Monday, February 20, 2012

Trying to Work from Home

I'm on a one-day vacation right now. I always put my vacations on Mondays or Fridays so I can have an extended weekend. I also took this opportunity to find out if I could make a living out of working from home.

I've taken a part-time job writing short (150, 200, and 300 word) articles. I'm supposed to write 10 articles per day from Monday to Friday. It's been almost two weeks since but I haven't been able to meet my quota. I tried to see if I could finish at least 10 in one whole day so I had a go at it last Saturday. I wasn't successful. I only got five articles in.

What are the issues?

We have one computer at home. My kids sometimes need to do some research for their homework and they also like to play computer games or watch movies. It's a constant competition for computer time. As the father, I've laid down the law. "When I'm at home, I get to use the computer. If you have some research, I'll let you use it but, otherwise, it's mine to use." The DVDs have started to gather dust since I said that.

Major issue for me was the article topics. They're not really topics but keywords. I choose a keyword from a database and write an article using that keyword in the article. It's not a problem if the keyword was for a topic I'm familiar with. Most of the time, I need to do some research before I write anything. That slows me down considerably.

I also have a bad streak of perfectionist in me. I tend to write, stop, consider, delete and start over. While that means that I turn out well-written articles, it also means it takes me a long time to finish. I've read that the proper way to write is to keep going, not minding spelling or grammar or flow of ideas. When you finish, that's when you go back and edit. I've been trying to do that but the old habits are a little deeply engraved. I've had some success though I still tend to stop for a bit.

Lastly, since I'm at home, I'm expected to help around the house. I've spun-dried five loads of clothes and hung them out to dry. I've had to refill the water dispenser, drive my wife to the highway, and refill the water container in the bathroom. I'm not counting the interruption for lunch. Also, when my wife wants to tell me something, I have to stop and listen...and reply.

I'm going to stop here and think of solutions for awhile. Dinner's calling.

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