The Truth About Working at Home

For many people, especially creative types, working at home is the holy grail. No stress! Flexible hours! Comfy p.j.'s!

And it is, indeed, fantastic. But lest the picture seem overly rosy, I offer you a few sobering facts:

1. You will find yourself wearing the same shirt for two or three days in a row.

It may not even be your own. Last week I spent a couple of days tooling around in a gray t-shirt that perpetually resides in the bottom of Mark's sportswear drawer because the long sleeves make him hot. Why did we buy that stupid thing?

2. You will eat more than you intend to.

The food hits you with a one-two punch: Opportunity (it's all right there) and Motive (preparing, consuming, and cleaning up food is an excellent form of procrastination).

3. You will become your family's primary errand-runner.

It's not that your spouse doesn't respect your work; it's just that you are the person who can most easily take time away from it. So if the cat needs to go to the vet, nine times out of ten, it's on you.

4. You will miss the benefits of a tyrannical boss.

My friend Jon has an idea for a business: writers would pay him to set their deadlines, review their work, and occasionally call them up and say "I'm really very disappointed. I don't know if we can keep you on."

I'm not sure how effective this would be, but I know that the lack of negative incentives sometimes bites me in the butt. I am altogether too understanding of my own failures. Funny how when I was working in the Real World they just... never... happened.

All these things aside, working at home is great. I would trade it for exactly nothing. I feel blessed beyond measure to have a husband who believes in me enough to support me while I turn out my first book.

But apparently I need some more t-shirts of my own.


Becky said...

True, true, true, and true.

It is not a pretty picture!

kate said...

i want to work at home!!! i already where the same clothes for days at a time (because five yr-olds don't notice and i'm lazy).. already eat more than i want to: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, late afternoon snack, dinner, after dinner snack... and thats the minimum sometimes there's a post work-out meal and a second morning snack in there!

it sounds like i wouldn't have to change anything- except my career...