Thursday, March 11, 2010

Working and Writing from Home

Have I told you how hard it is to work and write from home?

So many of my friends are like, "Awesome! You work from home."

Yeah, not so much.

I'm a typical, Type-A workaholic. I have mellowed over the years, but still my initial inclination is to work, work, and then work some more. My employer loves that about me; my family not really. Working from home does have advantages:
  1. I can set my own hours.
  2. I can take a lunch with a friend at a moment's notice.
  3. I'm available to my son's almost whenever they need me.
  4. I don't have to worry about child-care if my sons are sick or off from school.
  5. I can work as much or as little as I want on any given day.
  6. I can work in my pjs or sweatpants if I want.
But there are also some disadvantages:
  1. My email is always on and I feel compelled to answer work emails even if it's after hours.
  2. There are no "after hours".
  3. My work is constantly on my desk or in view, 24/7.
  4. I can take a lunch with a friend at a moment's notice (sometimes it's hard to say no.)
  5. I can work as much or as little as I want on any given day.
I'm sure there are more for each list, but these are the first and foremost in my mind today.

Don't get me wrong; I love, love, love my job and the flexibility that it brings. I love being my own boss (essentially), but I do have to learn to say no to myself when it comes to work. I do try hard to take Fridays off, but most of the time I do end up working at least a half day.

When I write, I have to have designated "writing" days, and I don't usually write at my desk. I'm easily distracted by email especially, so I write (most of the time) on my netbook sitting in our big window in the living room. I am inspired by nature and by having it a glance above my screen keeps my juices flowing.

Do you work from home and write? What are your strategies for keeping on task and meeting deadlines, either work or writing?


Anita Clenney said...

I hear you, Kris. I've known people who go to Starbucks to write, but I write from home. You've hit on all my pros and cons. Too many days I do work in my PJ's and I get terribly distracted by the internet. Research or email. But, for now, I'll take the pros and continue to work from home.

I don't do strategies or schedules. (I should) I'm too spontaneous.But I depend on the creative urge that draws me to the computer. If I don't feel like writing, I don't, but then I do double time when I do.

I'm with you on "nature" as well. In the summer, I'll take my laptop and go out on the deck. The room my computer is in doesn't have windows, so I have a huge mirror on the wall that reflects the window from my kitchen. So I get the trees through reflection.

I love trees. And don't even ask my husband about my obsession with mirrors. Instead of paintings or artwork, I have mirrors. Lots and lots of them. It's been strongly suggested that I don't bring another one into the house :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comments, Anita. I love being my own boss, but there are times where I get so crazy with work and home life (read as hockey, cub scouts, lacrosse, and actual HOME stuff), that it's a bit overwhelming.

I would love to be able to write whenever the mood hit me, but my life is way too hectic to live like that. Maybe someday when I don't have to work every day...