Original post -February 17, 2012- Things have changed a bit since then. I don’t have the mortgage job working from home anymore. My editing is a work from home job and I still get the same type of issues. I thought this one summed up nicely the frustration of others not respecting my time. I’m sure some of you can relate.
Seize the Day!
Oh if it were only that simple! Opportunity knocks, frequently but do we recognize it?
Working from home presents a set of problems different from those in an office environment. In an office, there are politics, the cooler talk, conversations to distract you from working, and people to deal with. At home there is no politics to distract me, the coffee pot refuses to converse with me, and no people to deal with, normally. However, it seems that many people think that if you “work” from home, you are really just being lazy and don’t have a real job. How many writer’s have heard that one before?
These are the same people who drop in unannounced for me to go out to lunch. Sometimes they stop in to vent about their day or their life. Someone always wants my attention and help with their projects. Funny how they never stop in to say, “Hey, how are you doing? Is there anything I can help YOU with?”
The point is, they think you are available for whatever they want to do. It’s the old ” Hey Ellie doesn’t have a real job, let’s ask her if she would volunteer her time to help us finish this project. I admit, sometimes the offer for a lunch out is a nice break. Sometimes I need to run errands and company is nice. I’ve usually completed my daily work for my first job by 10:00 a.m. This is about the time when my friends seem to wake up and start their day. It is also the time when I transition into writer mode.
It “looks like you’re just playing on the computer all day” is the way my teenage daughter put it. Apparently, it seems to be the common opinion. I do not have a boss looking over my shoulder or assigning me work. I have to set my own schedule and apply self-discipline. This is both rewarding and challenging!
But my work is right there, staring at me, calling me, summoning, taunting me in a way that it’s never far from my mind. I try to set aside family time for the evenings, force myself to tune it out. At least in an office, you can go home for the night and leave it on the desk. My desk is always visible. Most of the time I maintain a regular schedule – each thing in its proper place, nice, neat and tidy. This is the very reason that the interruptions in my day are so detrimental. It’s not that I don’t like to socialize, if I didn’t it wouldn’t be such a temptation. If I’ve neglected a couple of hours work in the day, I feel obligated to put in the hours in the evening.
Sometimes those distractions are opportunities in disguise. An opportunity to get outside these walls and live is often the fresh breath of creativity I need. At least that’s the story I’m sticking with! A trip to the grocery store can open my eyes in a way that the dim light from my computer screen never can. A chance to sit at the cafe and chat with my sister clears my mind so that I can truly think.
A stroll through the library can be like walking into a pheromone filled room, inducing a euphoric response that can’t be explained. I know it’s weird but the smell of books, real books stirs things inside me. Passion and envy are the two most frequently stirred. Envy that their (whoever they are) books are on the shelves where mine will one day be. We’ll just glide on past the passion part, I’m sure my fellow writers will understand my meaning.
To appreciate life, you must learn how to live. To write, you have to live fully and experience life. There are times to set schedules then there are times to not only set aside routine and seize the day, but there are times when you just gotta smash the whole box! After all, tomorrow is another day, to write like a maniac!!
I realize this may seem rather manic on the tail of the previous post about Te Physical Act of writing. Welcome to the rollercoaster that is my mind. Keep arms and legs inside your cart while it’s in motion.
Write on my friends, write on!