The Business of Writing

With my shiny new bachelor's degree tucked under my belt and the world at my fingertips, I expected to spend last September and beyond seriously getting down to business as a writer and editor. Unfortunately, things don't always go to plan.

For the last several years as I went to school and worked at a couple of magazines, I had to put my writing on the back burner. Going to school full time and working part time as a single mom, I couldn't find a way to make it all work, and I knew that putting my writing on the back burner for the short term would be fine because soon I would have time again to pick it back up.

But it turns out that it isn't as easy to get back into the swing of things as I expected. There are so many distractions when I'm at home all day. My kids need me for things, there are household chores to attend to, and on top of all that, I'm worrying about whether I will be able to make enough money as a freelancer to make ends meet.

None of that has been good for my creativity. But I have been able to get back into writing again by following some age-old advice that I have heard at many writing conferences over the years: treat your writing like it's your job.

I've started using a pomodoro app that helps keep me on track throughout the day. Spending even one or two half-hour increments a day really focused on my writing not only helps me get a little closer to being finished with the first draft, but it also keeps the story in my head so it isn't as hard to get back into writing when I sit down each time.

What do you think? Does treating your writing like a job make it easier to be productive? What are your best tips for staying focused when you're writing at home?