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Notes on Working From Home

So for the past few months my job has been to write posts for GunUp: The Magazine: The Blog, and one article a month for GunUp’s print magazine. This job also coincided with me becoming the primary daytime caretaker of my kids. Balancing these has been a bit of an adventure, and here’s some of the strategies that have worked out for me.

First, keep a real person schedule. It’s tempting to revert back to college life and sleep when I’m tired, eat when I’m hungry and work in between, but I find that I’m far more productive when I approach the day like an adult with responsibilities.

When I get up, I have a shower, shave, put on real clothes and eat a real breakfast (something that requires some level of preparation and cooking, not just gnawing on a slab of cold leftovers) before plonking down in front of the computer and getting creative, I find it’s far easier to maintain focus and not slip into the mind-off, slouch ‘n scroll zombie behavior that doesn’t make me money.

While my family always comes first, it’s been easier to work knowing that my family understands that this is a real job that requires real time and concentration from time to time. I’m always there and available for them, but they also know that I need to work in order to be there for them.

That said, you should get in the habit of writing when your schedule allows it, not setting your schedule by when you write. Don’t get caught in the trap of telling yourself that you need absolute silence and solitude or other environmental conditions to be perfect in order to write. If you use external factors as excuses, you’re really just admitting that you’re not going to write and you’re looking for something else to blame. Issac Asimov did some of his best writing fifteen minutes at a time when he worked as a clerk.

Above all, I think what’s made this work for me is quite literally to treat this like a real job. If you don’t take your work seriously, why should the people cutting your checks take it seriously either? Like famed philosopher Highway once said, if you start acting like a semi-professional writer, you’ll start to feel like a semi-professional writer, and then you’ll be a semi-professional writer.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Wolfman | April 1, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a professional writer- in fact, hell, I’m barely even an amateur writer these days. I am, however, the fulltime caretaker of My Lovely Wife and my first child, and its easy to live in your pajamas in a job like that. The first few months were like that. After a while, though, I realized how GOOD it felt to get dressed. These days, we get up and get dressed, and start our day- I even wear a tie many days, just because I feel like it. The fact that my current job allows me to open carry helps, of course, and I always strive to go about well dressed when doing so, rather than be an easy target for any anti looking for an armed slob with dirty jeans and tattoos. It feels pretty good to be a fully functional human, even if your job entails a minimum of ‘leaving the house.’

  2. Tam | April 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I approve this post.