On the brink of change

By Katharine Swan On Tuesday, November 15, 2011 At 10:59 PM

I am so incredibly pleased to be doing so well at NaNoWriMo.  I can't say it enough, and it's all because I've failed the last four years (and only barely scraped by the very first year).

Last night I ended at 34,079, which meant that I put 2,980 words on paper (or on file?) yesterday.  I squeaked through a tough scene, and for a while there I thought I was going to quit with just a thousand or so words.  But then I caught the thread again, and kept writing until I had reached nearly 3k (and turned today's square on the calendar green, even though it was only about 1:30am).

I don't know whether tonight will be as successful.  I had a busy day — this morning I had to go out to the barn to check on my horse, and clean and treat a recent injury to his ear.  That and a bath nearly killed the first part of my day, and then of course I had my nanny job to go to in the afternoon.  That left only this evening for my client work, so as a result I am getting started on my novel a little later than the usual.

And tomorrow may prove to be the beginning of many changes.  I am bringing Rondo, the 2-year-old horse I've been working with down at my in-laws' place, up to my barn; he is tentatively mine now, assuming everything works out with him.  This will mean more time to be spent at the barn, of course, which may or may not interfere with my writing work.

On the bright side, though, I've noticed a marked improvement in my productivity since I started my part-time nanny job.  My time sheets, which had dwindled until I was marking down only a few lines' worth of activities every day, are once again full almost every day, right down to the bottom of the sheets.  (Yes, I keep handwritten time sheets — I started doing it a few years ago as a way to track how much time I spent on my work every day, how much my hourly wage worked out to, and so on.)  I'm getting more done now, even though I have less time than before.

I may be on the brink of even more changes to my routine, but based on the past two weeks, I have good reason to hope that they will make me more productive, rather than less so!

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Blogger Lori Says:  

Damn, Katharine! You're rocking NaNo! I'm only at 27,551 (yesterday's count). Mine is all over the place, but I'm letting the characters tell me what to write. More fun that way. :)

 
 
Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles Says:  

Well, after all those years of not quite reaching your goal, you deserve to beat it this year. My photography business has been sucking up all of my time, so my word count is dropping off. Who knew I'd end up putting in 12-hour work days by becoming a photographer? I almost feel like I have to choose between that and my writing.

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

Lori, I've had that happen in previous years -- characters dictating the course of the novel, I mean. A couple of years ago they flatly informed me that they were not going to fall in love with one another. Oh well. ;o)

This year, my characters seem to like my plans just fine, and have only added improvements -- no changes!

NM, ha, that's why I decided to back off the freelancing a bit in order to work on fiction a little more. When you work for yourself, there can be no end to the work, and so I was always putting aside fiction for yet another paying gig. It took a major burnout to make me realize I needed to set some limits for my freelancing or I was never going to have time to do the writing I most wanted to do.

Obviously your case is different, since photography and writing are more different than one another, and because you genuinely love both -- but perhaps the 12-hour-days are bit excessive? ;o)

 

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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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