Working from Home Experiment

I decided to take the day off of work today, to stay home and see what it would be like if I were to work from home every day. It was pure bliss until about 10:30. I woke up at 8am. Made some tea and an English muffin and was at my computer by 8:15 happily typing away. I have just gotten a new web content writing job, so I was spending some time trying to figure out their templates and getting my first few articles together. About 10:30 is when it started to go a little downhill. I think that is what time people assumed that I was awake.

First work called with a question. I had to practice self control and not yell into the phone, “I took the day off!” Next a friend called wanting me to meet her for lunch. Okay, that sounded nice, but not a habit I should get into as a freelance writer starting out with little pay and a lot of work to get done. Then my mom called, four times to be exact. She thought she left her straightener on and since I was home, could I swing by her house and check. Really?!? My husband, god love him, called to see if I could stop by and pick up something to take to a dinner we are going to tonight. And finally, the dogs who, mind you can go for a whole eight hour day without going outside seemed to be sitting by the back door every half hour to be let out. Just because I am home does that mean their bladder shrinks?

I’m starting to see where this is leading. Apparently working from home translates into I have all the time in the world to do other things. I now realize, just from trying this one day that I am going to have to set firm guidelines with people about what working from home means: It means I actually have to work.

Not that the whole day was a total waste. Once I reassured my mom her house wasn’t on fire and silenced my phone I was able to get a lot of work done. I happily turned in two articles, claimed some more, did some edits on another article, worked on a creative piece I’m submitting for a book and looked on some job boards. All in all, it was a pretty good day and it has made me want to quit my full-time job even more. Plus, now I know I have to either never tell people I’m working from home or more realistically tell people my requirements when I work from home.

I look forward to practicing this again soon!

A Plan is Forming

I’m terrified. Sitting in a meeting today I was suddenly flooded with doubt about whether I could really leave my job. How will I survive? How will I pay my mortgage? It’s very scary to be so use to a paycheck and then have it suddenly disappear. What if I don’t get writing jobs?

Tonight, I decided I had to make a plan. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do it, and it helps to want to do it very badly, but every good idea needs a plan. Here is mine: The way I see it, I need to save up enough money to make it through at least six months. After six months if I’m not making ends meet, I will have to find a part time job to help supplement my income. I’m happy to report I am well on my way. Without giving any numbers away, I think I have at least three months banked.

My husband and I went over the plan tonight at dinner. He is more confident than me. He tends to think in more simple terms, and insists that we will be okay. Plus, I have already started writing for a content producing site and been there for almost a month. All that money is going directly to my savings for the big transition. I have also been implementing other save money tactics. I’m not shopping or spending extra money on anything. We have changed our budget and taken out everything that isn’t a necessity. All said we are able to save a lot of money a month. I’m feeling more hopeful about the whole money thing now.

I’m also looking for ways to increase my monthly income while I still have a job. The plan is to look into eHow and other similar sites. If I can build up a portfolio there and make money on a monthly basis with little effort, it’s worth a shot. I know it will take a while, but my goal is to have a strong start before I leave my job.

With all that planning, I still haven’t narrowed down a date to leave my job. Obviously, it would be nice to put in my notice tomorrow, but that isn’t realistic. I have a project I am working on for May and another coming up in August that I have already started working on. It would probably be acceptable to leave in the beginning of June, and better to wait until the beginning of September. It’s not that I owe my company anything, but I don’t want to leave them in a lurch. I want to give them plenty of notice and be sure they can still be successful without me. As I have said before, I don’t dislike them; in fact I truly want to see them do well, with or without me.

And of course, with all of this I am searching daily for additional freelance jobs. Anything that I can take to make extra money, get my name out there and fine tune my writing will help me immensely with this transition.

It’s a start, a work in progress, stay tuned to see how it all works out!

Welcome to A String of Words

Welcome to A String of Words, a blog about my life. I am a woman in my mid 20’s who woke up one day, looked around and wondered how on earth I ended up on the career path I’m currently on. It is not what I ever imagined for myself, it’s not even something I remotely like to do. What I like to do, what I love to do is write. I have known that for as long as I can remember, I even majored in journalism. And yet somehow, I got sidetracked. I forgot who I was and what I wanted from my life. I forgot to be true to myself. I got blinded by the promise of benefits, a 401k and a regular paycheck. Don’t get me wrong, those things matter (I do have a mortgage), but I am determined make my passion, my work and survive off it.

So here I start my journey. I start living my life the way I had envisioned it. I get back to my roots. I get back to writing. I learn to write about anything and everything, all day, every day. I’m sure I’ll stumble, but I won’t give up. It’s time for me to seize the moment, be true to myself and live my life.

I invite you to join me on my journey as I leave my day job behind and transition to the writing world, building my writing life one word at a time.