Part 1 in the series, “Beating the Self-Inflicted Isolation Blues”
Riding the success of two bestselling books, I quit my nine-to-five job and stepped into life as a full-time freelance writer.
I set up a nice office at home. I slept late, worked in my pajamas if I wanted, drank a lot of coffee, and enjoyed living at the keyboard. Sometimes I’d get rolling and write all afternoon and night. I was my own boss. This was freedom. I was a lone wolf. I loved it . . . for about two months.
Then I got lonely. My wife and two children were the only people I saw daily, and they were usually gone. There were no chats at the water cooler, no gossip exchanges at the mailroom . . . not even kibitzing with a secretary. This was two decades ago — before the Internet and e-mail. I had cut myself off from society!
This hurt my writing. I wasn’t getting news of what people were interested in. I had no one to bounce my ideas off. No one was available for brainstorming. I hadn’t heard a new joke in eight weeks. I needed to get out, but I didn’t dare jeopardize my pattern of producing a set number of words each day.
By experiment and adaptation, I discovered several ways to maintain out-of-office contact without disrupting my writing schedule.
Next week: “Contacts with Cash”
Dennis E. Hensley, PhD, is director of the professional writing department at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and a Christian Writers Guild board member. His 54 books include:
- Jesus in the 9 to 5: Facing the Challenges of Today’s Business World
- How to Write What You Love and Make a Living at It
- Man to Man: Becoming the Believer God Called You to Be
- More Than Meets the Eye: Finding an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Life
- Alpha Teach Yourself Grammar and Style in 24 Hours
- Surprises and Miracles of the Season: Devotions for Christmas and New Year’s
- The Power of Positive Productivity