So here I am, typing away for my freelance job and sewing/baking/wrapping/designing flyers & brochures for the book sale on Sunday when I realize, I’m late for the WFPS post again. That’s two days in a row. My timeline is totally off, haha.
Anyway, I wanted to talk about freelance writing today. In fact, I wanted to talk about the most important thing about freelance writing. *points to the title of the article* I’ve been writing professionally for only four months now. I’ve done it in two different states, in two completely different households and you know what I’ve learned? Just because I’m at “home,” people think I’m not busy.
I’ve done everything but post a sign on my back that says “I’m working. Go away.” It never fails. When I’m head first in an article about breast cancer, the latest fashion trend, the latest stock reports, or relationship advice someone will come up to me with this:
“Do you want this coupon? I don’t want to throw it away because it’ll save someone money but I don’t actually use this brand so I was thinking that maybe you want it. Why are you looking at me like that?”
“JOY! Come look at this thing on TV! It’s so cute! It’s this little puppy and it’s got this little girl’s doll in it’s mouth and it’s running around the backyard being chased by this adorable girl in… Why are you looking at me like that?”
I’ve even had people offer up my time.
“Joy? Oh, Joy’s not doing anything tomorrow.” *pats me on the head* “Sure, she’ll help clean out your attic. She’d be happy to. Why are you looking at me like that?”
So my advice to you today is to set boundaries. It’s important to create boundaries and it is important to let people know that you’re working.
It doesn’t matter what kind of writing you are doing . If it’s your latest novel, an article that is due in a few hours, a manuscript that you have to edit, anything. If you want to make a career out of this, you have to let people know that you’re not just “playing around on the computer.” You’re working. You. Are. Working. WORKING. WERKIN’
If this is important to you, you have to take it seriously. Treat it like a job. Lock yourself in your office with your work hours taped up on the door. Turn off your phone if you have to. Or at least turn the ringer off. You have enough distractions (*cough, cough* THE INTERNET *ahem*), you don’t want to have to deal with any others.
Writing is a lot of work. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun. You still have to be disciplined though. Unless you want your unfinished novel staring at you with judgmental eyes. Like your mother-in-law. Yes, that’s it: with mother-in-law eyes. You don’t want that.