In honor of Freelance Writer’s Appreciation Week, I thought I would pull the curtain back on a typical week for me as a freelance writer.
Working from home requires a lot of discipline. Like a lot. If you want to have a cleaner house, then I recommend working from home, because all of a sudden doing dishes and laundry is way more appealing then sitting down to hard and scary creative work.
I’ve been freelancing for four years, and each year has looked different on the writing front, but all my years as a homeschooler have uniquely trained me for such a working environment. My home has been my office for a long time!
A couple of rules help me stay on track:
I leave my phone in the bedroom or living room, away from where I work in the office. Don’t feel like I need to explain that one further. The further my phone is away, the more my productivity increases.
I also try my hardest to not schedule appointments or hangouts with friends until after 12:00/1:00 to protect that morning writing time. When you work from home, you really have to view that time like you are at your office AND YOU ARE WORKING. While a morning appointment can’t be helped from time to time, it has done me a world of good to protect that block of time so I can count on that productivity.
This window varies, sometimes it’s 6:30-8:30, sometimes it’s 7:30-9:00, but in general, my first couple of hours of the day, I spend on my Bible study, breakfast, and getting ready. I also will do a few chores, like unloading the dishwasher during this time as well.
This is my prime working time. I often get more done in this window than any stretch in the afternoon. I’ll schedule my tasks that need the most brainpower, like editing or making lesson plans for this morning block of time. My dog also sleeps the whole morning so it’s nice to get a lot done without him bugging me.
I stop for lunch and watch a YouTube vid or listen to a podcast. I try really hard to not turn on the TV until later in the afternoon, but it’s nice to have a little noise on. Also by this time, my dog Podrick is up and a little antsy, so after I eat, I typically walk him and then fit in my own workout. This is how it’s working in the winter at least. During the summer months, my husband will walk him early in the morning to avoid the heat.
While I’m getting better about settling in after lunch, it’s still difficult for me. So I schedule less intensive tasks for the afternoon, like research, social media posts, listening to podcasts, or brainstorming about new ideas. On Mondays, I’ll often go to the grocery store during this time.
Podrick eats at 4:00 so I typically use this as a transition away from work to get some chores done and get dinner started. My new favorite thing is to turn on The West Wing while I’m making dinner. It’s very relaxing!
Tuesday and Thursdays are my teaching days, so I’m leaving the house at 8:00 on Tuesdays and 8:45 on Thursdays to teach my creative writing class. On Tuesdays, I’m done at noon, and Thursdays I’m done at 10:30. Depending on my schedule, I’ll swing by to visit my parents or my grandmother as they live close to where I teach. Sometimes I’ll run errands on my way back home so I don’t have to get out again.
When I get back, I’ll eat if I need to and still try to get in a couple of hours of work on projects.
That’s my week!