That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Oh, the life of a freelance writer. Doesn’t it sound glamorous? Fun? Easy? Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but sometimes it’s none of those things. It’s not like digging ditches, don’t get me wrong, but I’m willing to bet that a freelance writer can expend as much energy and get just as dirty as a ditch-digger.
Can I get an AMEN??
In my last post, I recommended making a list, checking it twice (go ahead and sing the rest of the song. I know you can’t resist, especially this time of year. You can cuss me out later) but remaining flexible. It’s too easy to lose your focus if you don’t have some kind of road map to guide you.
It will take you a bit of time to find your rhythym, and there will be plenty of distractions along the way. The phone will ring, someone knocks on the door, the kid throws up and has to be picked up from school, YOU throw up…the list is endless. Some things can’t be helped, but there are some factors you can control. (Not the puking, though. Sorry. Beyond your control.)
Turn off the friggen’ phone. I realize you must have a phone (how I hate the phone, I truly do) especially if small children are around, but if you were working outside the home office for someone else, they would most likely not allow you to chat with your bestest bud for two hours and listen to her lastest dating fiasco. Although that may be good fodder for a future article or blog post (and hopefully she won’t kill you when she sees it in print) the truth is you’ve just lost two hours of productive writing time. Set aside a couple of hours for writing; stick to it, and turn off the phone. Tell your friends and family to leave a message, and you’ll call them back later, or arrange a code for emergencies ONLY. Like if blood or pukage is involved.
Limit the social butterfly stuff. I am the first one to tell you that an important part of the freelance life is participating in social networking. Especially for introverted, possibly neurotic and definitely weird writers, sometimes that’s our only contact with the outside world. That being said, spending three hours feeding your NeoPets or another two hours exchanging virtual Christmas presents on Facebook is NOT networking, people. It’s PLAYING. Although I am not opposed to blowing off some steam when in the middle of a particularly stressful writing session…STEP AWAY FROM THE FUN APPS. Those things will eat your time like a tapeworm. You’ve been warned.
Keep the boob tube OFF. I’m sure you CAN write while Oprah or Rachel Ray natters on in the background, but i’m not sure you SHOULD. If you can’t bear to miss Paula Dean’s latest tasty recipe or what’s happening on Judge Judy, TiVo it. There is a lot of inspiration from watching TV, but when you’re in your Dedicated Writing Time, you need to be writing, not looking over your shoulder at the new Geico commercial.
Walk the line. Sure, Twitter about your life to a certain extent; blog about your new puppy or announce you just bought new curtains for the living room. You are a person, after all, and it’s really nice to know about the person behind the online persona. But honestly, no one wants to know about your hemmorhoids, how much you hate your ex, or exactly what sexual position you prefer unless that is your niche. Keep in mind there is a personal space, and a professional space, and try to keep the two apart. By all means have a private blog where you can rant about the ex or complain about your personal problems, but professionally, keep that stuff private. Okay?
I know I’m a fine one to talk; after all, I’ve blogged here about my momma, but hemorrhoids have not, and will never be, blogged about here. See the distinction?
Those are my pearls of wisdom for a Sucky Monday, friends and neighbors. I will admit to feeling a wee bit snarky today — the state of the economy is starting to seriously freak me out, and sometimes it seems no matter how hard I work, I get no further ahead. However, I know too, since all good things come to an end, so they say, logically the bad things have to end, also.
The best thing I can say about this Monday is…tomorrow’s Tuesday.
Wrap it up, I’ll take it.
Like what you’ve read? Stumble it, bookmark it, hell, put it in a Christmas stocking…or just comment and let me know!