Writers, Do You Take Care of Yourself?

writers take care of yourself

Working from home was my dream job, and it still is. I am living my dream, and it allows me to earn a decent living. It’s not always easy, but it’s even better than I had expected. Then recently, it was brought to my attention that I haven’t been taking care of myself the way I used to. It took me a while to accept and understand that, but here I am writing about work at home writers taking care of themselves. I’m writing this post for two reasons: to ask what you do to take care of yourself so [Read more…]

How I Learned to Embrace – and Let Go – of Multitasking


“Make up your mind, woman!” I don’t blame you if that came to mind as you read the title of this post. How is it possible to embrace and let go of something at the same time? Well, folks, I think I have found that thin line between multitasking and focusing on the work at hand. Source It’s a very thin line that, I admit, I sometimes stray from. Letting go of multitasking While I was thinking about how to structure this post – and even as I write – I got rid of the usual online distractions. My Twitter [Read more…]

How Do You Separate Personal Problems From Work?

separate personal problems from work

When I used to work at a “real” office, I remember that I always made it a habit to leave my personal problems at the door of my home. The moment I stepped out of my door, my mindset was all about work, never mind whatever personal issues I might have been facing. Source How does this apply when you work from home? Given that I have been working from home full-time for almost four years now, you’d think I would have the answer by now! But, no, unfortunately, I am now only realizing that I have quite a long [Read more…]

Fix Your Toxic Writing Environment


There are two sides to the writer debate – those who require certain comforts and those who can write in the middle of a toxic dump. I’d argue both types are just as likely to have hazardous work environments. Your office could be making you sick, or at the very least, decreasing your productivity. The good news is there simple way to creating a safe and healthy work environment. 1. Trouble in the Air The information is scary: according to the August 2000 EPA Indoor Environments Division, Indoor Air Quality and Student Performance report, “Indoor air quality can reduce a [Read more…]

Freelancer? Writing Consultant? Work at Home?


Today my fav blogger and former owner of FWJ, Deb Ng, started a discussion on Facebook about the lack of respect people have for work at home folks. I joined in and voiced my annoyance over how quickly people dismiss my job and ask what my husband does for a living to decipher the ‘real source’ of our family’s income. They figure if I’m at home playing on the internet he must have a real job somewhere, out in the wide, wide world. It blows their mind when I tell them he does the same thing I do…from home. “Oh!” [Read more…]

Killing Clutter Quickly


In my earlier post “Is Clutter Killing Your Career, You?” I talked about the toll clutter can take on careers and writers’ bodies.  Clutter causes chaotic time sucks and allows writers to put off important things like exercise while causing stress in all areas. Today I’ve got a few quick tips to getting things under control. Hire a professional organizer. Yes, they do exist. If you can get paid to sit at home in your underwear and blog about cats, these professional can get paid to get dressed, leave the house and come organize yours. A professional organizer is a [Read more…]

Hope You Didn't Have Any Plans Today…


…because I’m about to destroy them. How do I know? Because I had plans yesterday. And then someone introduced me to this site, and I read approximately 150 pages worth of posts. The site is called “F My Life,” with people sending in reasons that their lives suck that day, followed by the acronym “FML.” If you get to feeling bad about how things are going for you, a little visit to this site might just make you feel better. It’s schadenfreude at its finest: fmylife.com

Gayla Baer Joins the Freelance Writing Jobs Team


I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Gayla Baer is joining the Freelance Writing Jobs team.  She will be writing about business tips and sharing her experience, knowledge and advice for freelancer writers who are learning to work for themselves and build their own businesses — often working from home and with little support. I had the pleasure of working with Gayla while she was a channel manager at b5media, and I was constantly impressed by her ability to connect with people, engage, and share part of herself as well as offer her guidance.  I know she will become an [Read more…]

How Do You Celebrate?


Nota Bene: All of the words in this post are merely my attempt to make the embedded video relevant to this blog. I really just wanted to share the video. So, if you don’t care about my struggle writing about yeast infections or dealing with mental clients, just click “play” already and laugh your butt off. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only freelance writer out here that takes on the occasional less-than-stellar project. I admit, there are times that I accept a project based solely on the fact that I want the money that goes along with finishing [Read more…]

Getting through the Summer Writing Blues


As the summer is winding down here in the northern half of the world, it’s easy to feel frustrated.  Writers have a tendency to lock ourselves in our offices sitting behind our computers and getting lost in our own minds.  Let’s face it.  Even if we’re writing from the beach, we’re still trapped behind our laptops and usually lost in our own minds. With just a few weeks left before children head back to school and we lose yet another sunny day, let’s take a few minutes to remember that writing can be addictive, but it’s important for our mental [Read more…]

Freelance Life vs. Real Life


I think it’s kind of funny how we tend to refer to our life outside of work as our “real life.” Like the job we do doesn’t have any consequences on the things we do away from the office/factory/sweatshop. “Yeah, I’m a builder, but in my real life, I like to go out on the boat with my family.” Why does real life only happen on the weekends and for one or two unpaid weeks a year? I feel like my freelance life really is a part of my real life. The choices I make in one absolutely affect the [Read more…]

This is My Mohawk. Tell Us about Yours.


I can do something this obviously goofy because I have the best freaking job in the world. And so do you.

Now, I know that most of you don’t have even the slightest inclination toward Mohawkdom. You’re in this business, too, though. That means you could have one if you so desired. You could even dye it pink and then write “Sex Pistols Forever” in red Sharpie above your ears.

What Is Outsourcing, and Does It Embarrass You?


I remember when we first started our writing business (www.berrybrewer.com), we were dead-set against the idea of doing “outsourced” work. Somehow, it seemed less legit to us to do work that someone else went out and found. Like, we weren’t pulling our own weight or being professional enough or something. When we did accept our first outsourced gig, it was actually with a bit of embarrassment and shame. We definitely didn’t tell other writers that someone else was handing off their “overflow” work to us because we had so much free time on our schedules that we were desperate to [Read more…]

How You Made My Life Easier, Free Nachos and Other Delights (Part 2)


Without further ado, here’s an overall look at what folks around here had to say about getting things done more efficiently.

Thanks again to everyone who commented. My apologies if I somehow forgot to reference your particular remarks in this post. Every shred of advice provided had real value.

How You Made My Life Easier, Free Nachos and Other Delights (Part 1)


Anyway, I wanted to do two things before walking away from that post and implementing those good ideas. First, I wanted to write a “wrap” post about the recommendations, noting the prevailing themes, providing my reactions to them, etc. Second, I wanted to give away the free nacho prize.

You’ll note that this post is labeled “Part One”. You’ll see “Part Two” next week. I’m going to use “Part Two” to break down all of the advice, to provide kind words of thanks to the geniuses who provided it and to come up with what I hope to be a few Marvelous Insights of my own.

This is the Part Where You Solve My Problems… Advice on Workload Reduction…


I want you to dump your brains right here in the comments section.

I want your best piece of advice (two or three or four pieces will work, too) about how I can slice my work week in half without earning appreciably less dinero.

Oh, but there is a rule for this game: I don’t want anyone to even mention the topic of rates in their advice. There are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest is the fact that we all know you can make more by charging more. I want to see some less-frequently discussed pearls of wisdom.
Well, what are you waiting for? Give me some advice. And give me the good stuff.

I’m sure someone else is out there thinking about this stuff, too, so don’t feel like your wasting your A game on me. Some perfectly decent and innocent soul who wants to cut down their work hours will appreciate the advice, as well.

Let ‘er rip! Best piece of advice gets a free order of nachos.

I'm Spoiled and Whiney, In Case You Hadn't Noticed


I remember when I first started this freelance writing thing.  I was working from a rickety table that was literally about 12” x 18” that was wedged in between my television and the corner of my living room.  I feel comfortable describing the table as “rickety,” because I actually built it in Jr. High School woodshop *mumble mumble* years ago.  I was busy pounding out tedious product descriptions for something like a dollar a piece and hoping to someday make it to a full-time income. My next stab at freelancing included an actual desk, in the corner of a different [Read more…]

Separation, Integration and Working as a Freelance Writer: My Peas are Touching My Meat (and it’s Good)


I realized that I don’t really want a separation between the professional and the personal. I don’t want regular hours, a regimented schedule or a sign on the door of my basement office.

Screw separation. I want integration.

Summer Options for Work at Home Parents


One of my challenges as a work at home mom is in making sure my son is happy and not neglected while fulfilling all my business obligations. From the beginning of September to late June I have eight to ten hours in which to get all my work done each day. In the summer, I have the same amount of work, but now a child is home and there are places to go and people to meet. Though my son is old enough to play on his own and enjoy the company of friends without my hovering, it’s not like [Read more…]

Freelance Writers: How Other People Perceive Us

laptop 2

Today’s topic for discussion at the Freelance Writing Jobs Facebook Group is  how our family, friends and neighbors perceive us. It’s interesting because no matter how hard we work, there are some who feel that because we have no regular employer, we don’t actually have a job. Often times, having flexibility sometimes means people doubt you work very hard. It also means some folks feel you’re available any time of the day or night. I remember receiving a very innocent email from my son’s teacher asking me to come in and help with a classroom event because she knows I’m [Read more…]

I'm a Writer – I Can Rationalize Anything


As a freelance writer, do you ever find yourself breaking the rules of the working world?  I don’t mean that you necessarily do sub-par work, mind you, just that things get done a little differently than they would if you had a boss watching over your shoulder? For example, I just left a doctor’s appointment—one that I had scheduled during regular work hours.  When I headed back out to the car, it struck me that rather than picking up some fast-food fare and eating at my desk, I really wanted to go to this one particular restaurant.  These two events [Read more…]

Reality is Really Just Too Real


ETA:  I realized that the way this was worded made it sound like I have about 80 kids.  Really, it’s just the one (until September, anyway).  “Baby,” “toddler,” “little one,” etc. are all referring to her. I used to say that I absolutely detested reality TV.  I’d probably still be saying it, if I hadn’t recently made a list of the shows I actually watch and realized that the majority of them would fall into the genre I’ve long claimed to despise.  Project Runway, Top Chef, My Life on the D List, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, Intervention, [Read more…]

Top 10 Time Sucking Websites that Actually Rock


So, one of the things I like to do with this little blog is to direct you to fun diversions, or even to make up some of my own. Apparently, I’m too good at it, as after introducing my husband to several of my favorite time-sucking sites, he disappeared from the face of the planet. I’m now diving into the Internet to mount a search and rescue operation for him.  I thought I’d do my part to help you find oblivion, too. You may already know some or all of these sites, but they’re worth checking out every once in [Read more…]

Tick Tock Tick Tock… Time Management and the Business of Freelancing…


So, readers, lay it on me. What are your time-sucks? How are you beating them? What have you done to make your days seem longer or to boost your productivity?

As Red Green says, “We’re all in this together.” Do share.

I'm Much Better in a Crisis


So, I’m at a strange place with my freelance writing. I seem to have exactly enough work to do.  How is this possible?  How can the scales have managed to balance in such perfect alignment? The truth of the matter is that is sort of freaking me out.  Maybe it’s because I’m used to always being freaked out about having too much to do (how am I going to make all those deadlines?) or about not having enough to do (how am I going to pay the bills?), but I can’t seem to just sit back and appreciate a situation [Read more…]

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