Get a Real Job

Yesterday I had this conversation:

“Hello, this is Kathryn.”

“Hey, what are you doing?”


“I didn’t know you worked.”

“Well, I’m a writer.”

“I knew you did that, but I didn’t know you, like, went to a real job.”

The most amazing thing about this conversation is that it is not the first time I have had it. Very few people understand that what I’m doing is a full time job. I have deadlines that have to be met. There is research that requires time and concentration. And please, please don’t interrupt that train of thought.

There is little I can do in my own home to restrict access while I’m working. My “office” is smack in the middle of the house (in the corner of the kitchen). I’m hoping that there may be a few things I can do to help reduce the interruptions.

1. I’m going to make a sign: Mommy is out while Kathryn works. Please check back in a few minutes or leave a message. I’ll even add a little message pad and pencil.

2. There has to be a way to record a message on my phone for those times when I’m working. “This is Kathryn. I am caught in the middle of a special project and can not take your call. Please leave your message and I will get back to you as quickly as possible. If this is an emergency then call the hubby.”

3. If everyone knew my normal working hours then they might try calling at other times. I could send out some cards to friends and family – like birth announcements. “Kathryn is pleased to announce that she is a full time writer – getting paid for her endeavor. The hours between 10 – 2 are the best times for the magic to work. Please respect her crafts and LEAVE HER ALONE.”

4. Since morning is the best time for my mind (and the peace and quiet needed to keep the rhythm flowing), maybe I should start clocking in earlier. I figure if I start at 3 then I could be done with most of my assignments before the chaos ensues.

The reality of working at home is that you are more convenient (which is probably one of the reasons you chose this path in the first place). The kids can get to you, the spouse can get to you, and most everyone who has every met you knows that you are at home. It may not be possible to change every mind that I encounter, but I’m going to begin the process of changing at least a few.

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  • Interesting! I think it all comes down to your packaging and your presentation of the idea to folks ….and your sense of humor as you help educate folks. Imagine the blessing of having the best of both worlds: getting to be at home with family but also earning income and making a contribution. I think so many folks would choose this route if they could or if they could figure out how to do it. So you really are/need to be your own best PR person.

    If you love to write, and of course you do, it’s almost as though it’s something you’d do even for the fun of it. But then to get Paid for it – wow – who could ask for anything more?!

    Congratulations! (http://russiawithlove.blogspot.com)

  • Eileen, I know what you mean about people making the choice – if they could only understand what they were choosing. “They” have a way of dictating things that aren’t necessarily the best way. One of these days we’ll track “they” down and it won’t be a problem any more!