April 7, 2017- Writing from home is excellent! I love being able to write comfortably from anywhere, but there’s something to be said about writing from home specifically, but I will say that lots of people I’ve met and talked to think that this line of work is fun and games all of the time. They believe that we stay home in our pyjamas, plugging away on our laptops in inspired thought surrounded by fluffy white duvet covers, purring cats and someone who tends to our every need for a fresh cup of coffee.
Hmm…not exactly. It’s about to get real. Writing from home takes DISCIPLINE. You need to treat your time at home as a 9-5 job. This is a BUSINESS. Rather than bring you on a tour of my day, I’ll share the things that you need to do to stay focused and be successful while working from home.
- Stick to a schedule-This is so important because, without a clearly defined day, other things can steal your attention. For example, I know that my day starts at 9 and ends at 5. That is 8 hours of productive time, and during this period I act as though I’m at any business. That means I’m not throwing in a load of laundry or cleaning the garage, it means from 9-5 I’m working on my business.
- Block of chunks of time-This goes into further detail about the point above. Yes, I may have 8 hours of work to do but what work am I talking about? That’s why I block off chunks of time for different things. From 9 am until 11 am I write, I schedule 1 hour for returning emails, calls, and inquiries. I schedule 2 hours for marketing and building new business, we don’t spend time talking about things that aren’t important. I go in with an agenda, and we get right to it. I schedule another 2 hours to meet with my authors and illustrators. I spend another hour getting my blog posts for the week started. Boom…8 hours vanished.
- Put down your phone-Put down the phone and turn off notifications for anything that is going to distract you. This includes email, Facebook, Pinterest, the internet and cat videos. Seriously, super distracting and not good for work or productivity.
- This is your business and life so treat it as such– Have a business banking account, an accountant, write off’s, a business license and whatever else you need to set up your writing as a BUSINESS. Yes, it’s up to you to ensure the success of your company, your writing, your future, your employees and yourself but that being said, remember to pay attention to the people in your life. Take a break from things when you can, make your spouse/loved ones/kids/pets/family feel important by giving them your undivided attention. That means when the work day is over, it’s over. Let voicemail pick up the call from the client that can wait until tomorrow, leave a few unfinished things on your desk so that you can play with your kids, turn off your laptop, unplug and call it a day. The work will still be there in the morning.
As always, thank you for reading and stay tuned for more tips for success.