Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's resolutions

Every year, I blog about my New Year's resolutions, and most years it seems like I fail miserably.  I've tried making them more specific and checking in every week or so, but then I feel like they consume my life, and still don't turn out as well as I'd like.

Granted, this past year has been very busy and has involved a lot of changes in my life, so I probably have good reason for not having achieved my goals this year.  However, with this past year in mind, I want to do something a little different in 2015.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Upcoming holidays and some changes

I can't believe how fast the last couple weeks have gone, or that Christmas is right around the corner!  I've been working hard since NaNo ended, although not, unfortunately, on finishing my ebook.  I'm hoping to step things up on that in the next couple days.

I do have some changes to my schedule forthcoming.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Some more changes to my schedule

About two months ago, the family I nanny for cut my hours back by nearly half -- from five afternoons a week to just three, and shorter afternoons all around.  I've been freelancing with my extra time, but I was in a situation this week where I was having to decide whether to take on a new family on Tuesdays and Thursdays (my off days).

I was delaying making the decision because I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do.  The extra income would be good, especially if I weren't sure whether I would be working for my other family much longer -- with the kids getting older, I wasn't sure whether they were going to start phasing out my role, or at least to the point where it's no longer a primary income source for me anymore.

Today, though, I got some news that changes all that.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Deadbeat client warning

A blog I used to follow -- Irreverent Freelancer by writer friend Kathy Kehrli -- was just resurrected in order to give a warning about a deadbeat client: Q2A/Bill Smith Group, which changed its name to QBS Learning.

It sounds like there was an all-too-convenient "merger" right around when payment was due.  Funny when the timing works out that way, isn't it!

In any case, Kathy is still owed more than $1,200 plus interest.  She even offered them a steeply discounted settlement if they could pay in full right away... Nothing.

Sounds like she's not the only one, either.  Visit her blog post on the Q2A/Bill Smith Group a.k.a. QBS Learning for the full story, as well as links to a thread with more writer complaints.

Monday, December 08, 2014

A run of bad days

I have to admit I haven't gotten back to work on my ebook -- and my writing challenge -- in several days now, basically since the first and only day I met my goal.  A bunch of deadlines and feeling somewhat sick on top of it all conspired to keep me away from it.  Luckily I got an unexpected day off from my nanny job today, so I think I should have a chance to get caught up.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

My first missed day of my writing challenge

Yesterday -- my second day, technically, of the 250 words writing challenge -- I had to skip work on my ebook.  After a long day I was almost completely bowled over with an allergy attack, so I took a Benadryl and watched Big Bang Theory (my newest favorite TV show that I'm marathoning) until I fell asleep.  I can't really be too mad at myself, since 1) Tuesday was so productive and 2) I didn't watch anything or take any down time for virtually the entire month of November.  So I was due for a bit of a break.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

On productivity and sleep: Life post-NaNoWriMo

Yesterday was an incredibly productive day, which was gratifying after feeling like I was barely keeping up all throughout November.  I got plenty of client work done, updated my own blogs, and I achieved my word count goal for the day (and then some -- I got 400-some words instead of just 250).

It was a good feeling to be so productive, for sure.  Today being a nanny day for me (a day when I had to pick up the kids from school), it's been largely unproductive so far, but I'm planning on getting some work done still this evening before I call it a night.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Writing challenges for the rest of the year

After failing to reach 50K during NaNoWriMo this year, I decided I need a year-round motivator for me to keep writing every day, or at least nearly every day.  So when Debbie Ridpath Ohi -- who does my favorite web comic, Will Write for Chocolate, and who also used to do the daily NaNo comics -- posted her writing challenge, I was glad for the reminder.

I've seen her post her challenge before: Basically, you choose whether you're going to shoot for 250, 500, or 1,000 words a day.  Finally I think I'm going to do it!  I need something to keep me motivated and keep me working so that I can build year-round habits and continually make progress on my own projects.

Monday, December 01, 2014

How I failed (and still almost won) NaNoWriMo

In November this year, I set out to write a nonfiction ebook during NaNoWriMo, instead of my usual novel.  I've been doing NaNoWriMo every year since 2006, plus camp, and I've won several of those along the way.  I felt it was time to do something different... and perhaps use the motivational burst of NaNo to make headway on one of the many projects that have been hanging out on the back burner while I focus on client work.

There were some lessons to be learned by doing nonfiction instead of fiction, but overall I think it was a win for me -- even if it wasn't a win by the conventional method (getting to 50,000 words in November).


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