Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Writing Wednesday: Working from Home


I saw this article today about the 20 Most Common Work-From-Home Job Titles and was not at all surprised that writer is #1 on the list!

Of all the people I know who work from home, the majority are writers.  Some write part-time while their kids are in school (or at night when their kids are sleeping) and some have made a full-time career of it.  Some are freelancers, some authors, some have found steady contract work, and others are bloggers.

I posted last fall about finding time to write.  It's both harder and easier now that my daughter is in preschool.  She doesn't nap anymore, so there goes that set chunk of time every day.  But she is in school some mornings, which frees up time I didn't previously have early in the day.  It's a balancing act that is changing all the time.

In fact just this very minute she walked into my office, frowned, and said, "Still working."  (As in mommy is still working!)  Even carving out a chunk of time to write is no guarantee you won't be interrupted by a cute kid.

Although I worked full-time in an office before my daughter was born, I've now had a few years of WAHM life. 

What are the keys to working from home as a writer?

Schedule time for writing.
This is pretty straightforward.  If you're a part-time WAHM like me, find the hours that work best for you and your family.  Do you prefer to get up early?  Write late into the night?  Maybe your little ones nap or your bigger ones are in school.  Carve out the time wherever you can and stick to that schedule.

Designate a work area.
I am lucky enough to have a home office and prefer to do most of my writing there.  Although I have been known to bring my laptop down to the kitchen table and format Word documents while my preschooler is in the other room, this isn't my preference.  And if you don't have a separate work area, there's always the library.  Or the coffee shop.  Find a place that you can go and devote time to strictly writing.

Let the other household tasks go (for now).
During your scheduled writing time, don't throw in a load of laundry, make a couple of phone calls, and pick up the toys scattered around your family room.  Your time will be eaten away before you know it.

Be flexible.
This is probably the most important thing to remember when you're working from home.  Maybe you're juggling multiple clients or maybe you're juggling multiple kids.  Maybe you're rewriting the book you just finished.  Things can change all the time--both deadlines and your own schedule. Sometimes you just need to go with the flow in order to meet your goals.

What are your tips for successfully finding time to write from home?

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