My husband’s mother came to spend the week with us last week. Being a self-employed writer with a home office means I got to take some time here and there to do some fun things with her and her grandchildren (my kids).
It can be a challenge to keep up with work when your routine has to change to accommodate houseguests or sick kids or a home repair or any one of a million things that can come up and demand time that you didn’t know you had to give.
But, it’s one of the best things about being a web writer — you can accommodate events both expected and unexpected and get more enjoyment and satisfaction out of your career and your life when doing it.
Here are a few things I do to make the most of both work and life whenever my routine is a little different than usual.
- Prioritize. Anything that can wait a little extra, I go ahead and let wait. I don’t mean shifting deadlines here. I mean if you’ve built a buffer into your timelines (which you should do!), you might be able to let a few things slide for a day or two without anyone being the wiser.
- Schedule where scheduling is possible. I know my mother-in-law loves sushi — something my girls had been dying to try — so scheduling a sushi lunch for one day just made sense. Knowing ahead of time when were going to do it helped me plan for the work I wanted to get done that day.
- Be flexible where you can’t schedule. You might find that it’s worth it to put in an hour in the evening if it means you get to take advantage of some spontaneous fun in the afternoon. Remember, you’re in control here.
- Don’t give into guilt. You have things you need to do and things you want to do and deadlines to meet … but how you make all that happen is up to you. So, don’t feel guilty if you decide to work to a different schedule so you can enjoy life a little more when something unusual comes up. Part of being self-employed means not having to work 9-to-5 if you don’t want to. Meet the deadlines you agree to, but do it on your terms.
Following these guidelines, I had an excellent visit with my mother-in-law and don’t feel a bit behind on my work now.
Things You Don’t Want to Miss
If you didn’t see Pam’s great webinar on becoming a web content hero, check out the highlights in this Roving Report. You’ll learn five steps to conducting a strategic Site Audit that will help you deliver consistently better results to your clients.
Then, check out Megan Tyson’s entertaining and insightful article on how new experiences — like joining an improv group — can make you a stronger web writer.
And, make sure you read Mindy’s post from last Monday on the one thing you can change in your web-writing career that will make an immediate and dramatic difference to your success and enjoyment.
Moving Forward with Your Professional Web-Writing Site
If you worked through this section last week, then you have a plan of action for your website, you’ve done some research and found sources of inspiration in other websites, you’ve established a basic outline of what you need for your site, you’ve made a list of benefits you bring to a client, and you’ve started drafting home page headlines … that’s a lot of good work.
Let’s keep up the momentum!
Day One: This will take you more than 15 minutes, but make time today to outline your home page. Figure out the major sections you’ll have, your subheads, the basic organization of it all, and the key information you want to include. If you’ve got your creative juices flowing, transition right into drafting the copy for the page.
Day Two: Finish a first draft of your home page today.
Day Three: Take time today and outline the other main pages you want to include on your site. Decide what key information you’ll include on each page and how you’ll present it.
Day Four: Work on your About Me page today. Tune into Rebecca Matter’s webinar at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday April 14th for tips and strategies you can use to write an About Me page that really hits it out of the park. Also today, give your home page copy to someone you trust to review.
Day Five: Collect the work samples you’d like to make available on your site. Review them and polish them and prepare them for posting. Posting them as PDF files is a good option that will make them easily accessible to anyone who wants to view them. If you don’t have work samples, don’t worry … check out this article on putting together a killer portfolio no matter your experience.
If you haven’t already, check out the final installment of the Your 12-Step Roadmap To Becoming A Well-Paid, Working Web Writer. This will help you find strategies to grow a steady income that you can depend on. That’s it for today. Have a great, productive week.