Now that I have actual writing income coming in every month, even if it is a small amount, I have to start re-evaluating things. It's more important than ever to keep my finances in order, to track my expenses come tax time. And I have to budget my working hours around a family.
"Are you working today?" people might ask, meaning, am I supposed to be at my regular job? At my regular job, it's absolutely essential that I be there for my shifts. But my writing-business time is more flexible. I could write from 9 am to 5 pm, with a lunch break. (That doesn't happen.) I could write in the evenings in between making dinner and taking various kids to and from sports and theater practice. (That happens.)
But it's hard to keep to a writing schedule when my job is not a physical thing--it's just me typing away at a laptop. Sure, I can go to a cafe, but even then people I know will stop me and want to chat. And at home, it's even worse. There seems to be 24/7 construction going on in my neighborhood except in the winter. The doorbell rings, the phone rings. Family members expect me to drop what I'm doing to run errands or watch one of their kids. If I decline, citing my writing, people start prodding me. "So?" they say. "You aren't really working."
Yes, my hours are flexible, but it's still a business I run and I still need to tend to it. Short of renting an office, though, I'm going to have to deal with distractions. So I have (mostly) solved this with the following measures:
How do you balance work, a family, and writing?