Archive for the ‘Self-employed’ Category

Questions I’m asking today.

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

[Credit: Gian]

I’m stuck again, struggling for some time now to pin down this no man’s land.  Thankfully, this week has been much less gloomy (in mind and weather), and that alone has provided me with enough clarity that I can think through some of these ideas, even if I have not settled on a solution for any of them. Even a temporary one.

Must I love my work? Is this love I should only hope to see in glimpses?

How do I measure my time? By moment? By day? In terms of what’s coming next?

How much am I willing to invest?

In other words, do I dare?

Major life-planning sesh happening tonight with the best friend. Details to follow.


Season’s gifts and goals

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

[previous gifts here]

251. The space outside my window all bluster and cold.
252. Our heater vent, though hidden behind the media sideboard (off, because I’m afraid of starting a fire).
253. Blankets and slippers.
254. Coffee, though it loses all its heat before I can drink half.
255. Being wrapped tightly in two shirts, scarf and two coats this morning as I dueled wind with my umbrella.
256. Shiny new tires and new windshield wipers for long icy drives.
257. The weekend’s gorgeous glimpse of brightness…
258. …a shining ocean sunset…
259. and cozy food and drinks and games with good friends.
260. That the forecast rain didn’t show up (and we didn’t miss it).


This working home life is cozy and solitary; I amaze myself with the way I pile up snack dishes and clutter all my own.  I’ve been feeling a bit scrambled, scattered, and blurry — partly from the dark and wet, partly from the solitude, partly from the task juggling.

Next week, though, I have a plan. It consists of a gym membership and a regular schedule of writing three days a week and teaching two.

Because that list I made? I really did know that eventually the unshowered, whatever-I-want-wearing glory of working from home would fade.  I don’t quite have cabin fever yet, but I can tell that whatever a healthy home-working lifestyle may be, I want to find it. And that means I need to quit atrophying.

This year-wrapping-up time is always so nostalgic, and I tend to get reflective and very happy and very sad. I have some far-away goals I will tend to soon, but here are some of my goals for the near future:

• Begin outlining an official business plan

• Thoughtfully choose all of this winter’s birthday and Christmas gifts and do my best to send them on time. (On top of the holidays, my six-person immediate family, father-in-law, and a brother-in-law all have birthdays between October and December.

• Spend time in prayer for grace that that will enable me to interact with my family graciously and generously.

• Approach this holiday time purposefully in my marriage, building memories and traditions for our future family.

• Write as often as possible, particularly when the year’s end stirs up memory, emotion, confusion, joy, and anxiety.

Happy blustery day, friends.

Multitude Monday on a Tuesday….

holy experience

How to conduct an interview like a middle school teacher.

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Happy Friday, Veterans’ Day, and 11/11/11, friends.

I’m writing a website bio and story for a “client” who is very dear to my heart. She happens to also be my sister, so I ended up taking a few liberties with her interview, and the end result looks quite unlike most interviews I’ve written.

Do you ever conduct interviews? Have you noticed that they’re missing a certain juvenile spice? If so (and even if not), here’s my quick tutorial:

How to conduct an interview like a middle school teacher
(and still get professional results)
*Click to enlarge images.

1. First, make an entire fill in the blank section. This is the warm-up.


2. Add a list section (still warming up).


3. Get serious, now.  Include diagrams, and throw in some new vocab words while you’re at it.  Make interviewee analyze the diagram and apply new vocab words to her own life.


4. Any self-respecting middle school test has a writing section. Include criteria and instructions before introducing your open-ended essay question. Bonus points for using phrases like “to inform your answer.” Use annoying fun colors for emphasis.


For best results, include a bunch of these.

Anyone else ready to go sharpen a bouquet of pencils?…

The sun is hiding today, and might hide indefinitely. I put eggnog in my coffee today, and listened to some Christmas music for the first time this season.

It’s feeling cozy in here.  Enjoy your weekends, y’all.

Guest Post at She Writes and Rights

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The lovely and gracious Bethany over at She Writes and Rights has facilitated my very first guest post today!

Bethany is a fabulous freelance writer, copywriter, and blogger — the kind that makes me want to simultaneously envy her skills and leave annoying, repetitive comments like “Hey, me too!” on every single thing she posts.  She lives and breaths books and writing, and her blog is a must-read for those of us passionate about words.

Check out my post, “Un-Growing Up,” here, and while you’re at it, get familiar with Bethany’s blog. :]

Thank you, Bethany!

The good side of working from home.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

1. Getting to wear whatever I want.  This one is times a million.
2. Selective showering.
3. The flexibility to run errands if I have to in an emergency, instead of having to use my lunch break.
4. Drinking pints of tea.
5. Not packing my lunch. This only works halfway since I still pack Eric’s, though…
6. Arranging my schedule so that most of the time, boring things are not back to back.
7. Not actually having very many boring things I have to do.
8. Variety – new projects to write, subbing in tons of different classrooms.
9. Sitting in a coffee shop to work (sometimes).
10. Reading and writing for work.
11. Being at home for package deliveries.
12. No politics, office gossip, or weird social dynamics.
13. Wonderful house slippers. All day long.
14. Cuddling with Kieran at work.
15. Preheating the oven/thawing something/other dinner-preparation-related things that take 2 seconds and can save a LOT of time when it comes to actually cooking.

There are, of course, drawbacks to self-employment as well. But why focus on those?

Sorry writing has been so sparse!  As you can hopefully tell, drinking tea in my sweats looks suspiciously unlike work but actually has been keeping me insanely busy.

Cheers to all you work-from-homers.  I feel like I’ve joined a pretty awesome club.