As a freelance writer and a work-at-home mom, it sometimes feels like I have multiple personalities. This morning, I was a culinary critic, getting a head start on the day at 6 a.m. and wrapping up a restaurant review while LO and hubby were asleep. Then I switched gears to become an expert on an electrical contractor, pumping out three paragraphs on biomass fuels and alternative solar energy. Oh, and somewhere in the afternoon, I was a blogger telling parents about the importance of early intervention for keiki who have autism and ADHD.
And throughout it all, there’s the LO feeding, playing, diaper changing, putting to bed, the laundry (Oh the neverending LAUNDRY!), dinner prep, cleaning the house and etc. etc. etc.
It’s non-stop. It’s crazy. It’s productive. And it’s a lot of fun!
It’s important as a freelance writer to have a niche — mine is food. But I also believe it’s a valuable and necessary skill to be able to write about pretty much anything your client wants. And you have to be able to write about any topic in an authoritative, pseudo-expert voice, without sounding like you have no clue. That’s why a lot of writing is, to be honest, faking it.
But the biggest challenge is training myself to switch seamlessly from one topic to another. It’s hard to shake off that tone/style/mindset for, let’s say, reporting on a news story, and going into an opinion piece. I have to give myself a break between articles by playing with LO, watching an episode of a TV series, eating 3 pieces of Dove chocolates and giggling at the little pick-me-up messages. Or, much healthier: taking a break.
And to keep my brain sane, I write things down (surprise, surprise!). I have a calendar that I use to keep all the different stories in check. On busy weeks, I have 2 to 3 articles to write a day, and anywhere from 1 to 4 interviews. Scheduling everything and having a to-do list helps me stay on top of my workload.
Until, of course, LO is teething and wakes up mid-nap, just when your phone rings for an interview. Blurgh!