Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Work at home--and still live

First, lose the bunny slippers! My gosh, what a horrible indictment of judgment of people with the ideas, nerve, and ingenuity to work from their homes--those slippers! Ack.

Halyan Feng (AZ Republic, July 31, 2011) talks about the downsides of working at home.

I stare at a cactus alternating with a screen all day. This has been my life for more than 30 years. It used to pay, now it doesn’t—but I am ruined for real work.

For newbies to house-based work, Fend says staying focused can be difficult. Well, yes, for beginners, even cleaning the oven is better than some office tasks. You will soon learn.

You should have a nice space—mine is the living room—not completely separate, but it is an office. The TV and so on is elsewhere.

I have equipment, although weird and cobbled (eBay fax of Smithsonian vintage, an old bank table as a computer desk from when my ex worked in a bank, a $150 Dell scored off the internet).

Feng says have a contract with your clients. Yes, this is good, sometimes. Other times, it can screw you and cost you sleep. I have had it go both ways. About a decade ago, for writers at least, the lawyers jumped into the business and created all sorts of stupid clauses—such as how writers would pay Time Magazine’s legal bills if someone sued, things like that.

Be ready for solitude. Well, there are animals. They are not scintillating coworkers, but you can talk to them without being carted off. Especially the ones who haven’t learned the word No!

Take breaks. Yes, this is good. Otherwise, it’s like watching the Tin Man dance a jig. Not pretty.

Stay connected is the last piece of advice. How could one not? Mandatory these days.

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