Hi, remember me? I have been working ridiculous hours. Since returning from Portland on April 3, I have had exactly TWO days off: Sunday April 24 (I don't even remember what I did that day) and Sunday May 8 (Mother's Day). I have worked EVERY SINGLE DAY other than those two—and sometimes well into the evening. This is the way it goes when you're a freelancer—you take the work when it comes, because you don't know what the future holds. But even so, this has been an unusual couple of months, because a bunch of projects I had agreed to ended up shifting so that their schedules overlapped way more than I would've liked. I suppose I could've told my clients that I could no longer do these projects since the schedule was not what I originally agreed to, but I just don't like to turn away work. One was a long-time client that I don't like to disappoint, one was a brand-new client that I wanted to please right off the bat, one was a really interesting project I couldn't wait to dig into, etc. But it looks as though this might be the last week of the insanity, and then things will go back to "normal hectic."
For those who wonder how I keep track of my time, I use Toggl, which is a swell desktop (or mobile) app that lets you track your time with a simple start/stop button. You can then generate all kinds of useful graphs. For instance, at the end of last year, I generated a pie graph by client, then compared the amount of time I spent on each client with the amount of money I made from them. It also has a very handy reminder that shows up if you're using your computer but haven't turned on Toggl (like, right now), in case you are indeed working but forgot to start timing. And if you happen to wander away from your computer, when you return it asks if you want to discard the idle time—yes if I decided to eat lunch and forgot to turn off Toggl, no if I've been hunting through reference books for the answer to a knotty hyphenation problem.
Andy felt bad for me with all this drudgery, so he surprised me with a whole box of the greatest pencils ever made in the history of pencils:
Here's the description from the back of the box:
Yes, it's the 602, also known as the Palomino, and every pencil is engraved with the saying I used as the title of this post. This is the very pencil that Mary Norris wrote about in the chapter "Ballad of a Pencil Junkie" of her book Between You and Me, which she signed for me in said pencil last year.
Andy also sent me a link to the super awesome Palomino pencil sharpener, which takes my breath away.
One last piece of interesting news: At the end of August I am going to NYC for a couple of days for the national meeting of the Editorial Freelancers Association! I've done some events with the Boston EFA chapter, but this is the first time they've had a national meeting in more than 10 years. Lots of my ACES pals will be there, plus plenty of other online editor friends I've never met. I've spent very little adult time in NYC, so I can't wait.