**We are so excited to have Avon Gale join us for a monthly author column. Her latest release is Power Play, which you can grab here. One of my personal favorites though is Conversation Hearts. I promise if you read it, you will be begging Avon to write a follow up. You can check that one out here.
So, it’s been just about six months since I decided to write full-time in lieu of pursue my hair stylist career. I simply didn’t have the ability to build up a stylist clientele and focus on the writing at the same time, and to be honest, writing is my first and greatest love and I never, ever thought I’d be blessed enough to do this as a job. And now I am! And boy, have I learned a lot in these six months.
Some of these lessons include:
1. My cats do not appreciate my dance moves or random, impromptu sing-alongs. My cats hate joy.
2. Being an extrovert and working home alone all day…well, there’s a reason I have dance parties and impromptu singalongs. IT’S TOO QUIET HELP SEND PEOPLE.
3. My neighbor seriously spends all his time mowing his yard. 24/7. It’s not that big of a yard, either. I don’t even know.
4. I talk to myself constantly, at home or while doing errands during the day. To be fair, I did this before I started writing full-time. I do it a lot more now, but hey. Eccentric authors can talk to themselves, right?
5. Eccentric authors can also leave the house in their stylish work-from-home wardrobe of leggings, canvas skull shoes, a tank top and the two of the world’s smallest pigtails which are totally uneven because whatever, #YOLO.
6. I fought having to get up in the morning like some kind of angry fighting thing that fights. Now? I wake up naturally and without my alarm at 7:30, and am usually at the desk working most days by 8:30/9:00 and work until 6 or so. Contrarian to the end, that’s me.
7. Time management, my ancient nemesis, is a lot easier when you love what you do…but loving what you do isn’t enough to master it.
8. One day I watched my mail carrier put the mail in our mailbox, then flip off my house. I still don’t know what that’s about.
Probably the hardest thing, though, is that planning and plotting and writing have always been things that I just *did* before. I wrote sometimes (or, who are we kidding here, all the time) at my office jobs, I wrote in the evenings, I wrote on the weekends. I wrote at the salon when I was working as a receptionist during beauty school. I was probably always writing when I was supposed to be doing something else, which yes, was a pretty good sign I should have been doing this all along.
Except now I have entire days devoted to writing, so I thought I’d be doing it constantly. And that is totally not true. Some days I’m in the groove and I write like crazy, but some days I play on Twitter, dance with the cats (they REALLY hate that), do promo stuff (you know, like playing on Twitter >>) and obsess over my schedule and when I need to get things done by.
You guys, the other day I procrastinated editing (okay, I think this is fair though because editing arghhhh) by cleaning out my linen cabinet. What! I used to procrastinate cleaning by writing! WHAT MADNESS IS THIS!
Things that have plagued me my entire life are organizational skills, time management and pesky details that I would rather ignore in favor of candy. So now that I’m my own boss, I’m having to find ways to curb my natural distracted tendencies, set up schedules and procedures that work, and not feel guilty about not getting enough done. I read somewhere this was the biggest challenge for people who work from home, the constant thought that they should be working around the clock and never take breaks to play Futurama: Game of Drones on their phones, or have intense conversations with their friends about craft night.
I guess that’s the main thing I’ve learned – even when I love something as much as I love writing, even as passionate as I am about what I do and how grateful I am that I get to do it…I’m still going to play Futurama: Game of Drones and have cat dance parties. (Sorry, cats.)