Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The joys of working from home

I love working from home.  I love working for myself, more specifically: being able to set my own hours, work at my own pace, and choose my own clients.  Of course, all of those things can also be downfalls if you don't have good time management skills (which sometimes I don't).

But there are consistently stories and research findings indicating that working from home makes employees happier than going into an office every day.  This is referring mostly to full-time employees, obviously, not freelancers or contract workers, but it still applies.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A successful overnight write-in

I'm happy to report that our overnight write-in at the Stanley Hotel was a grand success.  Our most productive wrimo got a whopping 25,000 words written, and although no one else was quite that insanely successful, we all were pretty productive.

Despite our label as the "social condo," once the Cards Against Humanity game was over a number of people went down to the third condo to write for a little bit.  After that, a few of the "social cabin" members came back from the "quiet and focused cabin," and we all worked pretty quietly until midnight.

Once midnight rolled around, we all rewarded ourselves for our hard work.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

All-night NaNoWriMo fun at the Stanley Hotel

One of the little traditions that the Denver region does for NaNoWriMo is an all-night write-in at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.  The Stanley is well known because it's the location for the movie The Shining, and supposedly haunted (they do ghost tours and have an entire culture set up around the haunting theme).

The tradition was started a number of years ago by a previous ML, and the Stanley even had special rates and a writing room set up for NaNoWriMo.  The ML's contact left, so they don't give us the special rate or a writing room anymore, but last year we just booked a couple of rooms and divvied the cost between the occupants.

This year...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The work of a NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison

This year marks the third year I've been a Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo.  Each year has been different but I feel like I've learned a lot from the experience.

The Denver area is a very active region, so we've always had at least two MLs -- and this year we have three!  It lightens the load for all of us, and also allows us to better cater to our very large and busy region.

We do a lot of planning for NaNoWriMo that starts long before November.  I don't think a lot of people realize how much goes into planning as an ML.  In addition to handing out stickers, managing the regional forum, and managing the local region's calendar, we organize events throughout the month:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A hitch in my NaNoWriMo plans, a missed write-in, and a lost badge

I was really hoping to get the badge for updating my novel 30 days in a row this year.  I was doing really well until this past week.  But this week saw the loss of a tooth that had been plaguing me for some time.

I really thought for a while about being one of those crazy NaNoWriMo fanatics who wait until after the month is over to attend to anything major, including their health.  But I was too worried that waiting that long could result in even worse problems.  I didn't have an infection in the tooth, despite the amount of decay... yet.  That could easily change.

Originally I thought I could make sure I didn't miss any days working on NaNoWriMo, even if it was just half an hour or even 15 minutes of work.  I did exactly that a few days, just working on my own projects for a measly 15 minutes so that I could update for the day.  But I just wasn't able to keep that up this week.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017: A Little Bit of Everything

I was having a really hard time this year deciding what to do for NaNoWriMo.  I originally intended to work on revisions to my novel again, like I did last year and again during Camp NaNoWriMo.  I really should have been working on them consistently all along, but so far it's only been during NaNo months.

As November loomed, however, I started feeling like maybe I should do something else.  I have such a backlog of projects of my own that I want to work on: not only my novel, but also a short story, my blogs, ebook ideas I have, and long-overdue website revisions.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Crunch time: To crunch or not to crunch

With just over a week left of Camp NaNoWriMo, I've realized that while my novel-first-thing plan has worked well for the days I work from home, I've had enough days where I don't that I'm fairly behind at this point.  I will have to do two hours of revision work -- instead of one -- for all except a few days of the rest of July in order to "win."

Monday, July 17, 2017

One step at a time

I've been thinking a lot about how to change one's habits.  I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about a few changes I was making to my time management plan, such as working on my novel first each day and doing financials every Monday.

So far it's working fairly well, on days that I work from home anyway.  When I have to wake up and go to a job somewhere there's no way I'll get up early enough to get anything else done beforehand, and the weekends are so busy and just plain different in how I schedule things that it doesn't work then either.

Unfortunately, that can prove a problem at times.  For instance, last week I had a very busy week where I didn't work from home during the day all that much.  As a result, Monday was my only day all week where my plan actually worked.  This week will be easier, luckily, since I'm working from home half the week instead of just one day.

My new plan has me thinking a little more about how habits are actually changed.  I've always made these grandiose posts about changing my habits, and inevitably nothing really happens.  Yet without even thinking about it, I've been changing my habits in some other areas of my life without even really thinking about it.  Why is that working, and my efforts at better time management as a freelancer never succeed?

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Unexpected expenses

Perhaps the biggest truth about freelancing is that you can't always anticipate your income.  Well, neither can you always anticipate your expenses... especially when your livelihood depends on a fickle thing called a computer.

Thursday night (okay, early Friday morning) when I went to bed, my computer was working just fine.  Friday morning (err, afternoon) when I tried booting up again, the keyboard suddenly didn't work.

Yes, I killed another keyboard.  This seems to be a theme for me.  Apparently being typed on all day is hard on them.

Anyway, this is the second time I've killed a keyboard on my beloved Sony Vaio, which I have had for four years now.  The first time I wore out the hinges on a few of my most-used keys, like A and S and T.  This time, anytime I pressed a key, it thought I was holding it down, which locked everything else up.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Just coasting along

It has been nearly a year since I last blogged.  Rather than to tell you, "I'm back!" -- something that has been proven wrong every time I've said it -- I want to tell you about what I have been doing.

The truth is, although I've been really busy, sometimes I feel like I don't have much control over my time.  I've just been coasting along, and I want to change that.

I've made a couple of changes recently that I'm hoping will help with that goal.