Having worked as a freelance writer and editor now for three months, I can say I’m finally a novice at this! Much of freelance work and working from home is discipline and determination. I thank God that I have both of these gifts, or else I would never be able to do this. I also would never be able to do this without the loving support of my husband, Lenny, who encourages me every day to pursue my dreams.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve heard some myths about what it’s like to work from home. I have experience working in stores, offices, and schools, and working from home is a totally different experience. If you’re curious about what I do, check out what I’ve learned so far about being a work-from-home freelance writer and editor.
MYTH: You get to work in your pajamas all day: This is the statement I get most often from people when I tell them I work from home. While it is true that I can work in my pajamas all day, I don’t prefer to do so. Christy Wright writes in her book Business Boutique that we should dress for success. Like when you get ready for work to go to an office or a place away from your home, you need to establish a routine so that you can start your day with motivation. There are days when I feel like hanging out in my pajamas, but those days I don’t get anything done. If I equate those outfits to sleeping, I’m not thinking about working; I’m thinking about sleeping! I usually have my outfit picked out the day before, so that I could get dressed and go right to work.
MYTH: You’re lonely. I am an introvert, so I love being alone. I have to be intentional about leaving my house and spending time with friends and family, but quality time with loved ones has turned into a joy. I’m now seeing them because I want to, not because I have to since I work with them or because it’s another thing on my to-do list. I also want to take a moment and challenge all offices: I’ve heard many a story of people who show up to work and don’t speak to a single person all day. Sure, you’re surrounded by people, but you’re still lonely. To me, that’s worse than isolating myself in my home office. If you work in an office, reach out to someone new today. You never know what struggles people are carrying.
MYTH: You don’t get anything done. Studies produced from the last couple of years have shown that the average person only gets about 2 hours and 53 minutes of work done in an 8-hour work day, and that doesn’t include the hour-long commute most of us have to travel to and from work. So if I work 3 intentional hours from home, I’m working more than you, office worker. And since I’m my own boss, I can create my own schedule, which includes personal time. I make time to eat an hour-long lunch, go for a walk, clean the house (as needed), and read. I set a timer on my phone for one hour at a time, and then I put my phone on the other side of the room. I don’t do anything but edit, write, or read a book about writing until the timer goes off. When we’re intentional about our work, we get more done.
MYTH: You don’t make a lot of money. At first, this is true. When you work an office or retail job, you get a contract and a salary and benefits and all that. When you are starting your own business, you start with $0. When you put yourself on the internet and say, “Hey, I have a new business!” no one knows you who are. But when you apply those discipline techniques into your work, you will see more of a clientele over the next couple of months. As the Bible alludes to on multiple occasions, you reap what you sow. When you put work into your business, you will see the fruit of that work.
Truth: It is a fun adventure. I love what I do, so much. I have the opportunity to create my own schedule and workload. I create my own vacation time. It’s not that I don’t have a boss, but I am my own boss. There is a difference. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m closer than I was a few days ago. Working from home has been such a blessing, and I can’t wait to see how God grows the vision that he has given me.