Last day of Camp NaNoWriMo

Today is the last day of the second session of Camp NaNoWriMo 2015.

I've already "won" for July, but I still plan on joining my friends tonight (coincidentally, Fridays are writers group nights) in cramming the last few words in before midnight.

I also have resumed revision work on one of my novels in the last couple of days, so I consider that a win too, although that is less to do with Camp NaNoWriMo and more to do with another writer friend pushing me to be productive.
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By Katharine Swan On Friday, July 31, 2015 At 7:20 PM 0 comments

I would prefer not to

I'm having a Bartleby moment.  Remember Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" -- the scribe who slowly and passive-aggressively began to resist doing anything for his employer?

I currently don't feel like doing anything.  As Bartleby would say, "I would prefer not to."
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By Katharine Swan On Tuesday, July 28, 2015 At 6:57 PM 0 comments

Camp NaNoWriMo: Finally, a win!

I started this week off on a high note: I "won" Camp NaNoWriMo, achieving my meager goal of 10,000 words of blogging in July.

It may not sound like much, especially when compared to November's 50,000-word goal, but to me this represents a huge accomplishment.
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By Katharine Swan On Monday, July 27, 2015 At 8:29 PM 0 comments

Busier and busier

I have been counting down until the end of summer, and was so glad to have a week off coming up just before summer ends, but it turns out that's not to be: It turns out the kids' schedules changed since they gave me my schedule, and they never thought to change it with me until I asked.

I'm a bit disappointed, but I guess the extra hours can't hurt.  And I can handle another week, especially since summer is almost over.  What's one more week?
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By Katharine Swan On Saturday, July 25, 2015 At 4:03 PM 0 comments

On sleeping (or not)

I've been using Sleep Cycle for about six months now (click here for a more detailed review of Sleep Cycle).  After half a year's worth of data, I'm beginning to see certain patterns.  Specifically, my average night's sleep is about six and a half hours.  What's scary about that is how many nights I must be getting considerably less than six hours, in order to balance out the nights when I get more.

There are other trends that are worrisome.
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By Katharine Swan On Tuesday, July 21, 2015 At 11:29 PM 0 comments

End-of-summer countdown

We're well past the middle of summer now, around the point where I generally start counting down until the kids go back to school.  Summers are already busy for me, but this summer has been a whirlwind, with much of my time occupied with just trying to stay afloat.

Somehow, I'm managing to work full-time hours at my nanny job, maintain my side babysitting jobs, and maintain my part-time freelance workload.  And this month, I'm even keeping up on Camp NaNoWriMo goals (although admittedly, I'm only aiming for 10,000 words, and I'm using Camp to motivate me to blog, which is easier than motivating me to pick up a novel with a cold trail).
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By Katharine Swan On Monday, July 20, 2015 At 2:08 PM 0 comments

Clients don't last forever

One of the most challenging things as a freelancer is understanding that your business is always changing, so you can't ever stop really looking for work.

It's easy to become complacent, especially when you have a good group of regular clients.  But this morning I was served a timely reminder that I shouldn't become too dependent on them, no matter how awesome they are.
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By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, July 15, 2015 At 5:47 PM 0 comments

More on working comfortably

The other day I blogged about relieving back pain while sitting and working all day.  Working from home, we have more options than most office workers, but it's still an issue.

I did promise a blog post about a related article, so here it is:

How A Bigger Lunch Table At Work Can Boost Productivity

Apparently, lots of big companies have discovered that employees are more productive when they work in nontraditional offices.
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By Katharine Swan On Monday, July 13, 2015 At 1:00 PM 0 comments

Camp Chaos

The last few days have been chaotic, so much so that I feel like I'm emerging from a long tunnel of darkness.  I thought it had been much longer since I'd had a chance to blog, but in truth it's only been since mid-week, just a few days.

I had a much busier vacation week than anticipated, for one thing -- primarily because I had an on-again, off-again client unexpectedly assign me extra work for the week, but also because I ended up with a lot of plans for the week, both social and otherwise.
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By Katharine Swan On Sunday, July 12, 2015 At 9:02 PM 0 comments

Freelance writers: How do you avoid back pain from sitting?

I saw this story recently on NPR:

Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain

It made me think about how writers, as well as other office workers who are stuck at a desk all day, often suffer back fatigue from sitting so much.  Ergonomic chairs and other approaches only seem to help so much.
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By Katharine Swan On Thursday, July 09, 2015 At 3:00 PM 0 comments

Musings on masters degrees

Today I'm on my old college campus with a friend of mine, who just transferred here from community college to finish his degree.  It's been a couple years since I've been down here, and it's always so refreshing to visit.  I loved this campus, and I loved college.  My three and a half years here were far too short.

Being here has me thinking again about masters degrees.  I tossed around the idea of pursuing one years ago, but ultimately decided not to, partly because I'm busy and partly because I feel like it wouldn't be all that beneficial to my career.

Maybe the latter isn't necessarily true, though.
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By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, July 08, 2015 At 1:41 PM 0 comments

Deadline crunch time: What's not to love?

I love being a writer and I love freelancing.  Don't get me wrong.  But along with the feast-or-famine income, there are insanely busy days to offset the days where you can rearrange your schedule to, say, get your oil changed or have lunch with a friend who's in from out of town.

Today has been one of the former kind, the insanely busy variety, and it's not over yet -- I'm just here to take a brain break

I actually ended up having to rearrange my schedule in order to devote the day to meeting deadlines.  I'm just grateful that today, of all days, I could do that, since I'm off from my nanny job this week.
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By Katharine Swan On Tuesday, July 07, 2015 At 5:42 PM 0 comments

My different goals for Camp NaNoWriMo this month

Camp NaNoWriMo started again on Wednesday, the first day of July.  Although I was planning on participating, I still hadn't written anything -- or even decided what I was doing -- until Friday.

When my writers group met Friday night -- a NaNo write-in from 2011, actually, that has continued to meet year-round -- I started working on my blogs, and realized that I am woefully behind on blogging lately.
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By Katharine Swan On Sunday, July 05, 2015 At 12:30 PM 0 comments

The birth of our nation, according to writers

Today my Facebook feed is full of images of the American flag and "Thank you for serving!" posts for our vets.  While I think it's important to remember the service of others, I also like NPR's approach of reminding us of the document that started it all: the Declaration of Independence.

Just A Few Important Words About The 'Declaration Of Independence'

It's an intelligent story, about not just the document itself, but of the significance of the wording its authors -- primarily Thomas Jefferson -- chose.
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By Katharine Swan On Saturday, July 04, 2015 At 4:50 PM 0 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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