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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Home Worker

Just settling down to work on my new book – and it feels like ground hog day …again. I keep reading about the discipline needed to work from home and it’s sooooo true. There’s something about closing one door and opening another – leaving one environment for a different one – breaking the morning with a journey from house to work that has to change your mindset. At home it’s different – and that’s where the discipline sets in.

For me, today, yesterday and, hopefully, tomorrow, I’ll rise, do the make-up regime (very important for self-affirmation even if no one except the tame blackbird in the back garden is going to see me for the morning) have my breakfast then open the door of the room I’ve designated as my office and enter.

Four hours later it’s lunchtime. Anyone see morning passing by in a balaclava? By that stage I’m so hungry I’d even eat a horse burger so I have lunch, take in some of the nation’s angst by listening to agony uncle Joe Duffy on radio – then return to the office for the afternoon shift.

Down to the village for a quick walk and a coffee about 4 pm then back to the computer to wring the final drops of creativity from my brain before I prepare the evening meal.

Sometimes, I work at night or very early in the morning. But the above description is my solid routine.

So what do I achieve in that time? If I’m lucky I’ll have advanced my novel and will be satisfied with a good day’s work. That’s when you hear me singing. Other times I know that what I’ve written will be subjected to the Delete command the following morning. That’s when I wail. Banshees, eat your hearts out. If I’m very very very lucky, I’ll have advanced my knowledge of social media and it many tentacles by another baby step – and made some more new on-line friends.

What have I missed by being a home worker? The water cooler and canteen, the chats and gossip, and the camaraderie of being part of a team. I’ll have avoided the boring grind of peak hour traffic, the office politics and stress of a difficult or bullying boss. Mind you, I’m a tough bully on myself – but I can always give myself the one finger salute if I over-step the mark.

The bully boss is at me now – demanding that I stop idling and get down to the serious business of finishing my book. It’s time to listen and switch off – have a good day at the water cooler – you lucky thing!

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