4 Unbeatable Benefits of Work From Home Writing Jobs
Happily, several things I have aspired to achieve in my younger years, have finally come to fruition in the autumn days of my life. Despite not winning the lottery (yet), I have been lucky enough to accomplish most of those “dreams” I had fantasized about in my younger years. But it wasn’t until recently, that I found my niche in the world of freelance writing.
Taunting and vexing me, fate dangled the golden apple of writing and paid opportunities in front of my wanting eyes for years. Now, as I look out into the inspiring skyline of my city from not one, but two directions, I can not only take pride in one of my goals being realized but I can do it from the comfort of my home and corner office — in my pajamas.
Many articles have been written on the benefits of working from home. However, for the freelance writer, or anyone relying on imagination to successfully execute their job, creative abandon must also on occasion partner with discipline, which can make for strange bedfellows. But I can think of no other place conducive to achieving detente between these two dichotomies than my own office, in my own home.
Moreover, I am fortunate enough to live in a corner suite, and can literally and figuratively get two different perspectives, moods, and scenes which often influence my writing. And, with all due respect to the monolithic architecture of my city, it still doesn’t come close to the view and inspiration I am filled with when bidding adieu to the effulgence of the waning sun at day’s end.
So, with a tip of my hat to my colleague, who clearly, concisely, and wittily wrote about the benefits of freelance writing from home, I too, would like to add my two cents, and a few points to consider if you are embarking on the journey of pursuing work from home writing jobs.
While, of course, there are some pitfalls, writing from the comfort of your own home can give you four things no other office environment can.
As mentioned, I am fortunate enough to live in a corner suite of an apartment building with a sweeping balcony that surrounds the unit. If I look to the south I can see and feel the energy of the downtown core with its carnival-like lights flashing and exploding. I am filled with a feeling of pride which is simultaneously peppered with isolation. I am not part of that scene, nor do I want to be, but I am proud that I live in a city that offers it. The energy of the lights, pumping and flaring against a steamy summer night, or striking and breaking the frozen air of winter, would fill anyone one with exhilaration. With a turn of the head, I look to the west and I can scan a sea of treetops, and listen to the quiet that is shattered by the lonely drone of air-conditioners. This is my office.
This is the office that can fill me with sensations, ideas and visions emitting from the aroma of a summer barbecue, or from the blinking red lights against the night’s backdrop, which safely guide airplanes through their journey. The stimulus and inspiration are never ending. Inspiration is everywhere. From the sight of the first Canadian Geese flying home in the spring, to the glance of my babies’ pictures on my desk who seem to watch me guilelessly as I bang out an article.
When you are self-employed by work from home writing jobs, you choose your office. For me, it’s my corner suite. For you, it may be a den transformed into a work space, the comfort of your favorite spot on the couch, your kitchen table, or your favorite coffee shop in the city. The point is, you have the freedom to choose whichever space inspires you most, and the freedom to switch it up at any time.
2. More Breaks Than Your Mother’s Favourite Vase
Whether you work from home or in an office, taking breaks throughout the day is important. Even just to get up and stretch the legs, or any other part of the body that’s been sitting in a chair too long. More and more doctors are advising workers to take multiple daily breaks for the benefit of mental and physical health. Some even suggest nap breaks if your management allows. Don’t forget to bring your teddy to work if your boss agrees!
From my experience, a writer never REALLY takes breaks. The mind is always cranking out ideas; the creative juices are always on a low simmer. Even a trip to the mailbox can be an idea in the making. A prolonged glance out the window, or reminiscing over a photo can be the genesis of the next article. So often I’ve heard friends gasping the words, “I have a break in a few minutes!” as if a break is the CPR which will save them from the murderous clutches of office work. In fact, it just might. Some office workers are able to hit the gym during their lunch hour — braving the heat of summer or the howling winds of winter.
Until recently, I had a treadmill in my apartment and hopped on it frequently when writer’s block struck. Now with the machine gone, I find taking frequent breaks, and even 10 minutes away from the computer revitalizes me. I have small little fitness tools to get my daily exercise in — sometimes even a walk across the street to do some daily shopping helps to shake up the brain and the fat cells. But if the weather is too bad to go out, I have found that frequent sprints to the refrigerator are always a satisfying alternative.
While taking breaks in a standard office environment may be limited and more heavily monitored, the beauty of work from home writing jobs is that you can take as many breaks as you feel necessary throughout the day. Just be careful not to confuse breaks with procrastination.
3. Improved Work-Life Balance
Back in the day when women first took their place in the work force, many of them dealt with the dreaded guilt they felt of “not being there” for family — especially for their children. Personally, I never intended to work from home, but my son’s early diagnosis of juvenile diabetes rendered me home-bound by my own choice. I felt frozen with this diagnosis and I had to learn to accept and deal with it. I needed to be there — not only for his well-being but mine as well.
Fortunately, I was able to find work from home writing jobs and could be there for both my children if I was needed. My son’s story inspired me as he is also on the autism spectrum, and I was able to write an article which was read by many teachers unaware of Asperger’s syndrome. Thanks to the article, many teachers gained a better understanding of the disorder.
Fast forward to present day, I still work from home — three jobs in fact, and with discipline and time management, I am able to shop, clean, and work all in one day. In a more polite form than what Urban Dictionary offers, “I have to get my meat where I get my bread.”
Many work-from-home parents breathe a sigh of relief at the conveniences offered by their situations. But almost all will agree, that discipline is a primary ingredient in the mix. Deadlines are an integral part of any professional working world, even in the corner suite.
4. Cost Saving
As I write to you, I am in my pajamas, no makeup, and my hair could use a good stylist. However, my work is getting done, and I am comfortable and love what I’m doing. When anyone asks me to meet them downtown for a meal or a drink, I shudder and shake: “You mean I have to look human? And…and pay for parking or bus fare?”
By no means am I advocating becoming a hermit in your C suite, but consider the savings the writer has when working from home. One can work in whatever they want to wear unless meeting with a client because as Coco Chanel stated, “being well dressed is a beautiful form of politeness.” But being polite costs an arm and a leg at a Chanel boutique.
In addition to the cost of “looking good,” public transit fares rise annually where I live for “alleged” improvements — none of which I have seen. And a day’s parking downtown is equivalent to a down payment on a mid-city condo. The freelance writer or any work-from-homer can gleefully snub their noses at morning and afternoon rush hour and can take their significant other for an expensive meal instead of paying for a week’s worth of parking downtown. Even a simple lunch in a business area of town will put you back at least 10 dollars once tip and taxes are included. And speaking of taxes, as mentioned here, many utilities as well as other deductions are available to home office writers, but do check with an accountant in your area before filing your taxes.
Working from home is not easy, and it’s certainly not for everyone. Some people need and thrive off of the structure and rigidity of going into a formal office, putting in their 9-5 hours, and clocking out when the day is done. However, for myself, and many other creatives alike, working from home provides the ultimate freedom of choosing your own hours, optimizing for creativity, balancing family life, and saving money.
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