Last week my kids went to day camp, and I got to take my soon-to-be new career as an almost-full-time writer for a test drive. It was amazing, but not without its pitfalls, so today I thought I would post about the things I need to work on come September.
1. Distractions – I expected to have to fend off my impulses to constantly check-in on social media, and otherwise waste time online, but it turns out I was actually able to handle those distractions pretty well. The harder distractions to ignore were my Mom-duties: the dishes piled up in the sink, the promise to make banana bread for the kids, the desperate need for a grocery run – I’m definitely going to have to figure out a way to schedule my time, so I don’t end up frittering away precious writing time on Mom chores.
2. Family Expectations – Even harder than ignoring my Mom-chores, was getting my family to ignore them. I’ve heard this from other work-from-home friends as well. Sometimes it’s hard for family to realize that just because I’m at home, doesn’t mean I don’t have work to do. “Why do you need to shower now? You’ll be home all day.”
3. Lack of Exercise – Not that I’m a great exerciser, especially since I’m still recovering from my concussion, but I do keep track of how many steps I take in a day, and last week’s numbers were way lower than I normally get. (You’d be surprised how many steps I can get just doing laundry, making meals, and running up and down stairs to deal with the kids.) Come September, I’m going to have to figure out a way to keep active while I write, be it a walk at lunch, or wandering up to write at a coffee shop – I can’t let having a career impact my health.
4. Motivation – As a full-time Mom, part-time writer, I had the luxury of only working when I wanted to. Not in the mood to work on that ms today? No problem, there are plenty of chores to keep me busy. But when writing is the top priority each day, I’m going to need to find a way to write, even if I’m not in the mood. The best solution I can come up with? Having multiple projects on the go (which I usually do, anyway). YA just not flowing? Work on a PB instead. Or start outlining that MG that’s been floating around the back of my head. Write a blog post. Writing is writing – it doesn’t always have to be on one project (unless I’m on a deadline, in which case I just have to suck it up and write through the ennui.)
5. Loneliness – Working from home can be very isolating. Sure, there’s always social media, but with the kids out of the house, it’s easy to go for hours without using my voice. Rather than start the practice of talking to myself, I made Writer Dates. Another work-from-home writer-friend and I are planning regular met-ups come the fall to discuss work and life, and bounce ideas off each other. Between that and my crit group meeting, and perhaps an occasional Neighbourhood Mommy Coffee Morning, hopefully I’ll be able to keep my sanity.
So there we go, the things I need to work on to be able to work from home successfully. Do you have any suggestions to add?