A working laptop, a reliable internet connection, and adequate room for work space are just some of the things you need when you decide to become a home-based freelance writer. Working at home may spell independence from the corporate 9 to 5 routine most people adhere to. It may also mean more potential time for you to get in touch with your family and loved ones.
But working at home also meant managing your own time, keeping up with your own pace, and setting your own operations and keeping them running. You have to understand that working at home means you are no longer part of any corporate set up and they no longer provide you the things you need so you can go and work the hours away. And you need more than just a laptop, an office table, and excellent internet connection.
While working as a writer from home does not cost much, you still need to shell out significant amount of money if you want your enterprise to be successful. Or at least have the potential to grow right from the get go. So if you want to be a work-from-home writer, then sit down and take note of these tips from the experts themselves:
1. High-speed internet access. Remote writers working from home will heavily rely on the internet for a lot of things, including communications, research, job hunting, appointments, and reaching out to other writers among other things. It is not enough to say that you have reliable internet connection. You need to have fast access because speed matters in this very fast, connected world.
2. Make sure you have the latest writing applications. Whether you are using Microsoft Office or Mac, your array of writing tools should be up to date. This will help you keep up with any advances or updates and reduce the instances of compatibility issues that might arise in the future.
3. Tools that help with writing and editing. For writers, tools such as The Sage and Libre Office are great additions to their array of applications. The Sage is a very powerful dictionary and thesaurus that provides definitions, synonyms, hypernyms, hyponyms and meronyms, as well as a pronunciation guide complete with audio to help users check how a word is pronounced. Libre Office, on the other hand, is a very effective word processor that offers auto-completion, auto-formatting and the spell checker, which works while you write.
4. Data storage software like Kiwix works well for writers. A fast internet connection helps you research and get information. But what if your internet speed has significantly slowed down and you can’t perform any research? If you have Kiwix installed, slow internet connection won’t be a problem. Kiwix allows you to download tons of information and other content from online sources, which you can view if and when you go offline.
5. Writers, even veterans, are easily distracted. If you want to devote your time and energy to your project without the unnecessary interruptions, installing Focus Writer may be the way to go. Focus Writer, once activated, cleans the screen entirely of all distractions so you can concentrate on writing. Menus and tabs will appear once you place your cursor on certain locations on the screen.
6. Calendar and time tracking software may be optional, but they help a lot. Setting up appointments, beating deadlines, and scheduling effectively will be normal routines for a freelance writer, which is why installing calendars and time tracking software is always a good idea. Keeping up with your work as well as effectively managing your time will help you become more productive with your time without compromising moments you plan to spend with your loved ones.
Optional Hardware But Highly Recommended
As writers, you mostly rely on your wide vocabulary, your creative mind, and your topnotch writing skills to get the job done. Naturally you will also need a laptop or a desktop loaded with writing applications, word processors, and editing tools. That being said, having the following equipment integrated to your home office set up will probably cost you money but will significantly help you with your career if you look at the big picture.
External hard drives / storage devices. You will never know when you will need extra space for your files, documents, and videos. Hard drives and other storage devices comes in variety of brands and prices so how you choose your storage device is totally up to you and your personal preferences.
Battery backup. Power interruptions not only damage your computer’s system, but could also cost you your work that you have not saved. And it actually happens to a lot of writers, which is why a battery backup will often come very handy when power outages strike. Your power requirement will help you determine your battery backup details but you do not need to have a huge power back up since you may only need 2-3 hours of spare power. Unless of course you live in a place where power interruptions take 8 hours.
- Gel keyboards. Gel keyboards are great alternatives to the traditional and generic keyboards provided by PC and laptop makers. Also, having a gel keyboard around can be a great thing, especially if you experience typing issues with your stock keyboard.