Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Procrastinate? Nah, I'll Do It Tomorrow

We all have stuff to do. If we’re asked at any given time what’s on our to-do-list, we’ll be able to reel off several, if not hundreds, of things that we need, should or ought to do. In fact, I suspect most of us have a much longer list of SHOULDS than NEEDS.

But how do we prioritise these? It’s easy to prioritise the NEEDS because they’ll undoubtedly have time limits and deadlines – I need to finish this piece of work by Thursday lunchtime; I need to post this application to arrive by Monday morning; I need to renew my car insurance by the end of January; and so on.

But the SHOULDS are a little trickier, especially when they’re combined with the WANTS – I really should go to the dentist for a check-up; I’ve been meaning to sort out all the junk in the garage/attic/spare room for ages; I’d like to find a knitting/singing/tai chi class in my area but I just haven’t got around to it yet.

Take this morning for example. After waiting in for a Sainsbury’s delivery (in an attempt to spend less than in our usual local Waitrose… hmm, not sure it really worked… better try Asda next...), the rest of the day was free to do with as I please. Now, if I was one of these layabouts who could sit on my arse all day reading, watching TV, listening to music and generally being lazy, I probably wouldn’t have a problem. But I’m not. I’d feel far too guilty. And in any case, in order to become a freelance copywriter, I believe I need to act like one.

So, on my NEED to-do-list today are all sorts of writing and self-employment related tasks – create a business plan and cash flow forecast; continue working on my Proofreading and Editorial Skills course; come up with a pitch for my travel writing friend as per her suggestion; finish working on a life experience piece to send to The Guardian Weekend Magazine. And have I done any of these? No. Of course not.

You see, as I was putting away the shopping, I realised the vegetable drawer of the fridge was in a bit of a state and really NEEDED a good clean. After I’d done this, I noticed the draining board was also in NEED of a clean, not to mention all around the taps and the sink itself. And boy did I give it one! Earth Friendly Parsley Plus spray and a wire scourer does wonders on stainless steel, I can tell you. It’s so sparkly! And afterwards I felt so proud of myself because, judging by the results, it must have really NEEDED cleaning.

Then I decided I NEEDED to write this blog post, which is at least related to my new career (sort of). Meanwhile, the lists of SHOULDS and WANTS grows ever longer and I wonder if I’ll ever get round to sorting through all those travel souvenirs from my ‘Big Trip’ 9 years ago or transferring my truckload of loose photos into those lovely organiser boxes I bought 3 years ago for that very purpose. But at least my vegetables are sitting in a clean tray and I have a sparkling clean sink. That’s a start isn’t it…?

Friday, 15 January 2010

New Website for Moss Copywriting!

My brand spanking new website is now live!

The site advertises my copywriting, copyediting and proofreading services and you can view it here.

You can also follow me on Twitter, Linked In and Xing if you're that way inclined.

The site was designed and built by zero G media and is hosted by 100% wind powered energy.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Out With the Old… In With the New-to-You

On New Year’s Eve we had a bit of a spring clean here in the Eagle’s Nest. Well, a lot of one actually. We cleaned out, sorted through, chucked away, reorganised, amalgamated, reallocated, merged and recalibrated just about every single one of our worldly possessions. There was joy, laughter, one or two arguments and even a few tears along the way! Someone recently said merging your belongings is the next logical step after moving in together. It’s all very well having your own domain within a shared space, but to actually integrate your books? Your stationery? Hell, your CDs? Now that’s commitment.

Along with the sort-out came the ritual known as the annual cleansing of the wardrobe. In a constant effort to streamline my clothes (and an excuse to make space for new ones), I like to give The Partner a “fashion show” whereby I try on all my clothes while he calls out “Yuck”, “Chuck” or “I’ve never even seen that before”. Occasionally he agrees a garment can be kept, but mostly it’s down to a battle of the wills that enables an item to remain in wardrobe residence.

I quite enjoy this process as it forces me to evaluate whether I’m keeping something purely for its sentimental value. And when it comes to clothing that’s a pretty dumb reason to keep something. If you’re never going to wear it again what’s the point of it sitting there gathering dust when someone else could be getting good use out of it? And that’s what spurred me into having a clothes swap party, or “Swishing” as it’s apparently now known.

What better way to recycle all those items you never wear/you're saving for a special occasion that never seems to come/that no longer fit/that you're clinging onto for sentimental reasons? Instead of giving them away to a charity shop and inevitably spending more money while you’re in there (and half of them will probably end up in landfill anyway), why not let your friends have first dibs on them? The great thing about giving those long-loved items of clothing to your friends is you get to see them being worn and enjoyed again by the people you love.

Of course it doesn’t always work out that way. Your friends may not want any of your old tat and vice versa, but whatever’s left can still be given to charity and at least you’ve had a bit of fun in the meantime. Tomorrow's the big night so fingers crossed for a successful swish!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Social Me

I had a very exciting day yesterday designing my new website with the very talented Guy at zero G media (yes The Partner himself). After a whole day in the office we completed the Photoshop layout design for the grand total of 2 pages! It was fascinating to see the process in action and understand how time consuming it is making little adjustments, lining everything up and adding lovely little design features. In fact it was so enjoyable, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm pursuing the wrong career path (argh!)

The next step in the process is the actual building of the site, which Guy is hopefully working on at this very moment (damn, turns out he was in a coffee shop - should have known). The web address is mosscopywriting but there's just a holding page there for now.

I also finally succumbed to joining Twitter. I think all the little tweeting noises constantly emitted by The Partner's Twitterific iphone app have been gradually building up in my subconscious until I realised I was insanely jealous and needed to get in on the action! So you can now find me on Twitter under mosscopywriting. Come follow me!

As soon as the website goes live you can guarantee I'll be blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking about it like there's no tomorrow. So watch this space... and watch the Birdie...!

Monday, 4 January 2010

2010: A Roaring Success?

Happy New Year and welcome to the Year of the Tiger. Well, according to the Chinese Zodiac this doesn't officially start until Valentine's Day, but it's good to look ahead I think. The Tiger is apparently a sign of courage: This fearless and fiery fighter is revered by the ancient Chinese as the sign that wards off the three main disasters of a household: fire, thieves and ghosts. Phew, we can rest easy in our beds tonight.

Monday 4th January is one of those dates I've always dreaded. It usually signifies the end of the Christmas break and the return to work, normality and real life. Boo! Hiss! In my oh-so-thrilling office job it was a date to pin future events to before Christmas: I promise to sort that out as soon as we're back in January; Sorry it'll have to wait until after Christmas now; Yes I'll deal with that in the New Year. It would always feel like aeons away at the time, but then Bam! it would be upon us and I'd actually have to keep all those promises I made.

But now, for the first time in my life, I've found myself feeling just an inkling of jealousy over all those people for whom real life has returned today. I mean, not massively jealous you understand. Not nearly enough to make me actually want to get another office job, oh no. But just a teensy weensy bit, just enough to wonder what on earth it is I'm supposed to be doing with my life.

I've realised that I do sometimes miss that sense of belonging and of purpose that working in an office brings. But as I sit here gazing out to sea through the crisp, clear day, I also realise how free I am and feel a great sense of appreciation. For with freedom comes a sense of peace and what better way to start the year!