January isn’t a productive month for me, but this one was better than most. When I packed for the rendezvous, I was intentional about setting things up to be able to work at least part of the time. I made sure to take a table and chairs for inside my tent, packed the wireless keyboard for my iPad and took extra batteries. I downloaded Scrivener, and made sure my WIP and my Excel tracking sheet were available before I left. I even asked Eric to send me back to the tent after breakfast, even if I insisted on washing breakfast dishes. (You saw the view from our kitchen in last week’s post. Can you blame me?)
In short, I used up all my efficiency for the month before January 10.
It did work, sort of. I wrote 5 days out of 14. Not much on the face of it, but usually I spend an hour or two the whole time with a journal and my lap desk, so I’m calling it a win.
The external batteries turned out to be a partial fail. We had a small one and a big one. If I’d been the only one using them, it might have been all right, but Eric was charging with them, too. I think we got one charge for each of our phones and iPads before we used up all the juice. The next morning I took the big one up to the charging station at the front gate and left it for a couple of hours. I went back to check on it, and it was 8%. The lesson learned there is to take multiple small batteries because they charge faster.
Scrivener was a mixed bag. It was great to have all my info with me and not have to copy/paste stuff when I got home. The transition between home and away was seamless, thanks to Dropbox. There were a couple downsides. Because I didn’t take a mouse, I couldn’t highlight text to count words. I got around it by noting total word count in Excel before I started writing, and subtracting it from the new total when I was done. Also, because I saved to Dropbox and not to a hard drive, I had to be online for at least the start (to retrieve everything) and the end (to save new work). That meant using battery time for the iPad and my phone since I used my personal hotspot to access the internet.
Maybe next year, if I do the batteries right, I’ll write more. I might not. We do a lot of visiting since we camp with family, and we have friends we only see there. This year I did a lot of sewing, and there was the one day out with Dad to go to the flea market.
Even apart from the rendezvous, though, it was a fairly productive month. I think word count was about 20% higher than the last 4 Januarys. I didn’t start tracking the amount of time I spend at the desk until the middle of last year, so I have no figures for that.
January 2017 numbers:
Days in office: 16
Hours in office: 19.25*
CPE: “Take Off Your Pants” by Libbie Hawker
Finished projects: The draft titled “Looking For Help” until I find the real title
Blog posts: 4
Not great on paper, but it’s probably the best starting point than I’ve had. How’d January go for you guys?
*This is only writing time and doesn’t reflect time spent reading craft books or listening to podcasts. I should probably record that time, too, but honestly some days I’m doing well just to remember to clock in when I sit down.