Even if you’ve spent years expounding on the evils of time clocks and posted schedules, there’s no debating their effectiveness at getting a body out of unwashed pajamas in a timely fashion. Possibly, you’ve always pictured yourself as a writer. What you didn’t envision was how difficult it would be to adhere to any kind of routine when left to your own devices.
If you’ve recently made the switch from a traditional job to freelance content writing, the surrealism of it all might still rock your world on a daily basis—those 8 p.m. pots of coffee, all-night typing sessions and late-morning wake-up calls by the beagle whose bladder just can’t wait another minute. Like many freelancers, you struggle with mixed feelings of euphoria, guilt and the overwhelming fear that foreclosure is just around the corner.
It doesn’t help that your concerned neighbors are convinced you’ve resorted to welfare.
Disregard the Lemon Sellers
It’s not a crime to sleep late on a Monday morning in October, and that neighbor who comes knocking at 11 a.m. to see if you’re ok, is not ok. She’s a lemon-seller. Send her packing.
The worst thing any freelancer can do is listen to the lemon sellers—all those “helpful” friends and family who simply don’t believe that you make money, damn good money, working from home. Either they’re convinced you’re selling Avon or they think you’ve resorted to publishing porn. For whatever reason, there’s no middle ground with people like these. Stop giving them audience and know that what you do is good enough.
Taste, Feel, Smell the Journey
So you’ve managed to parlay your French Provincial living room into an office. Go with it. Make time to appreciate the benefits of this life you’ve chosen: a leisurely cup of coffee at your desk; the opportunity to multi-task dishes, laundry and writing; maybe the chance to watch snow softly falling through the French doors of your dining room. These are all the equivalents of 401Ks, paid time off and medical—only in a different format. Choose your benefits wisely and they’ll comfort you in the long run.
No Guilt, No Prisoners
Stop listening to the voice of guilt inside your head. The one that tells you how wrong it is to enjoy your work, how silly to think you could actually make a go of it and how deep a hole you’re digging yourself into every time you write a new and intriguing lede. Focus on the fact that bills are getting paid, money is trickling steadily in and that every client whose needs you meet is just as much an investment as any deposit into a retirement fund.
Unwashed pajamas might seem offensive to some, but to others they’re a glittering first-place trophy for crushing the Life Choices Division. If you’re among those who wear them proudly, offer no excuses, stock up on air freshener and write your journey down for the rest of the world to ponder.
Anne G is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.