Luckily for me I’m freelance, so I work from home. Sometimes this is really good, but like anything else it has its disadvantages. Like overseeing various repairs by engineers to household equipment (dishwashers, washing machines, ovens, showers etc.,) and keeping an eye on decorators, builders or anyone else who happens to be doing something to, or for, our house. Quote: ‘Well you’re there all day aren’t you?’ Hmmmm, yes I’m here, but I still have deadlines, just not the daily commute.
My official day job is book cover design, and like any other freelance work, sometimes I’m busy and other times I’m not. The busy times are bonkers and I’m knee deep in my bonkers time at the moment. Freelancers are rarely given the same amount of time to design a cover as designers in-house are. Having worked in-house for years, I now look back and wonder how I filled my time with such long deadlines! Now it’s, ‘Here’s a new brief for four covers, can we see visuals next week?’
When I’m merely ‘ticking over’ on the design side, I restrict myself to designing until 4.30pm, and then I write until 7.00pm. This works quite nicely, giving me a nice chunk of time to write before the family come home. Of course now I’m in the bonkers time of year, I’m designing all the time with no time to write much at all.
(I think I managed half a page yesterday!) It also explains why this blog is a day late!
Do I balance things? Yes I think so, kind of ... it’s not easy, but it wouldn’t be half as much fun if it was. I’m convinced I’d get writer’s block if I just wrote all day and there wasn’t a ‘day job’ at all.
As a family we’re all pretty busy anyway, so it’s not unusual for us to be in different rooms of the house, each doing our own thing. Obviously it was much more difficult when my son was little, but now he’s all grown up and working for a television company in Central London, so his hours are strange too. It’s really funny listening to him complain about the Jubilee Line, signal failure and crowded trains.
Been there. Done that.
There are times when I would be happy to write on and on, late into the night, but my husband gets up really early and it wouldn’t be fair, so I have to make myself stop at a decent hour. That’s the biggest problem I have really, because then I start writing in my head, which then makes sleep impossible. But hey, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big problem.
Fledgling has been published now for nine whole months. I can’t believe how the time has flown by. I still get a huge burst of pride when I see it on Amazon.