This week, we’re attacking the realities of being a writer and working from home. My co-hosts have touched on many realities that I share with them. I thought I’d talk about a few myths I’ve recently dispelled:
1) Writing in my pajamas. A lot of people (including me at one point) envision one of the great benefits of working from home is the freedom to work in their PJs, or even in their underwear. I’ve tried working in my PJs, but I don’t feel “put together” and it is actually too distracting. I kept thinking about a shower, about clean clothes, about brushing my hair. I don’t get the working in your underwear thing at all, and NO, I have not tried that.
2) A Flexible Work Schedule. I dreamed of being able to work when I want, without a 9 to 5 requirement. I thought I’d have so much time on my hands, that I might even feel a bit guilty for having such a luxury. Yeah right. I’m busier now than I ever was before. The difference is this: I’m busy with the work I love, instead of work I am stuck with.
3) Confidence of Steel. A big-name publisher bought my debut novel for an insane amount of money, so you’d think I’d be sure of myself, right? Wouldn’t that be nice. Instead, I’m constantly thinking back to a conference workshop where Linda Sue Park spoke about authors who sold one book, and then never sold another. It was not a very inspiring speech, but it obviously made an impact. Like Robin wrote the other day: I’m no longer worried that I’ll never sell a book. I’m worried I’ll never sell another one.
4) I Write For Me. I am of two minds on this one. I do write the initial story and characters for my own entertainment, but when it comes to revisions and restructuring, I have found myself thinking more and more about my agent, my editor, and the future readers out there who will pick up my book expecting a good read. I can’t write in a vacuum like I used to.
5) Writing is Solitary Work. Yes, the actual writing aspect is. But the more I think about my book’s publishing path, the more I realize I’m going to have to be “out there” trying to promote it, and it’s making me a little ill.