What it’s really like to work from home: A day in the life of a freelancer

~”I think the thing that we creatives all have in common is that creativity does not have a set schedule.”

woman working laptop in bed

Netflix cues, blankets, mega sized cups of coffee. It sounds like a perfect Saturday morning. It can be, but for me, that describes a normal work day for me during the week. As a freelancer, I don’t necessarily follow conventional 9-5 regimens.

But I do work everyday. It just does not look the same as it would if I was in an office. To tell the truth, working a 9-5 makes me feel confined and restricted, almost claustrophobic. Does that make any sense to anyone?

From what I understand, most creative types don’t thrive well in the confines of a clock in and out type job. I never did. My first job was babysitting at age 12. I babysat every child on my block, making a price list, marketing myself, gaining referrals. When I was 13, my grandmother who was a beautician gave me a set of Marcel curling irons, a pressing comb, and a hot iron oven and taught me how to press, curl, color, and trim split ends and told me to go an make my own money. I did just that. I turned my mother’s basement into a hair salon. My mother invested and bought a sit under dryer for me and printed out price lists at work. I took Polaroids of my work, and even bought hair magazines and had a steady stream of friends coming through for hair styling on a regular basis.

I never worked fast food or at the clothing stores or anything like my friends did. I made more money working for myself. When I graduated high school, my mother made me get a “real job where you have to fill out an application”. My friend Angie got me a job at Owings Mills Mall (Baltimore) at Cinnabon. I worked there for three months before leaving for college. I was miserable. I hated it. I felt like I was missing out on money from babysitting jobs and doing hair which made me more money than working at the mall in less time.

I learned something about myself getting that job. I was made to work for myself. I loved the thrill of the hustle. I loved providing a service that made people happy and then getting paid for it. I also liked my freedom.

Some people think that there is no security in working for yourself. I say that there is no security in working for someone else. You never know when a company will fold or when a supervisor will fire you.

And yes, I have a cue full of movies and documentaries and audio books that I watch while I work. But don’t people in the Cubicle Nation do the same thing at the 9-5?

When you work from home, it takes discipline. No, you can’t take phone calls all day long from your friends- because well, they think that I’m just lounging around in my pajamas, very Peg Bundy-esque.  And yes, you have to deal with the fact that your mind wanders and you have the space to do whatever you want to do, but you have to do what you have to do instead.

Here’s a little of what my day looks like on a weekday:

6 am- wake up, meditate, pray, workout

7:30 a- wake up kids and get ready for school

8:30 a- 10am – school drop off, run errands

11am-2pm- working online on freelance ghostwriting. I also homeschool my oldest, so we are working on school work as well

2:30p- school pickup

3pm-7pm- continue working on projects, cooking dinner, etc

7pm-11pm- family time, dinner, etc. Take a break, make personal calls, etc

11pm and after- kids are sleep. This is where it gets tricky. Depending on the day, I may go to sleep, or if I’m inspired, I may work on some projects until about 2am. Or you may find me cleaning the house. It just depends on my mood.

I will say that this is about as structured as it gets. There is chaos within the structure and there has to be fluidity with my schedule for client meetings, and my freelance makeup career where I may be doing photo shoots or bridal services.

As a freelancer, everyone’s schedule is different. But I think the thing that we creatives all have in common is that creativity does not have a set schedule.

So as I wrap this blog post, I just turned off an audio book that I’ve been listening to. And I’m about to break for lunch and see what marathon I’ve recorded on my DVR so I can pace through the rest of the afternoon.

I would not trade in this life for anything.

~Tamara

Follow me on IG @bmorepeach and @caramellatesandstilettos

 

 

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