Monday, December 07, 2009

Necessary evils of freelancing

One of the necessary evils of being a freelance writer is all the administrative stuff that goes along with it.

Keeping well-organized records is incredibly important. For instance, emails organized in separate folders by client help you to keep track of project details, payment amounts, etc.

I've always been a stickler about keeping records. I save ALL client emails, record each payment in an Excel spreadsheet, save PayPal receipts as PDFs, and scan checks before depositing them. Unfortunately, lately I've gotten to be pretty lax about emails, and as a result my inbox was up to around 6,500 emails by the time I finally went through it last week.

Learn from my mistakes. I spent an entire day going through emails before I finally got my inbox down to about 1,000. A day spent reading old emails, filing, and (sadly) responding to some very old emails from the contact form on my websites that I had missed in all that mess. Luckily, none of them were missed client opportunities, but in a way they were worse: Most were pleas for advice from people who had happened upon my blog on feline hepatic lipidosis.

Don't let your inbox get out of control. It takes a few minutes to answer an email, and a matter of seconds to file where they belong. Much better than wasting an entire day that could have been better spent on billable client work!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

New word count meter

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten back to work on my novel since the night NaNoWriMo ended. However, I have found a new word count meter to replace the now-defunct NaNoWriMo widget.

Just in case anyone else is interested in putting a word count meter on their blog the other 11 months out of the year, this is the one I used: another little progress meter

The nice thing about this meter is that it isn't dependent on someone else's website remaining in place, like the last non-NaNo word count meter I used. This one is totally code driven, so if they ever take down their page all you have to do is update the percentages and word count in the code yourself.

Stay tuned for future word count updates!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

NaNoWriMo ends!

NaNoWriMo ended tonight with November. I did not make it to 50,000 words, but I gave it a pretty good try. Although my word count was frozen at 40,139, I actually had 41,706 at midnight — I just arrived at the site a little too late to update and validate my word count.

My novel is far from done — I didn't put an ending on it yet, and I have some more of the middle to write as well — so I'll still be working on it for a while. I just finished writing another thousand words, which brings my total word count (including the 3700 words I wrote earlier this year) to 46,440. I want to encourage myself to continue writing even though NaNoWriMo is over, so I'll continue posting word counts here until I finish the first draft.

Here's hoping I'll get better at working on it every day post-NaNo than I was during November!


Popular Posts