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Freelance Writing On The Move
How do you keep writing when you have to travel? Here’s my situation. My freelance writing career is going well. I have been incredibly busy for the past couple of months. All that is great, except that I am trying not to lose my mind while planning a transatlantic move. After four years of planning, it’s almost crunch time. The house is covered in boxes, the shippers are coming tomorrow and we’re hassling the lawyers to give us the dates we need to get other things booked into the calendar. Meanwhile, I’ve had to keep writing.
Organising My Writing Life
I was relatively organised. I scaled back on most of my work so I could help with the packing (my DH has been doing most of it). But the dates kept shifting, so I said yes to things that I thought would be due after shipping (which should have happened two weeks ago). However, nothing ever goes to plan — and this is no exception. So I’ve found myself with lots of writing to do while the house was being dismantled around me and while trying to keep my three year old from getting stressed. She knows we’re moving, but she doesn’t like seeing her things packed away. Although we’re trying to keep things normal, there’s no way they can be.
I kept writing and met most of my deadlines, writing by day and packing by night — until after midnight, some nights. Eventually, yesterday, I caved. For the first time in a long, long time, I told a client that I could not meet her deadline, explained why and asked for some flexibility. She was very understanding and even offered me a day more than I had asked for (which is good, because I’d added a day more than I thought I needed). I didn’t like doing it, but it was more professional than missing the deadline without explanation. I’ve also told a couple of other people that I can’t do any more work this week.
Clearing My Desk
All my desk paraphernalia has gone. I’m down to my laptop, with an external mouse and keyboard. Tomorrow we’re moving into temporary accommodation and I’ve got to set up the wireless router so that we can all have access to the internet and I can meet my new deadlines. Surprisingly, I am managing well without a printer — I just print to PDF and save it for later. I realised that I don’t need as much stuff as I thought I did. I don’t have to print out much because I proofread on screen (I do print out some things, but not as many as I did. After all, I’ve got to do my part in conserving some trees).
Once the move is complete, I can start work again, but this is only part one of the move, so I’m still keeping new work to a minimum. Part two of the move comes in about two weeks when we finally leave the country. Fingers crossed, our internet connection will be set up when we get there. Then I can unpack my laptop, keyboard, mouse, router and extension cord, set them all up and get back to work.
What are your essentials for writing on the move?