Freelance Writing Cabin Fever? 5 Tips for Dealing with a Snow-In

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/02/freelance-writing-cabin-fever-5-tips-for-dealing-with-a-snow-in/

Outside 2-11
I have freelance writing cabin fever. Not wanting to dig my car out for the 11th time in a week, I’m stuck at home watching more snow fall and wishing I had an important errand to run.  Freelance writing cabin fever strikes the best of us. When we’re bored with working at home and can’t get out, it’s serves as a distraction. Since I’m so distracted by the snow, I’m hoping the topic of cabin fever will help me  to get my focus back on track.

By the way, cabin fever doesn’t only happen during times when multiple blizzards hit your area within a two week period. Freelancers also experience cabin fever when:

  • It rains a lot
  • They’re sick
  • The kids are sick
  • The car isn’t working
  • It’s a regular work day

The symptoms are as following:

  • Bald spots from tearing your hair out.
  • A worn spot from your desk to your favorite window.
  • Frequent conversations with the pets.
  • Spying the back of the UPS guy as he drops your package and runs so you won’t try and start up a conversation.
  • Talking about lunch on Twitter.
  • A rapidly dwindling ice cream carton in the fridge.
  • Watching Wife Swap or Rock of Love marathons while hoping the kids don’t come home before the finale.

All joking aside, freelance writing cabin fever is the boredom one gets when working at home for long periods of time without getting out. There are a few things I do to alleviate the boredom.

1. Get on the social networks

Twitter and Facebook save me from feeling lonely and shut in. When I can’t get out or find myself craving company, I find consolation in my Seesmic.  The way I see it, if I can’t get out of the house, at least I can be productive. The social networks allow me to visit with friends, enjoy discussions with the Freelance Writing Jobs community and build relationships with potential clients or readers. I ask questions and try to keep friends and followers engaged. Sure, social media can be a time suck, but for me the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

2. Do something different

If you can’t work because you’re too busy thinking about how you’re snowed in and can’t go anywhere, find something else to do. Put work aside and watch some TV or bake a batch of cookies. Call a friend or vacuum the carpet. Distract yourself with a distraction.

3. Get out

So the car is buried and you can’t run to Stop N Shop, does that really mean you have to stay inside? Go for a walk in the snow, have a snowball fight with the kids or shovel the driveway. Fresh air will make a world of difference, even if you’re only taking a walk around the block. You may even run into some neighbors and have a little chit chat.

Focus

Many times, all I need to do is get back on track with my work. Once my rhythm gets going I forget about my cabin fever for a while. It might be a matter of finding something else to focus on once in a while. Once the source of my cabin fever subsides, in this case the snow, I’ll work at the library or Starbucks just to get out of the house.

There’s no denying freelancing can get a little lonely, and yes, it can be boring. Sometimes the best recourse is to give in to your distractions. You might find yourself inspired to get back on course.

How do you deal with your freelance writing cabin fever?

Comments

  1. Sounds familiar. My drive also looks like yours (only longer!) – it was clear last week, now it’s covered *again*. The snowblower has packed up, and the forecast is for still more snow. It’s getting a bit repetitive. Last week when I could get the car out I was snowed under with work so I didn’t have the time. This week it’s like I don’t exist.

    But it’s a great chance to do those jobs you’ve been putting off, both for your business and around the house. I’ve been improving my database and website, updating my cv and profile, painting the office, cleaning the radiators I still haven’t cleaned after four months living here… Today I may even get round to shortening some curtains!

  2. Janed – that’s actually a circular drive you see there but we give up the circle after big snowstorms because there’s just too much to shovel.

    I also caught up on some non-freelance writing related projects. Snow-ins can be very productive.

  3. Great tips. I find even though we do not see a lot of snow in the South, I begin to feel shut in at times.

    When I am distracted, I will leave my office and do some much need organization around my home, or other areas I have left things undone.

    I like what Janed said about updating her CV, profile and website. These are things I find myself doing as well. However, I am still not as focused as I should be. I grapple with family and friends still not recognizing that just because I work from home, they think I am available for chats, errands or outings.

    You wrote a post about this issue. I need to revisit it and apply your recommendations for the cure.

    Thanks, Deb for the reminder that we all get distracted or bored and that’s okay.
    .-= Debra´s last blog ..‘Give it up and let Jesus take over’ =-.

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