A Day in the Life of an At-Home Writer

camera and notebook

If you didn’t know by now, I’m a freelance writer. I work from home, pick and choose my hours, and still manage to earn enough money to pay the bills.

But some of my friends and family occasionally ask me what I do all day. They wonder if working at home is as relaxing as it seems, or if it’s on par with a typical in-office job. Some assume I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want, while others cautiously ask if I ever enjoy a moment to myself since I can’t leave the office at the end of the day.

So for those of you who are wondering, or for those of you considering a similar at-home position, here you go: a sneak peek into the life of Ms. JenniBee.

I Struggle to Get Up in the Morning

plate of toast next to milk and oranges

8:15 a.m. – My husband’s first alarm sounds. I groan and roll over. We both snuggle a little closer, since neither of us wants to get up.

jennibee and chris kiss

8:30 a.m. – The second alarm goes off. We can’t ignore the fact that Chris has to get up and go to work, so we pull ourselves out of bed. While Chris gets ready, I make his breakfast and pack him a lunch.

9:00 a.m. – I give Chris one last kiss before he heads out the door. He goes to work and I go back to bed. I surely deserve a few more hours of sleep.

10:15 a.m. – I wake up again, feeling well rested but too comfortable to move. I grab my phone and check Facebook instead.

10:30 a.m. – I stumble to the bathroom and shower. I think profound thoughts while my dog Frankie sniffs and scratches at the shower door.

laundry basket

10:46 a.m. – I finish showering, dry off, and grab clothes from the laundry basket. They’re clean, but wrinkled, since I never got around to hanging and folding laundry yesterday.

10:49 a.m. – I eat random leftovers for breakfast. I don’t care what it is so long as I don’t have to cook.

10:56 a.m. – I take Frankie out for his morning walk. He seems particularly excited, and I realize he managed to snag a small piece of rawhide on the way out the door. I tell him to drop it, but instead he swallows it whole. I know it will make him sick later, and I tell him that. He wags his tail, looks especially proud of himself, and takes a squat.

I Can’t Always Focus

laptop and mouse

11:09 a.m. – I boot up my computer and do a few stretches to get my creative juices flowing.

11:12 a.m. – I try to sit down and work, but I get distracted by the ever-fascinating world of the Internet. I browse Facebook, check Pinterest, admire artists on Deviantart, and read my email.

kong ball11:30 a.m. – Frankie comes in with his ball. He jumps around, and he drops the ball at my feet. He stares at it, and if I don’t respond quickly, he picks it up and drops it again. Eventually I give in and play a few rounds of fetch.

11:33 a.m. – I tell myself that I’m officially going to write for work now. I open my work email and make a few notes of what I need to do for the day.

11:35 a.m. – I can’t for the life of me write with this eyelash stabbing my eye. I rub and pull at my eyelashes to no avail. I obviously can’t work in this condition, so I go to the bathroom and spend several minutes trying to grab that sucker with tweezers. I’m so blind without my glasses that I have to keep taking them on and off again to make sure that the eyelash is still there.

11:39 a.m. – I sit down yet again. I read the assignment, and I find that I’m grossly unqualified to finish that particular project. No amount of Googling will help me here, and I can’t fake industry experience.

facebook logo12:02 p.m. – I send back the assignment and work on something else. I find a topic I can manage, and I layout a quick template for how I’ll write.

12:23 p.m. – I find myself checking Facebook again. It’s a bit like checking the refrigerator. I keep hoping a status will change and that I’ll find something interesting.

1:15 p.m. – I finish my first work blog for the day. I pat myself on the back for a job well done, only to remember that I haven’t brushed my teeth yet or bothered to do my hair. I try my best to pull myself together and make myself presentable. Not that anyone will see me anyway.

I Take Time for Myself

guitar head strings

1:25 p.m. – I pluck away at my guitar. I’ve never taken a lesson, so everything I’ve learned comes from online tutorials. I’m happy to find that my fingers have callused slightly, so switching between the three chords I know (A, D, and E) no longer pains me.

1:52 p.m. – I sit down to read my scriptures and any other inspiring books I happen to have close by. I snuggle close to Frankie and enjoy the sunshine pouring through the window.

dishes2:20 p.m. – I make a sandwich and eat a few no-bake cookies from the night before. Since I can’t share the chocolate with my dog, I distract him from my food by playing fetch again.

2:35 p.m. – I can’t focus when the house is messy, so I tidy the kitchen. I load the dishwasher, wipe the counter top, and sweep the floor.

3:09 p.m. – I remember to write a few notes down in my journal. Even though I write all day for other people, I still enjoy writing for myself now and again. I love flipping through my old entries and seeing what I did on the same day three or four years ago.

3:16 p.m. – I throw some clothes in the washer and remember that I have a basket full of laundry that needs folding. I hang up a few shirts, though I know they won’t lose their wrinkles until I’ve washed them again and hung them properly.

3:33 p.m. – I mop the floors.

I Handle a Mini Disaster

Frankie the Papillon

3:46 p.m. – Chris comes home early from work and from school. I’m thrilled to see him and love hearing about his day.

4:15 p.m. – I haven’t exercised yet, so I hop on the stationary bike and start pedaling. Chris plays some Sufjan Stevens music to keep us both energized and relaxed.

4:38 p.m. – I cool down and snuggle next to Chris. I grab the nearest book and read a few pages.

poop4:55 p.m.  – Frankie pukes on the couch pillow right behind my head. I nearly throw up when I see it, but I instantly know it was the rawhide he ate this morning. I pick him up and move him close to the door. I quickly grab some paper towels and disinfectant spray to clean up the mess.

But in those few moments that I look away, Frankie poops near the door.

I use my firm voice and tell him, “No. You do not poop in the house. That’s bad.” I don’t yell. I don’t strike him. But he flinches at every word as if I had slapped him. He shakes like a frightened chihuahua. He knows he’s not supposed to poop in the house, and he clearly feels guilty even though he couldn’t help it.

I tell him to stay, and I clean up both the vomit and the poop.

5:05 p.m. – I take Frankie outside, and he empties himself a little more. I praise him for being the good dog that he is.

I Relax with Chris

x box controllers and TV remotes

5:15 p.m. – I sit down and actually focus on work for once. I breeze through most of a blog. But with just 50 words left, I realize I’m hungry again and can’t focus until I eat something.

6:00 p.m. – I find one more cookie in the fridge and scarf it down as fast as I can.

6:23 p.m.  – I finish the blog for work, and check Facebook yet again.

pokemon shirt7:27 p.m. – Time has flown! Is it already dinner time? I start brainstorming what I should eat for dinner based on the food we have available.

7:38 p.m. – I remember the laundry hasn’t gone in the dryer yet, so I move the clothes and start another load.

7:42 p.m. – I give up and open a can of soup. I make grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner. Pretty much the limit of my cooking abilities.

8:00 p.m. –  I sit down with Chris to eat, relax, snuggle and talk. We have a lengthy discussion about how people just want to be happy, no matter what religion they believe in. We repeat that we’ll raise our future kids to respect others despite the norm or the current culture.

9:06 p.m.  – I’m still hungry after dinner, so I make us some popcorn with our air popper. Chris and I settle in to watch some Netflix.

I Eventually Fall Asleep

sunset

10:00 p.m. – I start another blog so I can hit my goals for the day. I resign to the fact that I don’t have a lot of time to procrastinate, so I work quickly.

10:40 p.m. – I hit a writing block. I stare at the computer screen for a few minutes and decide I’d be more productive if I practiced my chords a few more times. I pick up my guitar and attempt to strum out “You Are My Sunshine.”

fairytales10:54 p.m. – Feeling inspired, I finish the rest of my blog for work.

11:26 p.m.  – I join Chris on the couch again. I alternate between reading and watching Netflix as he works.

1:26 p.m. – Chris wakes me up gently. Sometime earlier I fell asleep. I brush my teeth and get ready for bed as Chris takes Frankie outside one more time.

Frankie comes inside and nearly swan dives into his doggie bed. Chris and I tuck ourselves in and go to sleep.

I’m Ready for Another Day

Phew! Long day! Of course, not every day is like this one. Some days I skip the exercise and the practicing. Other days I go to the movies and go grocery shopping with Chris.

As you can see, my life isn’t all that glamorous or adventurous or amazing. But I’m happy. I love what I do. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.