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A Room With a….DOOR! Telecommuting and Writers

Writing is trembling in the middle of a BULL RING while holding white-knuckled to a red muleta and sword…

I mean sport. Working from home can be like fighting the bulls. As free as I believe I am, untethered to a corporate office space, at times I ache for the ability to sit behind a desk in an office with other writers with one burden on my shoulders–to get this g.d. article written and the sweet joy of knowing I’ll not be upended by tussling dogs or the cat trying to perch on my head or feel the desire to run an errand right now.

I’ve fought the bull today. And I know other telecommuting writers have as well.

Just a few months ago I pined for a desk and lamp. I have that. Today I envy doors….Doors with knobs and locks, retro-fitted with “Keep Out,” “Go Away,” “Do Not Disturb,” and “Condemned” signs nailed to the outsides.

Telecommuting or working from home as a writer can be great or it can be awful. One of the biggest hurdles can be overcoming the stigma that since you work from home, sometimes in pajamas or gym sweats, that you’re not really working.

I’ve outfitted my loft space with:

  • Speakers for my Apple MacBook and created a couple music playlists suitable for various writing “moods.”
  • Two rigid fiber file crates from Target that serve as book shelves
  • Two wipe off boards–small and large–I’m very visual and DIG mindmaps, bullets, lists, arrows to bubbles with stuff written in them…
  • Upended a large rubbermaid storage bin, covered it with a spare sheet and plopped my printer on it.
  • In the closet I’ve collated my office supplies–ream+ of paper, file folders, envelopes, spare printer cartridges, etc
  • I’ve set “policies” per my brother’s suggestion–that include control of “errands” and favors for others done during the day: Between this hour and this hour I’m working (read: writing), but between this time and this time I am wide open.
  • I’ve ripped a tip from copywriter Jack Forde’s weekly Copywriters Roundtable newsletter (he puts out one of the better newsletters to which I subscribe) and made note of my monetization strategy at the top of my schedule everyday. That little tactic also helps counter procrastination, by the way–you have a daily goal with dollar signs on it branded into your short-term gray matter.

Writing work flows much more smoothly when you’re comfortable and focused. Period. And when you write from home you can certainly be in comfortable surroundings, but at teh same time be so sideways with your writing that you can literally feel the money slipping minute by minute like slippery liquid between your fingers.

A blog reader emailed me recently and asked: “how does one break into this business?”

Beyond actually netting a few part-time web writing projects, a couple of clients, or even a full-time web writing gig, a good start is in setting up your own spot, even a small space with a view, closet with a door, laundry-room in the basement, workbench in the garage or toolshed. Every little step builds confidence and solidifies your reality. Not everyone has a spare office hanging around….

Posted in Copywriters, freelance, internet marketing, making money, productivity, Uncategorized, web copywriting.

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