The ups and downs of a week in the life of a publisher in COVID

The ups and downs of a week in the life of a publisher in COVID.

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Notes on the week that was the first full week back in stage 4 lock down.

Monday

First full week working from home. I’d prepped my office the day before of course so I could jump right in. Had a nice walk before breakfast and was ready to attack my email and prioritise my week.

Emailed one of my authors who shared how difficult this year had been for her (I had no idea – social media hides these things so well).

Got stuck into checking some proofs wishing I still had my inhouse editor (an early COVID casualty) to do this. Is 11.30am too early for lunch?

Noticed another author promoting 10 minutes online daily meditation! Great idea, I’ll do that in the sunshine at lunchtime. A tick for self-care!

Five o’clock already. I mark the end of the working day with a gentle online yoga session – another tick for self-care. I reward myself with a red wine.

Tuesday

Went for a walk and chatted to my adult son, who was on his walk in a different suburb, over the phone all the way round. That was nice. Felt like we’d caught up.

Had a positive phone meeting with a prospective new author.

Some good news, a huge reprint! An excited flurry of activity followed as I contacted printers for quotes and delivery dates. August figures are now looking markedly better.

Took a call from another author, usually so upbeat and energetic, who shared his recent struggle with mental health. Many of our authors are people–people, feeding off interaction at workshops and events, teaching, motivating and firing others up. Not in COVID it seems.

Felt sad after this call. How many weeks of lock down left? Stupidly switched on the radio, more deaths from COVID, numbers of new cases lower but still high.

Second day of meditation but I didn’t put my phone on silent so I didn’t feel as if it worked very well (I’m not a great meditator I have to say).

Signed off a book for press. I did achieve something today.

Didn’t bother with the yoga. My tick for self care was an alcohol-free day.

Wednesday

Big self-care tick for a run this morning. Very pleased with myself. Full of energy for the day ahead.

Until… I remember it’s hump day (unsmiley face).

Read a fabulous article about the pain that we are all feeling during COVID. I could relate completely. This reminded me of a nagging headache I’d been having. Better book a telehealth appointment (one good thing about 2020, you can now talk to a doctor on the phone).

Bugger the meditation. Decided to have cake for lunch.

Cannot get motivated today, at all. Shuffled some (virtual) paperwork around.

Found a text that I had missed asking for a quote on a big quantity of books for a B2B sale. Things are looking up again.

Motivated to write some back cover blurb. Quite good too, if I say so myself.

Give myself an early mark as a reward for my creativity.

Thursday

Really struggling today. Woke up and checked my phone to see that one of our books was in this week’s TOP 10 business books again. That was a positive which I thought deserved another half hour in bed.

Talked myself out of my early walk and regretted the decision by 10am when I went out in the sunshine for the 1 hour’s exercise we are allowed in Victoria in stage 4 lock down. Bad idea, it was very difficult to get back into work afterwards.

Is that the time? I thought my tummy was rumbling. No time for meditation after an hour away from my desk on my morning walk.

Second book almost ready for press. I must have been doing something this week, despite the evidence to the contrary in this blog.

Am I the only one who finds working from home so tiring? Better call it a day.

Friday

No excuses today. Complete the second run for the week before 8am. It’s going to be a productive day.

The book due to go to the printers today has been delayed. The pressure’s off. Might have a coffee before my business coaching. I’m allowed a takeaway latte (even in stage 4 lock down).

Love my business coach. He gets me to focus on what the business will look like three years ahead, taking my mind completely away from stage 4 lock down for a whole two hours.

It’s a respectable time for lunch. Talk myself out of meditation again (after all, it’s Friday).

After lunch I check my weekly sales figures and check stock levels. All good. It’s not been a bad week . Tempted to celebrate by giving myself the afternoon off. Decided against it – after all, what would I do? I’ve got a whole weekend ahead of me, don’t need an extra afternoon to fill.

I know, I’ll shuffle some more virtual paper, catch up on some reading, check my social media. So much to do, I’d better write myself a to-do list.

Gosh, is that the time? It’s unAustralian to work late on a Friday. I’ll get onto the to-do list next week.

After work yoga or prosecco? It’s a tough decision.

Lesley Williams is the founder and publisher at Major Street Publishing, an independent business book publisher, based in Melbourne, Victoria.

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