I’ve always found working from home a challenge. On the one hand I love being able to work at my desk with all my stuff near at hand. I’ve worked at the same desk since I started secondary school (it has fuchsias on it that my mum painted on using nail varnish for the petals). It’s not the biggest desk in the world but plenty big enough for me and my laptop and it’s always been my little oasis in every place I’ve lived since home. Someday I may post a photograph but at the moment it’s full of the detritus of the day and not fit to go out in public.
That’s the drawback with working from home, the day’s detritus. When you’re out in the field you’re focused on the matter at hand and aware that the day won’t be finished until you’ve done what you came there to do. As a journalist I’m used to working with multiple distractions, be it TVs blaring, people having minor nervous breakdowns, constant questions and random jokes, but you learn to focus through it to get the job done within the deadline.
It’s the same at home if there’s a deadline. You sit staring at the computer screen until the page in front of you is filled coherently to the right length. Working at home when there’s no deadline however, is a totally different experience.
I had decided to take the time off until New Year after what had turned out to be a particularly hectic year. It’s now well into the second year of 2009 and I’m craving structure. The problem is that it just keeps slipping away from me.
I’ve been at this game long enough to know that I work best with a routine – most of us do. The difficulty I’ve always had has been making a routine when there’s nothing to hang it on. Now that I know that I am actually capable of writing a book within an allotted time by working 25 hours a day I say to myself that if I’m going to be doing this more often then structure is vital, there has to be balance.
Well let me tell you, the house is looking lovely. I’ve been baking, there are fresh flowers sitting on my desk (really should put up that photo) and the husband has had a good square meal every day. The problem is that the manuscript of the novel is sitting where I left it almost a week ago and the notebook page I headed Pitch ideas is accusatorily empty.
In fairness, today I did get up and settle straight down at my desk to do some work. I was planning on uploaded a radio interview I gave on Clare FM about the book back in December. That’s when things went arry. While I’m loving the shiny new look of WordPress 2.7 I’m still having one or two problems uploading files to display on this blog. Well one problem really. It’s not working.
The problem with stuff going wrong technically speaking is that I’m not particularly technically minded. I’m not completely useless. I’ve grappled with the various programmes and gadgets that are bread and butter for todays journos for long enough and if the printer has a paper jam, I’m your man. I would count myself as reasonably web literate but unfortunately that doesn’t yet extend to coding of any kind and I’ve only been dealing with the more nuts and bolts end of online communication for a few months so sometimes I can’t see the wood for the trees.
This means I turn to Google in search of the people who do know what I’m talking about and the hours tick away. So it’s now 8 o’clock and all I’ve managed today is a blog post. The printer has now stopped it’s annoying habit of refusing to print from the web and I’ve gone from WordPress 2.5 to 2.7 but I still haven’t been able to upload the interview.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll get up and shoot the book trailer. I know how to use a camera!