Telecommuter Copywriter: Where We Work

27 July, 2008

Freelance Writing

I remember very vividly a television ad maybe 5 or 6 years ago now: I have no recollection of the product being hawked, but I’ve held fast to the images: professional people supposedly working beachside and mountainside with their laptops. What an absolutely enviable life, I thought at the time. Really it was unrealistic. If for no other reason than it’s almost impossible to make out anything on a laptop screen in the sun or bright direct light, reason #2 most laptop batteries have a fairly short life when not available to electrical juice.

I have not worked from corporate office space for over 3 years; it’s one of the best feelings in the world, but for me it comes with its own challenges as I suspect it does for many others like me. A lot of online discussion is devote to tips, tricks, advice and tools for copywriters and freelancers, but very little mention is ever made of the environments in which we must synthesize it all. If you’ve ever worked outside The Office you know environment is a critical aspect of the job.

First, I have been traveling with a friend of mine for a while now and don’t even have my own formal office space. Instead I spread out my laptop, notebooks and the slim selection of reading and reference material I packed with me. I miss a good chunk of my professional resources everyday. I must learn to think over the sound of the tv in the background or iTunes. When I must really tune everything out I drag my laptop to a bedroom and shut the door.

I think about writers working from home that have families that interrupt their work or other serious interjections. Tasks like the gym, the grocery story, the doctor and dentist, the dog walk or dog park, are less angular chunks of time, more organic, for better or worse, when you work from home. Which may be the reason the coffeehouses are littered with laptoppers that look like escapees from a harried home environment. I envy these people, as well– for the most part I am unable to concentrate in a busy environment like this, and ultimately end up much more engaged in people watching than working. For example I wonder what each does for a living. The girl counting a wad of bills in her wallet, sitting in front of her laptop–I am dying to know how she rakes in dough like that b/c I’m seriously missing the boat.

One of the coolest places I’ve ever enjoyed working from was the shady balcony of a hotel right on the oceanfront in NC.

I’ve worked in a car, hunched in the corner of a bedroom sucking on the last airy dregs of a neighbor’s open wireless network, at my parents’ home, in dozens of hotel rooms, and driving in a car cross country (that’s pretty cool, just plug in the broadband card and go).

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