How to find a rhythm when you’re both working from home
It’s a sunny November Sunday. Our little family of three is in the garden, enjoying the sun. That is, two of us are enjoying the sun. Our Amstaff is hard at work, trying to catch whatever is buzzing around us — a solitary bee, a fly or a late wasp, all like us attracted by the warmth of that November sun. With a little effort, and after Husband has killed a particularly persistently annoying wasp, she manages to stay down.
It is a rare moment of relaxation for us, because of course as writers, our work is never done.
When you’re both working from home, distraction is always a factor. Though my day job (I’m a technical editor with an editing services company) is all about careful planning and strict deadlines, the one thing I cannot plan is when inspiration will hit. Neither can Husband. As an editor, I believe it’s my responsibility to encourage, motivate and facilitate him, so he can grow as a writer. That often means leaving him alone whenever he is inspired. As he can find it hard to focus, the least bit of distraction can pull him out of his flow. Even my putting down coffee cups on the table could disturb him, even when he himself asked for that coffee not ten minutes ago. Whenever inspiration comes calling, he must answer that call, grab his notepad or his tablet and write. When I see him at work, the best thing to do is to double back out of the room and wait until he is approachable again. I have to make sure not to get annoyed or frustrated, as that is counterproductive and not helping either of us.
It’s a little different for me. Because I am basically forced to work at office hours — because my main client does — I don’t always get to give in to my moments of inspiration. Working on a schedule, these moments will have to wait until I allow myself a break of when I am done putting in my hours for my client for the day. As I too would like to spend my days just writing, it can sometimes be frustrating, but on the other hand it is a good thing to maintain a schedule.
We must be doing something right, because the days fly by — but perhaps that is just because we’re getting older.
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.
— Marc Anthony”
Being in a relationship as writers, it is very important to respect each others processes, especially the differences in them. It is those differences that make you unique, after all: unique as a person and as a writer.
This post was originally published on Medium in my publication Hearts in the Write Place on November 7, 2019.