The Art of Working From Home

This past year has been a productive one for me. I’ve produced three completed first draft novels for grown-ups (sorry, I can’t say “adult novel” without thinking 50 Shades of Completely Inappropriate) and three first drafts of children’s books. Working at home does present challenges, and I wanted to share my formula for success.

I am currently working on a couple of short stories, one with a deadline that looms closer every day. I work well under pressure. Here’s how the magic happens.

7am – Send the Padawan off to school

8am – Take Girl-child and Squish to their respective schools.

8:30 – Drop by Chic-fil-a for a biscuit and some wi-fi.

10:30 – Two large sodas and 47 emails later, it’s time to go to the bathroom home.

10:45 – Sit down at writing station, swearing loudly and on Twitter that I will not get up again until I have written 1000 words.

11:30 – Count stinkbugs on the windowsill. Forty-seven. Oh, did I mention I checked ALL the windowsills? For inspiration.

12:00 – Time for lunch. Word count > my age. Barely. Count it as a win.

12:30 – Let’s hammer out some words!

12:31 – Discover amazing Youtube video of cat that can say “NO!” Oh, my gosh! It’s a cat! And it can say “NO!”

1:45: Time to get some words written! Look at my own cat fast asleep on my Harry Potter blanket (don’t hate!). So cute! Have to blow some raspberries on her fuzzy little tummy.

5:15 – The doctor says the stitches can come out in two weeks and shouldn’t leave a scar. Time to pick up kids.

6:00– It’s dinner time. These ungrateful kids! I just fed them LAST night. Why do they need to eat every day? I could be writing right now. I should have stuck to snakes. Mammals are high maintenance. I wanted to get 3000 words in, and I’ve only written 100. I will never do this!

6:30 – Back at my writing station. It’s happening now!

6:35 – I’m stuck on a plot point. Distract myself by playing a game. How many Game of Thrones characters start with the letter “B?”

7:00– Give up and read a couple of chapters in Game of Thrones. Wow. The answer to my question seems to be “all of them.”

8:00– Husband wants what he wants every night. Downton Abbey. Fine. Whatever.

9:30 – My eyes are getting heavy, but I’m going to do this. I am. I’m a writer, by gum! A writer! And a writer writes!

9:45 – Bored. Resort to feeding cat stinkbugs.

10:00– Write a blog post on how to work from home.

Come a little closer...

Come a little closer…


50 thoughts on “The Art of Working From Home

  1. Stop it—now you’re distracting me! It’s your funny post and the Google entries on “age spots on arms” that are keeping my word count at a dismal sixteen so far today. Okay, focus…focus…I can do a thousand in the next hour, right? Right?? But my spots are coalescing…they’re worse than my Gramma’s…

  2. i can totally relate to that i would so like to plac your blog on my site it is priceless please let me know its still a work in progress the amazon items are there strictly to fund my site and who knows if i ever sell anything a portion of the proceeds will go to charity (to be determined when its possible)

  3. I think it is a rule to have a keyboard-hogging cat if you want to telework. I deal with that fight twice a week, just waiting for him to meow during an important call next.

  4. Though I never wrote for a living, because of a growing family, it was a very important suppliment to my income. So time to myself to write was valuable. Unfortunately, everyone thought nothing of pulling me away from my keyboard. I guess they didn’t consider it the same as a “regular job.”

  5. This is the best! I work from home on occasion (not writing, sadly) and it looks a lot like this. It’s almost like I need someone else to be in the house to shame me into sitting at my desk…The dog doesn’t count.
    Congratulations on all of the completed first drafts! That’s a big accomplishment!

      • Indeed. But hey, we were the only kids at school who could say our dad was a pirate! (totally joking 🙂 He only had to wear an eye patch for a week or so once, and that was b/c of a basketball injury…someone accidentally elbowed him in the eye, if I’m remembering correctly. Incidentally, I never did like contact sports, or any involving a hard spherical object that could be projected at face-level. Tennis was ok, b/c at least you have a fairly decent-sized shield on a stick, with which to protect yourself. What’s that? Oh right, it’s called a racket. Nice things, rackets.)

  6. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how you were posting on your blog DAILY when Squish was around the age that C is now. How did you do it? I’m feeling swamped.

    Also, have you heard about this book that just came out called All Joy, No Fun? The author talks a lot about how almost-impossible it is to work from home with kids.

  7. I can’t believe we are operating at the same productivity levels! (BTW, have about 15 windows open up on my computer, all of them work…and here I am reading your blog posts and responding to them.

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