I have been sharing some of my experiences as I take on the new, old, known, and unknown steps to being a self-publishing author working at home. Most days, it’s usually pretty simple to get the steps I’ve thought up for my day completed. Even with the simplicity, there are challenges that limit me from saying this job is always easy.
I will bet there are still a good amount of people who follow me through my blog, twitter, or Facebook with some thoughts on this matter. She has it so easy! I wish I could work from home! What a slacker! Oh yeah, I will not pretend those thoughts don’t exist and I understand. I once had those thoughts about some other people, too. Here’s the thing; it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
There is a lot of hard work which calls for me to be a successful self-publishing author. I’ll put myself on the line and say I’m not completing nearly as much as I should with each day. If I want to be a truly successful author, then I should be taking some different steps to getting things done. That’s simply one con for me as I’m working from home. But what are the pros and cons I face from day to day?
- I make my own schedule.
This is my favorite part about working from home. I can ease myself awake every morning and not feel the need to rush through my mug of coffee or debate if I have time for breakfast. I always have time to enjoy these parts of my mornings. These stages are completed with great ease. There isn’t a need to force my mind into wake mode because I can start whenever I decide I am ready.
- There isn’t a set order to how I complete my tasks.
If I have enough of my characters figured out for the start of my novel, there’s no reason I can’t start writing my story. Or maybe I already have all the characters ready for the big fight scene I want to feature. Then I have total permission to jump ahead and write the chapter which features the fight. Without a to-do list provided by a boss, I can do things in whatever order I want.
- I don’t have a required uniform.
There’s no rush to toss clothes in the laundry because I have to make sure I get my shirt clean for the next day of work. In fact, right now I’m working on my blog sitting around in my pajamas. There aren’t a lot of people who can bum in their pjs while working.
- I don’t have to deal directly with people.
I won’t play it off as if I’m a friendly person all the time. If someone pushes my buttons I am most likely going to snap. I can’t even recall how many times I lost my cool while dealing with customers when I was standing behind the register at my last cashier job. But I will say the times were too many. Thankfully, being an author working from home means I only have to deal with people if I happen to go to the store or if those door to door sales people show up at my house. Even better, I don’t usually answer the door so I don’t have to deal with half of that anyway.
- I decide break time(s).
This falls into the fact I make my own schedule. If I am working hard and feeling the ache build up from all my progress I can take a break. There’s no one to yell at me for hopping into my comfy chair, turning on the television, and catching up on my shows. Maybe I’ll decide to have five different breaks through my day or maybe not even work at all. I don’t have a computer I have to punch my time into, so no one is tracking my hours. I can bum like a champ and get away with it.
- I make my own schedule.
This means I am the only person making sure there is progress being done with whatever stage I may be on for my writing. I won’t be giving myself a lecture anytime soon, so I can easily get away with not completing anything in a single day for my book. Heck, I bet I wouldn’t even get upset if I chose to slack off for a whole week. I can be quite a slacker.
- If I slack off with one task, I might not be able to do any other tasks.
For my latest novel, I want to figure out the big roles each character plays in the story so I know when they need to be brought in and all the importance they hold to each chapter. If I decide I don’t want to write down the personal details to the victim then I might miss an opportunity to include a key point to the crime. If I fail to write down how the victim is allergic to peanuts, then I might forget to include the fact as I write the story. By the time the murder scene approaches, it wouldn’t make sense for the murderer to be so excited about the crushed nut slipped into his victim’s coffee. (I don’t know if that would work, but this is just an example). Then I get to writing the crime and realize the victim’s allergy was never mentioned. That means I will then lose time because I have to figure out how to bring the forgotten detail into the story.
- It’s so easy to bum around all day.
All of these problems seem to fall into the fact I create my own schedule. There’s no one to yell at me if I want to put my feet up and watch the latest episode of Supernatural. I can make myself a bowl of popcorn and forget the tasks I need to complete my work. Who cares if I’m not being productive?
- I’m by myself most days.
I’m not a big people person and I hate driving so I stay at home more often than not. This means it is just me and my two cats in the house. I do speak with them from time to time, but they aren’t very talkative themselves. This means I don’t have a lot of people to toss around ideas with or make time move faster. Being alone is okay for the most part, but it does get boring and tiresome. I don’t like too many people, but if I worked with at least one other person I considered a friend then a day at work would tick by much faster and I would feel better with them cheering on any success I found.
- Slacking off is way too easy
This statement is the general summary of this whole page. I am the person who picks my break times, how each task needs to be completed, the amount of time dedicated to each moment, and when I should aim to have things finished. I know how much time different moments will take, but I also know I have no one to truly please for completing these tasks. The reasons to push me to completing anything are often hard to find.
What I’m generally saying is this: Being my own boss is great, but being my own boss is a lot of work. Day after day I do my best to keep my work progressing, but when those lazy days come around it’s hard to kick myself back into gear. Sometimes I miss having another person write my paycheck because it’s much easier for me not to be productive with no one drilling work into my schedule. Although, most of the time, I wouldn’t trade being my own boss for anything. Makes sense, right?
What do you like the most about your own job? What do you hate?