then I picked a date which seemed a reasonable target: End of 2012. So I decide that by that date I would make £1m and handle all my debts and so on. Then I sat down and started working out ways that I could make the money required.

Last year was a good start but I mishandled the money and ended up back where I started. So this year I'm doing it better and getting more long-term money generating plans off the starting blocks. Obviously I'm never going to make a million if I go on doing what I'm doing, you need to continue to make the money to live on plus devise sensible schemes that can deliver in the future.

I actually made this plan before I discovered I had some screenwriting talent.

I don't really believe in coincidences, I do believe we are responsible for what goes on around us, both directly and indirectly (why can't I win the lottery then? Because there are millions of other people trying to as well). And just by making the plan, as I did all that time ago, my life began to change around me (like discovering I had a highly valuable programming skill and now having the opportunity to write a book).

I'll do some set-up work for Running this evening, get my notes out and have look over them, probably change them. And get some writing in wednesday evening.

Oh! I'm going to the Toby Whitehouse thing set-up by the BBC Writersroom - are you going?

What's on the turntable? "Barrytown" by Steely Dan from "Roaring of the Lamb"

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