Being self-employed means that the job is always with you. Working from home means it is always around you. Sometimes it can be hard to escape—I mean even if you love what you do (like I love writing) at some point you need to stop doing/thinking about it and just chill.
I used to find this really hard because the story is always there and there’s always the temptation to just go and do…
This year I set myself working hours. The only time I’m allowed to work extra is if I’m on a deadline (a publisher imposed deadline not one I’ve made up). This has had the added bonus of reducing the amount of time wasting that would otherwise happen during work hours—you know the internet, facebook, sweeping the floor and any other random procrastination activity that I’m able to dream up.
I still get the procrastination bug, but because I know I can’t catch up later there’s a lot less of it.
The other thing I’ve started doing is taking a couple of days off between jobs. Finish the first draft of a WIP? Take a day or two to catch up on some favorite DVDs or and read some books.
Finished a round of edits? Yay go play with that random story idea from last week for a day and see if goes anywhere (I count that as time off writing because it’s more daydreaming and what if?)
These are important little breaks as they allow the brain to recharge and the well of creativity to be topped up. After all you only get out what you put in.
The other change I made this year was dedicating two days a week only to writing/editing. No blog writing or posting, no website updating or any of the other admin tasks that need to be dealt with. The other three days of the working week I set aside an hour in the morning and I get through whatever I can. So far this seems to be working really well as I’m always very impressed by my word count and also happy to discover I don’t fall behind on the admin stuff.
Restricting my working hours has made me more productive and also more accountable. It’s also given me the time to pursue doing the other crafty things I love like cross stitch and sewing.
While writing is a job I love, it isn’t my whole life just a part of it.
Want to win a digital copy of The Changeling Soldier? Comment below and tell Shona how you like to relax after work. Winner will be randomly chosen and announced Sunday on the blog.
The Changeling Soldier
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Her time in the mortal world is running out…
After fleeing Annwyn three centuries ago, Ella built a life in the mortal world making gowns for European royalty and playing in mortal intrigues. Now those Courts are long gone, and she dresses Hollywood starlets. Mortals come and go, but Ella always ends up alone. She longs for the home she left behind.
He’s been dreaming of the coming battle all his life…
Isaac Norton is a returned soldier. Now home, he’s restless and his recurring dream is becoming more frequent: he’s fighting on a snow-covered field stained with blue blood. When he sees Ella, he knows she isn’t human. And she knows what he is, a changeling.
Ella can give Isaac the answers he needs, but there will be a price to pay: his soul.
Three time ARRA finalist Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back.
With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance. You can find out more at her website.