Okay, so it's not Monday, but it feels like it.
For the past few years, my life has taken a turn I never wanted (no one ever wants life to take a turn for the worse). Due to a terminal illness of my father-in-law, family drama, a surgery for my husband, and the day-to-day job of a mom, I lost time. Cutting time away from my fiction writing was not an option, as without it I had no real outlet. Refusing to take time away from my family I had to make some big choices. Unfortunately, my freelance writing career was the sacrificial lamb in all of this.
Eight years ago when my little girl was only a year old, I began freelance writing to help make ends meet. It became an income that we relied on and letting it go hurt, but family, for me, always comes first. Today I picked up the first title I've grabbed in over a year. And it feels like I'm starting over so I'm going back to basics.
Dress for Success
That's right. I'm not staying in my pajamas even though I work from home. It might be just a pair of jeans and a simple blouse, but I got out of the comfy pants and "I need coffee" tank top.
It's important for most people to do this, especially if they're just starting a work at home job. This makes you feel more like you're working than just surfing the net and making a little money on the side. Once you've got yourself in the mindset of "this is work" you might be able to stay in the comfy clothing, but for a while dress for success. This can also be helpful for family, friends or in-laws that might stop by. Opening the door in your PJs isn’t very good at convincing people that you are in fact working and don’t have time to do whatever they’re asking you to do.
When I'm writing my fiction, I tend to write wherever I'm at. After years of freelance writing, I wrote wherever I was most comfortable. Today, I've cleared off my desk and am getting ready to really work again.
Dedicated work space is important. It is so tempting to just stretch out on the couch and try to get it done like that. That also may put you in direct control of distractions, like the TV or the clutter that you really should be cleaning up... But it's work time. Not chore time. That comes down to scheduling. You can do it later. Having a work space away from these areas means you won't be as likely to wander off and do something else.
Speaking of distractions, Facebook, Twitter, and all the awesome websites I love to hunt through are not open on my computer. In fact aside from my email account and Vocal, I only have work brought up. Even that is open in a different window.
This makes it easier to stay focused. Having a Facebook tab open right beside the research you're trying to read through makes it easier to get distracted. We all know how easy it is to lose a few hours online. If you can’t bring yourself to close those tempting tabs, just move them to a different window where you can’t see them. That’s pretty easy, and a great start to curing the increasingly time-consuming aspect of social media addiction.
And I'm off.
Getting myself in the mindset of a freelancer again is important and I'm honestly writing this to help myself get there. Whether you’re just starting out on the road to freelancing or working from home or you’re a seasoned veteran, treating it like the job and hard work it is will help keep you productive. Wish me luck, and I'll see you in the writing sphere.