Actually Working When Working at Home 

I’ve been a self-employed writer and journalist for going on two years and there is definitely a learning curve when it comes to treating the home like the office. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve developed over my career to ensure maximum productivity, even if your desk is an ironing board.

Writing in the Chaos

Writing is hard. On the best of days, when the phone doesn’t ring and the dog doesn’t bark and your other jobs or school work or family obligations remain mercifully quiet, writing is still a challenge. And the truth is, most days aren’t going to be like that.

Keep Out, Let In 

On those days, more than any other, you need to know how to work. You need to have a sense of your own limits and your own strengths and you need to know how you can make it through the dark cloud to achieve even that one simple project, to put on your thinking brain and ignore the poll numbers and the destruction photos. You need to be able to do this, because in the life of a writer, you will have days when nothing goes right, and you will still be called upon to tell stories. Perhaps more than ever. 

The Business Balance

They’re all right. Every single person who told you that writing was going to be full of obstacles and challenges and rejections, every single one of them is right. Writing is hard and you should be able to fall back on other skills, and yeah, you probably will be broke, at least for a while. But the truth of it is, writing – the whole writing process – that’s the easiest part.

Conflict, Inside and Out

External conflict on its own rarely stands up as being big enough, emotional enough or important enough. Yes, external factors are important in keeping a story moving, but internal factors are the driving force behind character arc and development, and our pathways to making two-dimensional, imaginary characters human. Real.