Being a full-time writer, working from home, is essentially awesome. You can get up whenever you want, wear whatever clothes (or lack thereof) you want, have as much random clutter on your desk as you want, listen to whatever obnoxious music you want at sufficient volume to drown out the screams of the neighbours’ baby.
There are a few things you have to be careful about, of course, like resisting the temptations of excessive tea and Netflix consumption. And a few problems unique to the writer:
- Googling strange things like ‘how to cut someone’s throat’ and hope nobody is monitoring your search history. ‘It’s for a book, honestly Inspector.’
- Veering wildly (and frequently) between thinking your writing is a masterpiece and thinking it’s a load of garbage.
- Answering the door at 11am in your pyjamas and dressing gown and feeling a little bit guilty about it. Not guilty enough to actually get dressed any earlier, mind.
- Losing track of what day it is.
- The never-ending fight with the many-headed beast that is procrastination, the inner Hydra which is every writer’s nemesis.
- Spending the day lost inside your own inner world and then struggling to remember that your characters don’t actually exist and you now have to re-adjust to interacting with real humans. Although admittedly real humans are often more tractable than your creations.
- The sheer unpredictability of editing – finding some chapters need hardly any work and can be dispensed with in a single day, while others are a complete mess, need extensive re-writes, and take an entire week of hair-pulling frustration to get right.
- The difficulty of explaining to anyone who isn’t a writer how writing works. Particularly, in my case, trying to explain to people why my characters aren’t doing what they’re told and how long it took me to coax them to go to the location where the rest of the plot is waiting to happen. Just ‘cause they’re made up, doesn’t mean they’re not stubborn SOBs.
- Getting carried away with writing and forgetting to do basic household tasks.
- Making lots of cups of tea and then forgetting about them.
Speaking of… oh crap, another cup of tea gone stone cold. Back later…