Friday, July 25, 2014

Online writing with weekends off

Why aren't you on the beach? (public domain photo)
Is it possible to take weekends off as an online writer? Well, if it wasn't, I wouldn't be writing for a living. After all, one of the main reasons I quit my day job and started working for myself was to set my own hours. If I can't at least do that, what's the point? It's not like I'm making millions yet, so there has to be some kind of incentive to keep tapping away on this keyboard.

Why do I insist on weekends off?

I worked many, many years in dry cleaning store management and retail. I feel like I paid my dues where working holidays, weekends and overtime are concerned. Plus, I have a partner who's a plumber. He only gets every other weekend off. Plus, he works long hours the rest of the time when he's on call. So, on the weekends when he works, I ride with him and on the weekends when he doesn't, well, we actually get to nourish our relationship by spending time together. But enough about me.

Why every writer needs weekends off.

Writing may not seem physically demanding. It is.

Sitting at the computer for long hours can cause a lot of health issues, back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel and more. I've had Lupus and Rheumatoid for most of my life. However, the symptoms worsen greatly the more sitting I do. Sitting at a desk too long can cause my symptoms to flare badly enough to put me in the hospital. I'm not OK with that. I have to keep moving. You may not have a chronic illness now, but sitting for long periods is still a very well known cause of inflammation, circulation problems and other related health issues. The human body is not designed for desk jobs. It's that simple.

Writing is mentally demanding too.

Out of all the jobs you could choose, writing likely involves the most brain work. That's because, unlike some other desk jobs that become methodical and robotic, you absolutely cannot write without thinking. Like most writers, I often require more than a few minutes to get my brain out of overdrive and into non-work mode. Having weekends off allows me the time I need to transition into the relaxation I also need.

Ideas come from life experience.

Boring, boring, boring. You are a boring writer if all you do is write. Sure, you learn a lot about writing. Writing is not all there is to life. Neither is the internet. I know so many writers who are absolutely killing any chance they have of actually living their lives by being actively logged in at all times. Oh, they know tons about writing. They'd better, since that's all they ever do. Many are technology wizards too. However, they have zero life experience to jazz up their writing with. Their content is accurate and factual, but dry as burnt toast crumbs in a prairie dust storm.

What about the missed pay and assignments?

What missed pay? I've been doing this for 7 years. I have never yet been turned down for an assignment because I wouldn't write on the weekend. It's simply a matter of focusing on the work at hand to get it done before the weekend. In fact, if you're a blogger or online writer, it's entirely possible to work ahead to the point where you can actually take a vacation without missing any pay or assignments.

So, go ahead. Take your weekends off, your needed sick days and even an occasional vacation. After all, that is why you work for yourself, isn't it?

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