Run Your Own Art Swap

It’s that time of year again.

For the past five years I’ve done a yearly Art Swap where I round up a group of creative folks (almost all of whom have Day Jobs of their own) and everyone makes a project of some kind, in any medium, big or small.  They make enough for everyone in the swap, mail them to me, and I collect the shipping money and mail the projects out to everyone else.

Organizing the whole thing is surprisingly simple—I keep in touch via plain ol’ email, set some deadlines early on to keep people on track, then send out group reminders as those deadlines get closer.  Most everyone involved finds the deadlines helpful, since as I wrote about a few weeks ago, we tend to take tasks Continue reading »

Confession: I Haven’t Worked on My Novel in 3 Months

I’m absolutely ashamed to admit this, but it’s true.

According to my Daily Schedule Log, I last put in actual writing time on my new novel on June 1st, the day I finished editing the final chapter of Draft Three.  Since I’m drafting this entry on Labor Day to schedule for next week, that means my No-Novel period’s run just over three months, and that’s a long time.

To my credit, it’s definitely been a busy three months since I started my new Office Day Job.  This is partly because I’ve actually been working more hours and was dealing with a nasty commute for the first few weeks, but also because of the general life upheaval that came with the new job throwing off my old writing schedule.  Having to deal with a lot of new surroundings, routines, and habits made it harder for me Continue reading »

Why I Left My Work-From-Home Day Job

For those of you who missed last’s week’s Life Update, I totally got a new Day Job to replace my old Secret Work-From-Home one, so what follows will make way more sense if you check that out first.  (TLDR Version: My new job’s in an office doing a writing/editing-type activity, the conditions make it ideal for keeping up with my novel, this blog, and other creative projects, and to lessen my commute I moved to a new apartment a mere 3.6 miles from the new job.)

Now that we’re all on the same page, some of you might be wondering Continue reading »

I Paid Off My Student Loans!

…well, most of them anyway.  Last week I cashed out a good chunk of savings to pay off one of my final two student loans, a financial move that cut my monthly payment by two-thirds (!!).  That basically equates to a ton more financial flexibility each month (i.e., more cash for whatever I want).

The biggest reason for the payoff, though, was to ease the transition into working fewer Day Job Hours.  Think about this: It took me 20 hours of Day Job work each month Continue reading »