How Did We Get To May?

Unbelievable, we’re a third of the year in! Feels like only yesterday I was in Yosemite…..and that was Christmas.

Well I finally laid the long, stressful project to rest, a few days after my last post. That was a huge relief, and it certainly reduced my stress levels no end. I stopped feeling like I was owned by the company. And I gradually began to get my usual routine back again. Over the 4 weeks that I worked on their project, I pretty much gave up my most-days gym routine. That was suicidal, exercise is a big stress reliever for me, so not having that release certainly affected my mental well-being. But I really just couldn’t afford the hour and a half away from the computer each night.

So it’s been nice getting back into my routine again, and I even decided to change gyms. I’d previously used the local YMCA. It’s a lovely center, but I tire of fighting my way through there each night with the ridiculous number of kids kicking around. So I switched to another nearby gym that is owned by a physical therapy office that I used a few years ago. they’ve recently relocated their gym to a huge new center, and it’s fabulous. They gave me a free 7-day pass to start with, so I got to test drive it out, and I love it. So that’s it, final decision, I’m switching. And it’s quiet too – no screaming kids to battle with like at the YMCA!

The past couple of weeks have been quite rainy here – nothing unusual for New England though! I decided to go for a walk one evening the week before last, after the gym, and just as I got to the park, it started raining again. That’s when I saw the rainbow.

I’m not kidding, I’ve never seen such a perfect rainbow, it was mesmerizing. And then as the sun went down a little more, the sky just looked lovely!

Last weekend was busy for me. I’d been contracted by a medical news company to attend a medical conference in Boston and write 10 news articles for them, on some interesting studies that were being presented there. It was a pediatric medical conference – the first time I’d ever attended this particular conference – and I gained some insight into how claustrophobia feels for folk affected by it! There were over 8,000 attendees, it was ridiculous! People everywhere. And on Saturday when I arrived, I’d only just sat down and was enjoying a coffee and a cookie while I went through my abstracts book to get my bearings on what room I needed to be in first, and an alarm started sounding, telling us to evacuate. It peeped loudly for over an hour, on and off, but they did keep using a loud-speaker in addition, telling us not to evacuate. Not a very peaceful first hour though….

But anyway, all in all, it went well over Saturday and Sunday. And thankfully we had beautiful weather on those 2 days at least, so that made my commute into town a lot easier. But I did feel a little exhausted on Monday, I must admit, since I didn’t have any time off at all.

I did start up another project on Monday, but finished it today, and am now officially off until Monday. I was determined to have a day and a half off this weekend, especially since we’re due sunshine tomorrow!

So now it’s time to get back to the sofa.

And maybe a glass of wine and some ice cream.

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6 responses to “How Did We Get To May?

  1. Do you think you’ll take any more work with that company? It’s tough when you’re newly self-employed.

    Love the rainbow.

    • No Jacqui, I definitely won’t take any more work with them. They paid ridiculously well. But they were highly disorganized – they’d left it very late to find a writer for their project, and on top of that, didn’t have a clear idea of what they wanted. I signed on after a conference call that gave me idea X, but then the goalpost was continually being moved every couple of days. I did my first round of edits for them on the first batch of work I submitted – took me 5 hours (original writing had taken about 12h), mostly because I had to filter through all their handwritten comments and requests on a scanned piece of paper – no Track Changes used! OK, no problem…..then after that first round, they said they’d changed their minds! So after I submitted my edited version, I got Round 2 edits back – took me 15 hours…..still no Track Changes, even though I asked for them. That’s when I realized I wasn’t going to get their project finished by their deadline because they didn’t have a clear vision of what they wanted. And I wasn’t going to allow them to make their lack of organization my problem. Just to give you an idea of the changing goalpost – they originally told me they wanted 7 chapters in a total of 15 pages of writing with about 40 references. I ended up completing 4 of the chapters, after telling them to get a 2nd writer – in these 4 chapters I ended up with 27 pages of writing, with over 70 references. Plus their attitudes truly were “we’re paying you, therefore we own you”. It was a truly ulcerating experience. But when I accepted the project up front, I’d promised them I had enough free hours to be able to give them 30 per week, and could definitely meet their 15 pages by their month-deadline. I kept my promise – plus some! I’m glad I told them after a week that given how they were changing their minds so much, I knew it was unlikely I’d meet their deadline for the whole project, they were asking for more and more with each passing day. The only good thing about the experience is that it made me realize that it’s not a good idea to take on a project from a new client that will span a month – maybe go for smaller projects with new clients first. Plus, when a new client gives me a time & total page estimate for writing, I should literally double it at least, just in case – that’ll make it easier to figure out if I can fit everything into their deadline.

  2. Sounds like the crazy project finally ended in your favor, and even helped reinforce your reputation!
    Congrats on the new work, and the couple of days off!
    Great rainbow pic. I need to ge see one of those!
    Always nice to see you, whenever you come by.

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