Writing Through the Holidays

One of the reasons I love working from home is being able to be around my family all the time. One of the reasons I hate working from home is having to be around my family all the time.

Ah, the blessing/curse syndrome.

When working as a contractor or a freelancer, or even if you’re a fiction novelist, you tend to have to write nearly daily to keep up with schedules and income. Unfortunately, that’s tough to do when the kids are home from school for the holidays, family comes in from out of town, and then there’s shopping and planning and wrapping and cooking and cleaning and and and (sigh) I’m tired just thinking about it all.

But there’s no time to write! So what do you do?

I don’t have any perfect answers, but I can help with a few ideas. First, it helps if you have a laptop computer with wireless internet. You can hide in the bedroom for a little quiet time, maybe even hide in the bathroom (Hey, I’ve done it!). You can also take the laptop to places like a park, a fast food restaurant with a kid’s play area, or to a library where there’s a children’s show or afternoon, and you can write while the kids are otherwise occupied.

If your family is around, take advantage of them. Leaving the kids with grandma, grandpa or auntie Jane for an hour or so. I mean, if you can’t subject your family to your children, I mean, who can you?

You can wake up a little bit before everyone else and spend that quiet time writing, researching and reading in the morning before the demands of the day and family take over. Just an hour or even 30 minutes of solid writing time in the morning before they all barge in on you can make a difference.

It’s also good if you have a separate workspace in your home for writing. If you have an office or an office area, try to explain to your visiting friends and family that if you had a traditional job, you’d be at work during the day. However, just because your job isn’t traditional, doesn’t mean it’s not a real job. Let them know you have to spend at least part of the day working, and then use your workspace while they are in town so they see you are serious.

Plus, you can always tell them that if you don’t make money, there’s no money to buy their Christmas gifts!

If your family and friends are early risers, you can always stay up a little later than everyone else and write after everyone has gone to bed, when the world is quiet.

Working from home isn’t easy. People tend to take advantage, not out of meanness, but simply because they don’t know any better. Freelance writing tends to slow down toward the end of the year anyway. The blessing is that you do work from home and can have the time to spend with your family, but simply enforce the idea that writing is your job and you do have to spend a little bit of time working while enjoying the holidays too.

Keep your fingers warm this Christmas. Makes typing easier!

Love and stuff,