Devon attractions or Devon distractions? Freelance writers be warned

When spring hits and the sunshine comes out, Devon can be a pretty (actually pretty) good place to be living and working. With beaches, moors and a whole load of other outdoor places to explore, a freelance writer in Devon could feel spoilt for opportunities to get outside and find out more about her lovely home. Which, of course, is exactly what I spend a lot of my time doing. Unfortunately some of this is time that I should be spending at my desk writing and paying the mortgage. Here are a few of my thoughts on how to deal with distractions when you are working from home.

Turn your distractions into freelance work opportunities

About this time last year I took a good look at the things that sometimes distracted me from my freelance writing and how I could turn these, and the lovely county of Devon, into ways of enhancing my income. It took a while but, 12-months later, I have visited and written about locations and outdoor activities for four of my favourite outdoor magazines, including Campervan Magazine and Countryfile Magazine, and enjoyed the process immensely.

Build your distractions into your daily routine

One of the great things about freelance work is that you can adjust your timetable to suit your lifestyle. I was finding it difficult to face a day that included no time for the outside so I started getting up earlier and heading off to the beach for early morning swims. I also added a ‘walk home from work’ element to my day, which has caused my family much amusement because I work from home. The great benefit of my self-imposed commute home is that I can adjust it to suit the weather, hours of darkness and how far I would like to walk.

Exploit your distractions to feed your creativity

Some distractions are more beneficial to creativity than others. I do my very best creative composition whilst I am sea swimming or walking up a hill but find the more prosaic bread-and-butter copywriting requires a desk and some serious concentration. One thing I have recently started doing is getting out in my garden when afternoon schedules allow. There are plenty of jobs to be done out there and, after a happy couple of hours spent digging, I find that I don’t mind coming back in to do some more writing into the evening.

It would appear that it is possible to manage distractions as a freelance worker, as long as… sorry, no time to finish that sentence… the beach is calling!