A short rant about how freelance writers aren’t taken seriously.
I used to have this annoying neighbor that would literally pop in at any point in time. Walk through the front door without so much as knocking, sit down in my husband’s office chair and stay for hours. You see we are both home all day, I with young kids and she with no one, and I can see how it would be easy to mistake my being home all day as meaning I had nothing better to do than socialize. After all I only have a nice little hobby of writing.
At least that is what I presume she thought, since it didn’t matter to her what I was doing, she would come in the front door or follow my older son in the back door after finding him playing peacefully in the back yard. An hour or two would pass before I could convince her to leave and I could go back to what I was doing, my hobby of writing. It wasn’t until I added locks to the gates around my property and picked up the book, Write Where You Live by Elaine Fantle Shimberg that I began to understand just how serious a problem I was dealing with.
You see many people assume that the writer who works from home is just a hobby writer. They don’t take us seriously, after all if we were legitimate authors we would work for the local paper, or work outside our home. Now, this isn’t what Shimberg comes out and says, but she sure implies it, just as my neighbor did. It took three brinks home security pad locks and some stern words for her to understand that while I am home all day I am working. This isn’t just a hobby, and for that matter it isn’t just a nine-to-five job. Actually my day begins closer at six and while I might not adhere to a strict schedule as some authors do, my schedule works for me, if I feel like writing right at six I get a couple articles done in a day. If not there is always laundry to do, house cleaning, and mouths to feed between my five year old, the three year old I baby-sit, and my soon to be new born whom I am sure will demand more attention than the five year old and three year old combined.
Yet my schedule works for me. Between loads of laundry and answering daunting five year old questions I am still able to fit writing and researching into my schedule that is if I don’t have to stop and listen to the neighborhood gossip or handle the crisis brewing next door.