Thursday, December 28, 2006

Workin' for a Livin'


The kids are home from school, my stepson has a friend staying from out of town, and my house still looks like Wal-Mart exploded. But it's all good.

Right now, I'm sitting in my basement, Diet Pepsi in hand, cold fingers typing, wrapped in a sweater, with my dog on my left and my cat on my right. I'm working at home today. The kids are still asleep upstairs, having stayed up late last night. I have a few precious hours of quiet before they wake up. Strangely enough, I think I get more done working at home than at the office! The only hard thing yesterday was telling my daughter that "Mommy was working" and couldn't play with her and her new toys.

Could I work at home everyday? Probably not. I think I'd still have to work at least two days a week to get me out into the land of the living. But those other three days of working at home would be sheer bliss - sort of. There's a certain amount of isolation when you work at home. You're not surrounded by co-workers, not included in the "gossip breaks" or the department lunches. Instead, it's just you, your computer, your music, and your pets. And sometimes the kids are around.

When I make it in the book publishing business (notice I said when, not if - think positive, I say!), I still will have to work outside of the home just to keep my sanity. I've been the stay-at-home mom and loved it - but I did notice how my motivation and drive sort of slipped. I had gobs of time on my hands and honestly, I didn't know how to manage it. Plus I also had a baby to take care of and two energetic stepsons. Things might be different now.

If you work at home, how do you like it? Anything you miss? And if you work in an office every day, do you long to make the switch to working at home?

11 comments:

  1. I work at home once in a while too and it's a nice break, but I couldn't do it every day. I need social interaction : ) When I get pubbed (yes, positive thinking!) I will still want to work elsewhere part-time.

    And the pic is too adorable! Glad to hear you had a good Xmas : )

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  2. That's why I substitute teach. It's the perfect foil to writing at home. I can get out with tons of people, so I don't get claustrophobic. I make some money. But I can say no on any day I feel like it. It's a great combination.

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  3. I work at home now exclusively, after years of being part time/full time at our outside office. Like you said, I do miss the social stuff. It was just Sean and me at our company, but we did share office space with another business and I was friends with several of the women there.

    OTOH, I can work in my jammies if I want to - which is nice on cold winter mornings *g*.

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  4. Also meant to say, I love the pic of your daughter with the cat :-)

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  5. I'm glad to hear you got some snow for Christmas! Perfect!

    I work from home and love it. I don't ever have a moment's peace, though as I homeschool as well, but my girls are slowly learning to respect my office time. Even DH is getting better!

    Maybe because I'm getting better at demanding it. ;)

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  6. What a cute picture of your daughter! She is so adorable.

    As to your question...you know my answer.

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  7. Dear Lord, I'd have to get a pet. Or a kid. Maybe one off the streets. Producing one at this point seems a waste of time. Kidding of course...you're daughter's awful cute, lol!

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  8. I don't have children, but I've had to force myself to write wherever I'm at. I've become used to making excuses as to why I couldn't write(it's too noisy. it's too quiet, etc, etc), that I ended up not writing at all because I wasn't in the "ideal setting"! I think that just buckling down, giving a time limit in which you do nothing but write--no daydreaming, no pausing to get a drink or something to eat--it'll become easier to write when time can be snatched. (your daughter is adorable!)

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  9. I am ten times more productive at home than at an office. I can go for days and not talk to anyone outside of my characters or the cats and be perfectly happy.

    When I'm deep into writing, I don't want ANY distraction. Woe to anyone who gets in my way.

    In between writing projects, I travel. I research. I meet and talk to people I might never otherwise meet. I hang out with friends.

    But I HATE being on anyone else's office schedule. Just loathe it. I'm less productive because I resent it so much.

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  10. If I could write full-time I'd never set foot inside another office for as long as I lived. I'd probably do volunteer work once a week or once a month, but other than that I could happily work from home nooooo problem. And the more vacation time I take, the more I can't wait for that to happen. I have no problem writing a to do list or schedule and sticking to it when I'm working from home.

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  11. I have worked from home before, and once I got over the isolationism of it -- I was living in a very remote area at the time, so it took a good couple of weeks for me to adjust to this new environment -- I was in high heaven. I could honor my creativity whenever it sparked. Sometimes I planned my day within a fairly tight timeframe; other days I set no schedule and simply lived and worked in the moment. By not having any distractions, I was able to complete a full-length novel manuscript within five months, and I had given myself a one-year goal to do this. Working from home isn't for everyone, but when the opportunity presents itself, I feel it's a blessing that every writer should embrace at least once.

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