Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Good News and Bad News about Writing at Home

By Kelley Lindberg

I’ve been doing freelance writing from home for fifteen years, and I absolutely love it. But working at home isn’t for everyone. Plenty of people I know freely admit that they lack self-discipline, and that they would miss the structure or the social environment of a regular workplace. So I’ve come up with a handy list of some Good News/Bad News aspects of writing from home. What are yours?

The good news: You can start a crockpot of food in the morning, and it will be done when you’re ready for dinner.
The bad news: You have to smell the food cooking all afternoon, driving you to distraction with hunger.

The good news: You are your own boss.
The bad news: It’s embarrassing to complain about your unreasonable boss.

The good news: You’re home when the kids are home.
The bad news: Good luck trying to get anything done while the kids are home.

The good news: You have hours of uninterrupted time in which to write.
The bad news: Except for all the household tasks that fall to you because you’re “at home all day,” the well-meaning friends who want to meet you for lunch and/or coffee and/or a workout at the gym and/or a shopping trip to the mall, the unsolicited phone calls, and all those daytime appointments with doctors, bankers, contractors, teachers, or whoever else gets to work during the day so that you can’t.

The good news: You have complete control over your priorities.
The bad news: Your priorities are screwed up. (Why did I just waste two hours rearranging the icons on my desktop?)

The good news: You can do laundry anytime.
The bad news: You can do laundry anytime.

The good news: You can write in your pajamas.
The bad news: The UPS guy looks at you funny when you answer the door at 3:00pm in your pajamas.

The good news: No one sees you cry when you watch that heart-wrenching YouTube video.
The bad news: Since no one saw you, you click on the next video, too. And the next one. And…

The good news: You have plenty of quiet time to think.
The bad news. It’s too quiet. And there’s not enough thinking going on. Why is that, exactly?

The good news: No commute.
The bad news: The refrigerator is way too close.

The good news: You learn a lot about self-discipline.
The bad news: You begin to suspect you don’t have any.

The good news: No office politics.
The bad news: Nope, I got nothing here. No office politics is AWESOME!

The good news: You finally have the time to devote to your chosen passion.
The bad news: Your chosen passion = potentially sketchy (or worse, nonexistent) paychecks.

The good news: If you have the mindset for it, writing at home can be wonderful.
The bad news: If you don’t have the mindset for it, writing at home can be horrible. Don't do it just because you think it's what you're supposed to do. Find your own source of happiness, and make it work for you.