In my last writing post, I talked about how December 16 was my last day working at my non-writing job (in a PT clinic where I’d worked full-time for nearly two years). Two days ago, I started my first official whole week in the freelancing world, and I am still processing my new transition.
My very first impression is that working from home is amazing. Everyone who has made this switch due to COVID probably figured this out long ago, towards the beginning of the year, but as a newbie, I have to say, I am a fan.
The switch to working from home has been a trifecta of positives coming into my life:
- I am no longer commuting for at least two hours a day. I love driving, but I also was getting burnt out with being on the road for a good portion of the day. Also, the number of oil changes I’ve gone through in the past two years have been . . . numerous. I am also going to be saving at least $100 a month in gas costs.
- I can spend time working on my writing and my personal life. Previously, I felt so tired from working my non-writing job, I couldn’t dedicate enough time to my personal life. When I opted to take care of personal things, that spilled into work time due to the commute and being so far from my job. I eventually felt like I was half-assing two things and didn’t feel good about my performance in either. Now, popping a load of laundry in the washer and writing while it’s running is no big thing.
- Writing is so much more fun for me. While I loved my co-workers at my previous job, writing has always been my passion. Give me something to write about, and I will be happy to give you a paragraph or a page. I’m a nerd when it comes to words, and I’m okay with that! I still can’t believe I get to wake up and write rather than going into an office.
With all the positives that have emerged, I’m working to make this new step successful. It’s clear that I am going to have to be incredibly self-disciplined to meet deadlines, find assignments, and keep focused.
I’m still figuring out my writing schedule. I’m learning that taking breaks between assignments is a good strategy for me that isn’t possible with an office job. For example, sitting and writing one or two assignments for an hour or so and then getting up for a ten or fifteen minute break to say, unload the dishwasher. When I sit back down again to write, I’m ready to go again, and I knocked out a household task that I’d have to do later.
Frequent breaks do stretch my writing schedule out a little longer, but since I’m able to do a few things around the house, it works out in the end.
Whether I stick with the same type of schedule each day (i.e., wake up at 8:00 AM and work straight until 4 or 5:00 PM), or just go with the flow and work the same amount of hours just at different intervals, that’s still to be decided.
I’m trying to track what days are most productive and want to mimic those patterns if possible for future weeks. The wonderful part of all of this is that I get the option to choose! How refreshing!
Not being completely exhausted by the time I turn to my writing assignments is also a bonus. For the last few weeks, I’ve been pulling morning and evening writing sessions around my eight-hour job, plus the two hours of commuting, and I was running on fumes.
Now, I’m happy to say 2021 is looking like it will be a healthier and more productive writing year!
What does your writing schedule look like? Are you working a non-writing job and fitting in writing when you can? I’d love to hear from other writers in the comments!