KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, March 30, 2007

Shhh! Napping Copyeditor Ahead

I'm too old for this.

Remember the all-nighters you pulled in college to cram for exams? Yeah, I used to do those too. They were okay back then, because younger bodies have more resilience.

But I'm 47 now—not that that's old!—and my body really doesn't like all-nighters. Late last night, I finished a 27-hour workday to get a late project off my desk and back to my patient client. There wasn't any way around it; several projects collided.

Y'all don't do or say anything witty or interesting till I wake up this afternoon, ya hear? ;-)



Bryan said...

"Y'all" ... wow. I had you for a yankee!

markfromireland said...

Hmmmmm ... I'm 46 and I can't do all nighters on any sort of sane basis anymore either - although I have had to do quite a few all nighters of late. (Timezones - aaarrrggghhh.)

I was chatting with somebody the other day at a conference here. To cut a long story short she has a lot of middle aged students in her undergraduate and post-grad courses. They always do outstandingly in exams, dissertations, project work, etc.

She was intrigued and did some digging.

The short version is that for all of us diminishing returns sets in after about 90 minutes of concentration. Physically the under 30s can sit at the books or writing, or editing etc, for several hours but they're subject to diminishing returns in terms of mental performance after 90 minutes.

In general once you hit 40 you physically cannot sit at the books longer than 90 minutes. You get up ... you walk around ... you stretch .. get a coffee ... whatever ...

That gives your brain the break it needs to absorb and file what you've been doing. You may still be exhausted but your brain is now ready for more.

The other factor (she said) was that as you get older because you have kids, a job, more experience, and still only 24 hours in the day, that you tend to be a bit more organised.

I'm not so sure if that "you tend to be a bit more organised" applies to me!

Hope you get some rest and come back refreshed.


Katharine said...

Bryan, I grew up in Texas; that's where the y'all comes from. But I transplanted myself to New York State about 20 years ago.

Katharine said...

Mark, I slept a long, long time yesterday, and then I goofed off and didn't work. That's one of the benefits of being my own boss.

markfromireland said...

Yes it is, of course the problem with being your own boss (in your case) is that Katherine O'Moore-Klopf has this boss called Katherine O'Moore-Klopf who has very high and exacting standards.

Mind you working for Katherine O'Moore-Klopf keeps Katherine O'Moore-Klopf happy from what I've read here, and keeps her clients even happier, as they know that Katherine O'Moore-Klopf's boss (Katherine O'Moore-Klopf) makes sure that Katherine O'Moore-Klopf works hard and happily on their behalf. Even if sometimes she does have to take a day "goofing off" afterwords.


Songbird said...

It kills me to even stay up too late! (And I'm nearing 46...)

Henitsirk said...

Hi Katharine, I've been reading your posts on the EFA Yahoo Group but only just now noticed you had a blog! I'm starting to be a "real" freelance copyeditor after several years of (extremely) part-time work. My kids are both under 5 years old so I don't have a huge amount of time, and childcare takes away a big chunk of what I earn anyway!

Anyhoo, I just though I'd stop by to say hello and thanks for your insightful EFA posts, and your informative web site.

Katharine said...

Hi, Henitsirk. Nice to hear from you. And welcome to the EFA.

I know exactly what it's like freelancing with small children around. My youngest is now 5, but I started freelancing full time more than 12 years ago when my middle child was born. Hang in there! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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