Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Handling interruptions in your writing day

Hemingway at work (public domain photo)
Working at home is not all peaches and cream. Online article writers often find their loved ones constant interruptions a hindrance to getting their work done. In fact, it's hard to get people to see online writing as a "real" job. They often think that because you are home all day, you are the logical one to run all the errands, clean the home and whatever else needs doing. Not only that, the constant interruptions and requests can severely sabotage your train of thought.
The frustration of mental interruptions

For an online article writer, 99% of the job is mental work. So, when a loved one asks to use the computer for "just a quick sec", or run an errand for them, it can put you off track for an entire day. Online article writing is just like any other job. If you don't keep at it, you don't make any money. So, how do you go about handling interruptions without insulting friends and family? I find the best approach is to make your position clear in the first place.

Talk about it

Your friends and family may not realize there is an issue unless you tell them. Sit your loved ones down for a friendly and positively toned chat. Talk to them about your struggles as an online writer. Explain to them that this is just like any other job. You have deadlines to meet, quotas to fill and goals to strive for.

Writing involves a lot of thought, research and planning. It isn't as easy as most people think. Sure, you can skip the dress code, but, ultimately, the work still needs to be done. In fact, the average full time online article writer puts in well over ten hours a day, between writing, research and essential networking. It's a tough job. Constant interruptions can make it even tougher.

Post your hours

You don't have to literally post your hours on the door. It might help, though. The point is to let people know when you are available and when you are working. With children, this is difficult. They have to come first. One way to conquer this is to schedule their day around your writing. In other words, give them something to do, then write. Repeat as needed.

With adults, just letting them know your hours of operation can help. Tell everyone your schedule in advance. Let them know not to interrupt except for emergencies. Just like with a "real" job, online article writing should have a set schedule.

Make appointments/Set dates

In order to make loved ones realize they're important to you, you may have to plan your time together in advance. Making an appointment to take your adult daughter to lunch a week from now may seem silly, but it works. Plus, it's much better than making her feel excluded, or less valuable to you than your writing.

Working at home can be difficult with all the constant interruptions. You don't want to isolate friends and family either. Making your needs clear and keeping a set schedule can help on both sides of the equation.

This post was previously published by this author on Yahoo!

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