About stuff (including me and writing)

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Freelance on a Couch: Stuff that works for me


Things I have learned are good to do in freelance writing and editing while working from home every day that I can mostly on a couch or comfy chair


As a lifelong overachiever, I currently live and work with three of the feline persuasion. If I am not patting, scritching, greeting, complimenting, or sharing laptop space with a cat at least every hour, I can feel the loss physically, emotionally, and mentally. Being happy-ish and healthy-ish allows me to concentrate, persevere, and create. There is science.

YMMV: It seems to me dogs would work quite well in a pinch and why not pet-able reptile or porcine pets, too?


Early this year, I started eating at least an apple a day and I do not care to imagine my life without it now.

Fruit was like my least favorite food category (besides the obviously gross ones like exotic sea creatures, internal organs, and rice pudding) before, and in making the change to eating (and craving) fruit throughout the day I wasn’t an overnight success. But it is now the most reliable “yes” in the eating world for me. If I eat fruit throughout the day, I am more likely to be healthy-ish and happy-ish, and that feeds concentration, perseverance, and creativity. It's just science.

YMMV: Chopping celery or carrots is too much effort and arm pain some days, but cherry tomatoes and mini peppers have the quick pick up, rinse, bite, be done quality like apples when veg is one's vibe. NBD.


... at night (or podcasts while folding laundry or washing dishes). Sometimes my eyes sting like peppers from looking at a screen all day and night. But I need some story in my brain besides what I am writing, editing, or researching. I could not do what I do without that, and sometimes I can no longer read with my eyes.

I have come to love loving what I am wearing when I work at home on a couch.


Sometimes I cannot read or write during prime Day Job hours. My brain is broken. If I can do it at 8PM, I will. Sometimes I can do it with the TV on or family members or stranger cafe dwellers talking. I can do it starting at 1AM. So yes, your mileage may vary and this is the worst advice ever. But accepting the truth that forcing myself into a tight, scheduled routine was making it harder for me to work cut out a lot of anxiety and false guilt. Part of living with my mental and physical health is recognizing that there are bad days and weeks, and there are good ones. Eating fruit and taking walks doesn't make everything fit in a nice neat job box.


I use a device that physically reminds me every hour or so to move. For the most part, I work on a couch, with my laptop either on a pillow on my lap or on a bamboo, air-slotted lap desk on my lap. If I sit all day, I will be unhappy and unhealthy, and my muscles will lock up or spasm. I will feel bruised where nothing but pillow, couch, air, or cat touched me. I will feel exhausted. Sometimes that happens even when I got up and shook it out or walked to the mailbox every hour. See Work When I Can.


These commonly known stuffs work for me. They are not unique. They might not work for you or someone you love.

I came into my present professional set-up from a life-altering experience of major depression and I have fibromyalgia.

Since 2016, I have been doing some combination of the following, professionally:
  1. Researching and writing web copy for a commercial and/or non-profit client, typically of the start-up, information-economy type.This involves consistent, same-old assignments, week on week. I have worked with the same bread-and-butter client (mental healthcare-related) since 2017.
  2. Developmental editing, aka ghost-writing and/or story/writing coaching. This involves finding and collaborating with a client on their idea for a book, typically for six-ish months per project.
  3. Teaching "nontraditional" college students online through a huge university. This involves guiding and grading through an eight-week term, one or two liberal arts course sections at a time.

This is the first of an attempt to blog a few times in this, my birth month. Topic suggestions welcome! 

Share stuffs that you have learned are good to do in your job: post a comment!

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