I am truly blessed.
I get to work from home.
Lots of people, myself included, talk about how they wish they could work from home, how wonderful it would be, how much more stuff they would get done, how much more time they would have, blah-blah blahbbity-blah-blah-blah. And to some extent, it is true. Here’s a list:
- More Time: save an hour a day in commute time
- Eat Better: using that ^ hour to make breakfast
- More Accomplished: sneaking laundry or chores into my breaks
- No Shoes: I fucking hate shoes. Don’t have to wear them.
- No Socks: Double-ditto that!
- Comfy Clothes: I can work in my PJs, if I so choose.
- Always Home: No missed deliveries!
- Peace & Quiet: No constant hum of other people distracting me
And that all sounds pretty awesome, right? It totally is. I am about to ‘go to work’ right now and all I have done to prepare is roll out of bed, brush and corral my crazy hair into a ponytail, scrub my teeth, and come to the pseudo-office-space to log-in. Note that – get dressed – is no where on that list. Tee-hee.
Unfortunately, one of my biggest goals in working from home, was sketching out more time to write and I have not really managed that at all. I seem to have even less time for writing. Plus, not all is as rosy as you might think when you’re alone (mostly) all day, trying to work at home.
- More Time: Somehow translates to even less time for writing.
- No Commute: Going to the store means leaving home, rather than a stop on the way.
- Comfy Clothes: PJs almost every day makes you feel like a schlub.
- Eat Better: No vending machine for a 2:30 pick-me-up.
- Always Home: What’s the weather like? I have no windows!
- Alone: No one to talk to (except chatting) or ask questions.
So, its not a perfect situation. But I do prefer it and I really do feel blessed that my incredible bosses have allowed (nay – asked!) that I work from home. I’m just saying – its not as ideal as I always envisioned.
I get up at 5:30 a.m., perform my morning ablutions, try to blog OR work on editing, attempt to catch up on my Facebook, ignore Twitter entirely, and then – work starts. My job is not one with much down-time, alas. The phone is always ringing, the inbox is always hopping, and before I know it – its quitting time. Then the evening comes, and after all day in this chair, the last thing I want to do is spend more time here, but I must. First, we’ll make dinner, then take a walk, then hang out with Jack, and then write- Oh crap! Its bedtime. Well, I’ll get to it in the morning. And repeat. Ad nauseum.
I’m just putting this out there as a cautionary tale.
Working from home does not mean you will magically have time to write.
You’re still going to have to eke it out wherever you can. You’re still going to have to put in the time and effort. You’re still going to have to DO something about it, if you want to be a writer.
How? Well, here’s another spiffy list!
- Steal twenty minutes before work (like I am now) and blog or sprint or flash fiction – just to keep your writing muscles supple.
- Schedule time and STICK to the schedule.
- Make daily goals and keep journal/spreadsheet to track them.
- Accept that some days you may not make your goals…
- …but NEVER stop trying!
Life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? Well sometimes, life hands you lemonade and it turns out you fucking HATE lemonade. What then? Reduce that junk down in a pot with some butter and cream and whiskey and pour it over your asparagus.
The point is – well, a) I watch too much Chopped, and b) even things you think you want may not be what you really need or like. But you’re a writer, right? A creative-type. So turn it on its ear and make it work for you. If you are serious about it, you have to REALLY work at it.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate really working at anything? That’ll be another blog post.
For now, just… keep writing. Keep reading. And try that lemon-butter-whiskey cream sauce. It sounds ridiculously good right now…
Love & Rainbows,
Are you one of those people who dreams amazing, twisted, high-def dreams and then just lets them fade into the foggy brain-soup never to be thought about again?
I keep a notebook by my side of the bed at all times. This is separate and in addition to the notebooks I keep in my purse, in my gaming bag, by my computer, in the bathroom (yes, there too) because you never know when inspiration is going to strike. And in my experience, its fleeting and easily forgotten. So I make an effort to SNATCH that stuff right out of the air when it appears to me, wrangle it onto the page, and pray I’ll be able to read my own handwriting when the time comes.
Its funny that I though I do scribble (SO often) the lingering images and plots of my dreams (and nightmares) into various journals, diarys, notebooks, pizza delivery receipts…*cough* They do not seem to make it into my work very often.
Maybe that’s because there is not much of a market for books about a sentient raisin and her raisin family running in terror from a common rat who just happens to have fake bullhorns tied onto his head as he chases the raisin family from their Barbie Doll dream mansion, across the dining room table, and then off the ‘cliff’ where they plummet to their horrific splattery deaths.
Yes, that’s a recurring nightmare I had frequently in my preteen years. Its scribbled out in pathetically earnest detail several times in old diaries. Also – one I used to have often but which has not resurfaced since 2006 – involves running away from something horrific and evil only to come face-to-face with what can only be described as ‘worse’. That one, with some tweaking, could one day make an awesome horror/thriller. But I’m afraid to focus on it long enough to draw out the details, lest it come back.
One summer-into-autumn I had that damned nightmare almost every night and got approximately 9 hours of sleep in the course of a month. It was one of the worst periods of my, admittedly ‘not terrible’ existence. I shudder to relive it.
Just not, right now.
I’ve got too many other projects in the pipe anyway.
So – my point.
Dreams, no matter how vivid or fascinating at the time, rarely make their way into my actual novels. And I’m wondering if that is weird. Especially given that I do record them so fervently. Maybe, rather than recording potential material for future novels, I write them down to keep a chronicle of what my brain is filled with – or to purge the bad stuff and remember the lovely ones. More likely, it is a hold over from my teenage obsession with all things occult, including dream analysis.
Then again, I stopped paying attention to dream definitions after several sources revealed that my recurring (and awful) dreams about my teeth falling out indicated that either I was concerned about my appearance or powerlessness in some aspect of my life. I remember thinking ‘No Duh!’ and slamming the book shut (yes, I am ancient and this was in the day before the internet was ubiquitous). I was a fat teenaged female. Of course I was worried about my appearance AND felt powerless. Sheesh.
Also, I have big, deep-seated issues with my teeth.
So – do you dream in color? Black & white? Both?
Do you record your dreams?
If so, do you think they make their way into your writing?
Love & Rainbows,
P.S. This makes me want to write a whole OTHER rambling post about how the things we see/do/write/read end up IN OUR DREAMS… but who really wants to hear about the (many) times I dreamed that I was my Neverwinter Nights character running through the forests of Faerûn?