Some people have a long commute to get to work every morning. I zip down the hall to our kitchen table. Some people are stuck inside a stuffy office -- or worse, a tight, cramped cubicle -- all day. I can go out and about with relative ease. Some people have lots of co-workers to bounce ideas off of. If I try to bounce ideas off my co-workers, they just stare at me and tilt their head quizzically.
Ahh, such is the life of a blogger. When I started blogging nearly five years ago, I never realized how much a part of my life it would become. At the time -- way back in 2008 -- I was working as a college newspaper adviser and was looking for an outlet to showcase my writing. I didn't have much experience with writing for the Web, but it had always been something I'd been curious about. And since the media industry was going digital, I thought starting a blog would be the perfect way to keep up my writing and explore this new medium at the same time. Plus, I had chunks of free time on campus during the day to write and play around with this new-fangled thing called a blog.
Well, as they say, the rest is history. It worked! I started blogging and, obviously, never looked back. Before I knew it, four years had gone by, and I found myself in the zone -- my own personal groove, if you will. Over the years, I'd developed a pretty solid work schedule (that's my #1 tip for being a freelance writer -- make a work schedule. It will make your world a happy one. Trust me), and despite some gossip you may have heard, said schedule did not include me sitting in my long underwear and eating bon bons all day. Surprisingly, my schedule is probably a lot like yours, just without the pesky commute to the office. My day-to-day routine typically looks something like this...
9 a.m.: I've been trying really hard to get up by 9 a.m. Every morning (confession: some mornings are easier than others), so I can get dressed, get ready and eat breakfast and start working.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: I'll usually have scheduled a post the night before to go up in the morning. This way, I'm not scrambling to throw something together mid-morning. I'll do a quick check of my email to make sure there's nothing pressing that needs my attention right away. If not, I'll start working on the rest of the day's posts. If I've made out an editorial calendar for the week, it helps me to visualize things.
Fun fact: I've been know to sing along -- quite loudly -- to my favorite songs when I'm working. I find that it actually helps me write better...who knew? Lately, I've been listening to lots of Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac, Hanson and Bruce Springsteen.
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: OK, full disclosure here: This time of day is my one luxury. I've always been a fan of long, leisurely lunches. I love taking a break during the day to watch a favorite show or two when I have my lunch. I'll spare you my guilty pleasure TV shows for now, but don't worry...I'll be sure to do a post about them later.
3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Usually, I'll have the final post of the day to finish up. Once that's done, it's time for the "outreach" part of my day: Commenting on blogs and engaging in social media. This is one of my favorite parts of the job. I'm so inspired by all the beautiful blogs I read every day, and I love how bloggers really give you a peek into their lives and thoughts.
8:30 p.m. to between 10 and 10:30 p.m.: I've been trying to go to bed earlier lately in my grand attempt to defy nature and become more of a morning person, but I haven't had very much success yet. More often than not, you can find me at our kitchen table after everyone else has gone to bed. I like to get a post done and get it scheduled for the following morning, so if anything comes up, I won't leave you, my dear friends, hanging.
10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.: Since I've become addicted to 7 Little Words, I've been playing a few rounds on my mom's iPad before I turn out the lights. I know, they say that you should turn off all electronics before getting into bed, but I just can't help myself.
And, here are some general thoughts about working from home...
*Separation of work and personal life is key: Sometimes I find it hard to just "clock out" at the end of the day; after all, my laptop is always nearby, which means I can work any time. That's usually great, but it does make it hard to "leave the office" sometimes. I'll say to myself, "OK, we'll just finish this and close up shop (translation: close the laptop), and two hours later, I'm still commenting on blogs and laughing at GIFs of kittens.
*Getting out of the house a few times a week is also so important: A few times a week, I'll sometimes go to the university library for the day. Shaking up my scenery every once and awhile really gets those creative juices flowing; plus, the cafeteria in the student center makes the best taco salad. Ever.
*You have to be very disciplined and focused: That means setting your own deadlines and sticking to them.
*I always try to stay away from the blog and work on Sundays: I've designated Saturdays as the Business of Blogging Day, where I catch up on everything that has to do with the administrative and business end of running So About What I Said -- things like choosing giveaway winners, answering emails, sending follow-up emails, uploading new ads, researching and seeking out potential new sponsors, updating sponsor records, etc. Sunday is a good day to rest and recharge.
Well, there you go, friends! I'd love to hear what your typical day is like. Does it vary, or is each day pretty consistent? xoxo
[Bottom two photos via We Heart It]