I’ve always written-from-home. Basically, that means that I’ve chosen to write amidst chaos. (Then again, a newsroom hardly looks conducive to introspection.) I wanted the flexibility that came with setting my hours and picking the tempo – as much as possible – of my work commitments.
There are Pros and Cons to this decision. I’ll start with the Cons. Why? I like to get my bad new first:
- Con – I have often craved adult conversation.
- Con – There are limited opportunities for feedback on your work.
- Con – There are limited opportunities for brainstorming.
- Con – My clips, rather than my employment history, are my resume.
- Con – Juggling multiple clients is difficult.
- Con – Having the time for all aspects of running a business is difficult.
- Con – Health insurance and Social Security are expensive.
- Join a critique group. Take a class – online or in person. Go to a workshop that lasts several days – chances are you’ll meet women in your situation who will become your cyber writing buddies.
- Showcase your clips. You can do this through a website or other online platform that you build yourself. I use Pressfolios. It’s easy to upload and categorize my stuff.
- There is no easy way to be an entrepreneur. Once you decide to do it on your own, you are an entrepreneur. Your best bet is to get software that will help you manage your pitches, invoices, and expenses. One that I like is 17hats, although I’ve also used QuickBooks for years.
- Writer’s organizations offer policies. Check out the policies available from writer’s groups. You will find one that suits your needs. And Social Security — the best I can offer is to imagine the day you are taking out of the system.
- Pro – You have set yourself up in business.
- Pro – The flexibility you wanted for your young kids is now flexibility you can use for yourself.
- Pro – Your work history with your clients has made you someone they count on.
- Pro – You can now work anywhere you’d like… at the beach, in the mountains …
- Pro – You have the expertise to write longer pieces that are of interest to you.
- Pro – Your topics can now be found anywhere in the world.
Working at anything from home is a challenge. For me, the Pros far outweighed the Cons. The thing is, don’t get so caught up in the now that you neglect to plan for the time when you will have all the time you want to write about whatever you’d like.