Tag Archives: computer

No Holidays For The Writer?

by Catherine L. Tully

Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully
Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully

What do I want for Christmas?

A day off would be really nice.

If you are a freelance writer you already are aware that this is no 9 to 5 job. But the problem doesn’t end there…

You see, it isn’t that I can’t manage my workload. I can–and do it pretty well. I even have free time. But when you work for yourself, you tend to be thinking all the time about what is around the bend. Do you find yourself doing that? I bet most of you do.

When I have time off, I often find myself thinking about what my next blog post will be, or how I should spend some time on Twitter connecting with people. It’s hard to get away from it completely. Goodness knows I do try. Part of what makes me a good freelancer also makes it nearly impossible to shut off the brain when it comes to work.

But…it can be done. And–I’d like to argue that it should be done. The next question is how to do it… Continue reading No Holidays For The Writer?

Strange Advice For The Writer

Catherineby Catherine L. Tully

Today I’m going to give advice in a different way. Over time, I’ve found out some things about being a writer that are…well…a little odd. Some of these you may already know about, while others may come as a surprise. Once you’ve read through them, feel free to add your own in the comments section…

Here goes:

1. Writing outside.

While this seems very romantic and “writer-ish”, it can be a real challenge. If you sit in the sun with your computer, it’s awfully hard to see the screen clearly. (I lose my mouse pointer and can’t navigate for anything.) If you set up camp at a park or in a cafe, chances are good you will have to use the bathroom in about 15 minutes or so. It always seems like a great idea, but the truth of the matter is, I get more writing done at home unless I really plan well ahead of time.

Advice: Drink sparingly before going out to write and use the facilities prior to leaving the house. Wear a baseball cap in case you find a sunny spot, and bring sunglasses. (Oh–and sunscreen too. My upper chest is currently fried from spending a whole 20 minutes outdoors in the yard with my laptop. I know I’m Irish and all, but…)

2. The Almighty Calorie.

If you’ve been writing for any length of time, this one is not a shocker. Calories seem to take on a whole new meaning when you sit for most of the day. My addiction to Mike & Ike candy must be balanced by frequent walks, trips to the gym and bursts of lifting weights at home–otherwise I will truly begin to look like the middle-aged woman that I want to keep at bay as long as possible.

Advice: Find a non-caloric beverage you like and stick to it. (Suggestions include LaCroix, coffee, iced tea and plain old water.) Break every hour and do something–anything physical. And keep celery sticks in the fridge to take the edge off. Seriously.

3. Wardrobe Issues.

Just because you can stay in your pajamas all day doesn’t mean you should do it. Writers typically have some wardrobe issues. As in, they don’t dress nice much. If you find yourself showering past noon or wearing ratty old sweats on a regular basis, you may be suffering from this problem.

Advice: Run at least one errand a day that forces you to leave the house. Shower, and get dressed for it. I’ve resolved to break out the heels here and there and dress up for lunch once a week or so, just to insure I don’t start slipping into the danger zone. You can have a day where you lounge around in your skivvies, but don’t make it a habit.

I know I haven’t covered all the odd things that pop up as you live the freelance lifestyle, so if you can add to this list, by all means, do so.

Then go for a brisk walk outside in some nice clothes. And leave the laptop at home. : )

Online Security Tips

lockby Catherine L. Tully

We all know that computer security can be an issue, but do you really know how to protect yourself? Check out these cyber security tips given here by the Department of Homeland Security.

Learn how to reduce spam, deal with cyberbullies, safeguard your data and how to stay safe on social networking sites. This website really is an amazing resource.

Introducing The iPhone 3GS


Those Freelance-Zone readers who have been around for a while already know that I am a big iPhone lover. I use this tool for many different things, and it has saved me in many work-related situations. I use the calendar, I love the e-mail on the go function and I can’t get enough of the “apps”.

This is all news of course because yesterday Apple announced the iPhone 3GS. This is the latest version of the phone and some of the new features include:

  • Voice control
  • Video recording
  • 16 or 32 GB of storage
  • Choice of black or white color
  • 3 megapixel camera with autofocus
  • Photo and video geotagging

See all the details here. New updates released with this version of the phone include a cut and paste feature, landscape keyboard and a “remote wipe” capacity that allows you to remove all your personal data if you lose your phone. (Getting it back on is as simple as synching the phone to your computer.) The best news for writers may well be the fact that the iPhone 3G price now drops to $99. If you want an iPhone…it just may be the perfect time to get one!

A Reminder To Back It Up


When is the last time you backed up your computer? Every once in a while, I read a horror story of someone who lost everything on their computer and it always scares the daylights out of me. Don’t let your story be the next one I read–if you haven’t done a back up in a while, make today the day.