A day of reading, writing, and rest (...and errands and laundry)

Most weekdays, I get on the computer for an hour or so after I get up, and then head out to the barn. Today, however, I was feeling like I needed to get a jump start on my work for the week, so I decided to forego my ride.

Here's what is on my list for today:

* Blogging (check)
* A few content articles for a client
* Planning/brainstorming an article for another client
* Laundry (the bane of my existence)
* Mail a book and pick up a few books from the library
* Work on my novel, if I have time

I'm also thinking that I'll take advantage of some of the extra time, since I'm not going out to the barn, and read for a little while. It's not often that I read during the day when I should be working, so every once in a while I have to break down and do it.

Of course, putting my novel last on the list is a good way to end up pushing it back a day (or more), but luckily I think Michael has homework to do tonight, which should allow me to work a bit later today.

What is (or was) on your to-do list for today?

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By Katharine Swan On Monday, January 25, 2010 At 2:17 PM 1 comments

Fits and starts

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working on my novel again. With one exception (Thursday night I added 800 words to it), the only work I've done on it has been on Saturdays, when Kathy Kehrli and I do our virtual write-in. Last Saturday I only added 400 words, but today I did much better: 1,061 words.

The weekly write-in prevents me from getting too far away from the novel, so that the trail doesn't get cold, so to speak. It's far from ideal, though. Kathy and I were talking today about trying to write every day, and it got me to thinking about how I could work that into my schedule.

Those of you who read my blog frequently know that I do the occasional experiment in increasing my productivity, which is something I really struggle with as a freelancer. Right now I've been wondering if a more regimented daily schedule would help. I don't usually operate on a schedule, but lately I've been letting the barn eat up a lot of my work time during the day — not something I regret, but not exactly conducive to getting lots of work done, either.

So I'm pondering how I could make up a daily schedule that would help me to get more done in a day. In addition to barn time and client work, I would ideally schedule time every day for novel writing and blogging (another thing I've struggled with finding time for lately). The challenge is that I really need to be able to go to the barn during the morning, when it is relatively quiet, yet Michael's presence in the evening makes it hard to just extend my work day out a little.

I'll let you know what I come up with.

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By Katharine Swan On Saturday, January 23, 2010 At 4:16 PM 2 comments

Back to work on my novel...

After over a month of neglect, I've finally gotten back to work on my NaNoWriMo novel. Fellow freelancer and friend Kathy Kehrli and I are scheduling virtual write-ins together using Facebook chat — by having a predetermined time when we both have committed to sitting down and right, we'll both (theoretically) have the motivation we need to continue working on our novels.

Yesterday's write-in wasn't wildly successful — we spent some time catching up via chat, rather than writing — but it did succeed in breaking the ice, so to speak, and getting me working on my novel again. The night before, I started thinking about where I wanted to pick up and what I wanted to write, so I was ready to go by the time we started writing. And once the juices started flowing, I was able to continue writing sporadically for a couple of hours after we both signed off from Facebook.

All said and done, I added 1,938 words to my rough draft yesterday. Not a huge amount, considering I worked on it for several hours, but the real accomplishment was getting back to work on it again. Not to mention I got to update my word count meter for the first time in over a month!

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By Katharine Swan On Sunday, January 10, 2010 At 1:04 PM 3 comments

Starting off 2010 right!

Several of my blogging buddies have descried making New Year's resolutions this year. I'm undecided as to whether I will — I haven't met them the last couple of years, but it still seems like a good "year in review" topic for my blog.

One thing I did decide to do was start off 2010 the right way: clean and organized! This afternoon I cleaned my desk, and what was covered in stacks of papers up to a foot high (!), now looks like this:

Clean desk of a freelance writer

My inbox is still a bit full, but the fact that you can actually see the surface of my desk is a vast improvement.

I also made all my files for 2010, did a few last things to organize my files from 2009, and planned a fun book giveaway for my horse blog. An uncharacteristically motivated way to begin the year!

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By Katharine Swan On Friday, January 01, 2010 At 10:56 PM 3 comments

Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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