I used to have a real job.
Now, when I quote real, I mean what society looks upon as work outside the home that pays a regular salary. This does not include self employment, being a stay at home mom, or a writer. I have realized by experience that being at home is not easy. I always loved working, even though it was a big shuffle to keep all the balls in the air, but I was the queen of multitasking and I never believed we’d make it without my job.
Then I got laid off.
My secret dream came true. I had time to write full time and try to make a go of it. I would finally be home with my son and give him my undivided attention. I could pick my older one up from school, which he had always begged me to do. I still searched for a job steadily, but there was literally nothing out there to choose from, so I made the best of my lot.
And it’s been fantastic. Can’t lie and say it hasn’t. But I’ve learned some things that I thought I’d share.
But when I schedule a lecture or a dinner or a coffee date with one of my friends, I put on makeup, get excited over what shoes I’ll wear, and pretty much put on as much jewelry as I can get away with. Last week, one of my friends looked at me strangely and said I was pretty dressed up for the bookstore. Yep. How the mighty have fallen.
5. I can’t measure productivity. Day jobs are clear – finish the work of the day and you know what you have left. Writing is fuzzy. For instance, I need to do promo, blogging, and social media. Does that count at all in productivity? I need to edit and that takes up a lot of time. When I edit, I’m not doing any new writing. Should I complete 1,000 words a day? 2? It’s hard to define when each day is so different with what I need or want to accomplish. At the last RWA conference I attended, Susan Elizabeth Phillips shared she has a timer and she needs to write new stuff for 2 hours on the timer, not including pee breaks, children breaks, phone breaks or chocolate/coffee breaks. I am trying to find what works best for me, but this is a problem I never encountered having a regular 9-5 job out of the house!
Now that I’ve confessed my secrets, I must admit I still love staying at home. I get to live my dream and get up and write instead of doing a day job for a check but no soul satisfaction. Don’t know how much longer it will last, but I’ll enjoy it as long as I can.
I just wish I could look better doing it.