I’m not sure where Lynn and I first met, but I always love seeing her at events. She’s hardworking, funny, and insightful! Deep Fried Revenge is the fourth book in Lynn’s Farm to Fork Mystery series.
Working from home – a novice’s report.
To give you some background, yes, I am what others would call a full-time author because I write so much during the year. This year, I have 8 releases. However, I still have my day job. Financially, I could replace my day job with my author earnings except for one thing – insurance. Well, two – bills for toys like the side by side and the RV. Therefore, I stay at the day job. (Modify the 7 dwarfs song – I owe, I owe, so it’s off to work I go…)
At the beginning of March (or before the world changed), my schedule was as follows: work 7:30 – 4pm with at least an hour to two-hour commute back and forth. The author time fell between. First thing in the morning (if I got up on time and limited my Facebook scrolling.) First 15-minute break, lunch, second break, then finish the words as soon as I got home. Dinner and crash to start the routine again the next day.
I typically got 5-10K a week this way. Unless life got in the way. Like dinner with my husband. Or picking up the truck from an oil change appointment.
Last week was different. My governor put in a stay at home order. The day job had already set us up to work half time at home. Now, it was full time.
At my computer.
In my office. Alone.
Except for a cat and two needy dogs.
As I’m writing this, I’ve only had one day to practice, and I still had commute time that day. I went in and an hour later, I was home working. I took my lunch at my desk and carved out my break time for writing. The dogs kept me busy. “Time to go outside. Or Hey, you’re home, can we play?”
This coming week, I probably not only have my dogs, but my husband at home as well. Maybe they can entertain each other. I’m doubtful.
On the other hand, I’m hopeful. I think it’s a great test of not only a full-time author life, but also for my ability to eat healthy at home. I snacked on fruit all day at the office. Can I replicate that at home? Can I get my words in during what used to be my commute time so when I turn off the day job, I can also turn off the author gig? Or at least work on something more fun than a word count. Like marketing meme’s? Or planning my world domination of the cozy genre? (Insert evil laugh here.)
I’m not a change for change sake kind of girl. I like stability in my life. My first ‘real’ job I stayed in eighteen years. Just about the same amount of time for my first marriage. I know I’m going to be a little stressed with this change.
I’m also grateful. Right now, I still have a day job and money coming in to work on my retirement plans. I still have insurance. I still have food (and toilet paper.) And I still have my imaginary friends to keep me company as I write their stories.
I know I can do this. Okay, so I’m pretty sure. 😊
Have you been successful in working from home? Do you have any tricks for me to try? Things to watch out for?
BIO – NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Lynn Cahoon, writes the Tourist Trap, Cat Latimer and Farm-to-Fork mystery series. No matter where the mystery is set, readers can expect a fun ride Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com
Releasing April 7th – DEEP FRIED REVENGE
Angie Turner is all prepped to face Boise’s culinary best when she enters her restaurant, The County Seat, into a big State Fair challenge. Instead, she gets dunked into a new murder investigation after a killer starts scrapping her competition . . .
The Idaho State Fair is in full swing and chefs are lining up to enter Boise’s Best Restaurant contest, including Angie and her County Seat crew. They might be the hometown favorite, but the competition is steeper than a funhouse floor. And when a top contender is felled following a heated confrontation over a corn dog recipe, winning suddenly becomes a matter of life or death. With a foul foodie on the prowl, it’s up to Angie to dig into the case and put a murderer on ice.
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Z5NFN5T
Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deep-fried-revenge-lynn-cahoon/1133698147?ean=9781516109890
KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/deep-fried-revenge
Apple Books – https://books.apple.com/us/book/deep-fried-revenge/id1496076054?mt=11&app=itunes
Eight, Lynn?? And I thought I was crazy to have four… You go, girl. I don’t have many tips about working from home. I’ve been a full-time writer (withOUT another day job) for seven years, and I’ve gained at least seven pounds, alas. Having an office with a door that shuts helps. I will say I loved ditching the hour commute each way. Now my commute is about thirty seconds to get upstairs. But you can do this thing.
And congratulations on the new book!
Thanks Edith – It’s been a busy writer life for a long time. 🙂 I love my new commute.
Having worked very little outside the home other than helping my parents as they got elderly and then full time caregiver for them, I have really no advice on how to adapt. As a full time homemaker, I will tell you that it’s all about discipline and scheduling just like any “job”. I set goals for things I want to achieve. Some are for today, some for the week or even month. I do anything within my power to get those things done in that time frame just as you would deadlines at a “paying” job. As for eating habits, the worse thing you can do is become a junk food nibbler. It only makes for bad calories and probably does nothing to fill you energy or body needs. I know I’m a stressful eater which makes this time extra hard not to grab for that sweet treat – and then that salty one to get the sweetness out of my mouth – only to go round and round. 🙂
Having a schedule and a to do list is huge for me too. Just to make sure things get done. 🙂 If it’s not written down, it’s not real.
I love all of Lynn’s books!!! Good luck with all the changes, really looking forward to receiving my copy of your new book as I have plenty of time to read!!!!
I worked from home before this all started, so here are my tips:
1. Take a shower and put on clean clothes. They don’t have to be fancy and you can skip the makeup. But make sure the yoga pants are clean.
2. Try to eat like you would at the office. And have real meals – don’t graze through the day.
3. Take a break. Get up and stretch, go for a walk, play with the dogs.
4. Keep as close to your regular routine as possible (that is, if you wrote at a certain time, keep doing it – or do it during the time you used to commute).
You’re right – you can do it! (And 8 releases in a year – yowza!)
Great ideas Liz!
Lynn you made me laugh when you said pup pileups were the only traffic issue now. I thought three releases in one year was nuts — eight???!!!! Wowsa!
They’re crowded around my desk now. They don’t like it when I close the office door and leave them out.
Normal routine and shower and dress like I was going to work. That was my promise to myself when retiring. It is amazing how much you can do when you get going early. And I am never bored. Too much to do!
That’s a great idea. And yep, I’m an early bird.
Hi Lynn–waving from Key West! I have been working from home and writing full-time for ten years. I eek out 2.5 books a year. I don’t think there’s any advice I can give you! You’ve got this.
Hi Barb!! Thanks for the encouragement. Part of the problem is I’m not sure when this will end. Planning isn’t being my friend right now.
I’m working from home for the first time in my life. I don’t feel like it is that different except I can’t hunt down my coworkers when they are avoiding answering my questions. (Yes, I’m talking from Friday’s experience, why do you ask?)
lol – I sit a lot more now than I do when I’m at work. Probably trying to chase down co-workers.
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