Aug 17, 2015

Mizmaze Monday

mizmaze ~ labyrinth; bewilderment

Lately I've been whining complaining discussing some of the challenges of working from home, and something I haven't mentioned yet is that when you work from home you tend to work longer hours. There's no clock to punch, no one to tell you to take a break, no reason you can't use the weekends to catch up if you fall behind during the week.

I mentioned that I've begun babysitting recently. It's only about three hours a day during the week days, but it's right in the middle of my day so I need to make up the time, if possible without sacrificing things like my writing or reading time.

Well most of the reading I've been doing lately is while I ride the exercise bike, and since I'm not about to stop doing that my reading time is safe. My writing time however ... When I started the transcribing project it wasn't much of a problem because despite my best intentions I never got much writing done during the day. So I transcribed during the day and wrote in the evenings.

Now, however, I'm going back down to my office after supper at night to get another hour or two of transcribing in, and I'm also working on weekends. Which, unfortunately, means less time for writing. However, I am learning to make better use of what time I have for writing.

I have to admit that a lot of my writing in the evenings consists of checking Facebook and playing games, with the actual writing being done in a mad dash an hour or so before bed. Enter the best friend a writer can have, the Alphasmart Neo.

Back in January (I think) I treated myself to a refurbished Neo. It's basically an electronic keyboard - no games, no bells, no whistles, no internet connection. The tiny built-in screen shows up to four lines of type at one time, which encourages you to just keep going and not look back. It's lightweight and runs on three triple A batteries. I've been using mine a lot and I still have over eighty percent battery life left. It will store up to eight different documents and when you're done for the day you just plug it into your computer and watch it transfer your pearls of wisdom.

I can take it with me when I baby sit on the off chance I can get a few words in, even if it's just a letter or an email - it still saves me having to do it later. But the biggest boon is my night-time writing. I can sit in front of the TV and write during my favourite shows - no temptation to play games or surf. And as a bonus - it doesn't generate any heat, so I can have it on my lap in this weather and not melt.

But lest you think all I do is work, while I do work on Saturdays now where I didn't before, I give myself a time limit. And after a particularly stressful week I declared Sundays my day of rest. Of course it didn't work out that way last Sunday - I ended up spending the better part of my day in the kitchen doing prep work for supper, which I tend to make fancier than needs be.

But yesterday I seemed to have a better handle on things. The supper I planned had very little prep work to it leaving my day mostly free. I got a bunch of words in during the morning, surfed for pictures for the cover for Lucky Dog in the afternoon, finding the perfect picture I might add, and got some more words written in the evening. I even had supper made on time, for a change.

All in all, it was a pretty awesome day. Now I just have to get through the rest of the week. LOL

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