It’s almost never quiet at my house. It’s not an out of control chaotic noise (at least not usually :D), but between the seven kids who live here, the roosters who free range close to the house and crow at all hours of the day, and the typical humming of appliances and all that, noise is a constant in my life.
If I could only write when it was quiet, I’d pretty much flop as a freelancer.
I’d have to wake up even earlier to squeeze in some writing time between milking the cows and the kids waking up. Or stay up until everyone else went to bed. My final option would be to leave the house entirely.
I don’t like any of those options. So, I chose to be productive amidst the noise. I let it fuel me instead of making me fret.
Here are four of my best tips to freelance in noise.
Get your outline done first
When there are kids around, you’re probably going to be interrupted at some point. I’m just saying–me sitting at the computer is pretty much a guarantee that the baby will poop, the toddler will fall and bump his leg, or the neighbor will spot a cougar trying to jump the cow fence (true story!)
It’s hard to get back to concentrating after an interruption, and you might find yourself wasting precious moments trying to remember your train of thought.
That’s why outlines are essential.
They’re the skeleton of your writing. Without the skeleton, your structure won’t support itself. So don’t leave the bones out–get them done first. That way you can always know where you were going when you get back.
Tune out the background noise
I’m used to a certain level and type of noise. There are plenty of sounds that I know I can ignore when writing.
I consider all of this background noise. New or different sounds–a car pulling up, a scream, something getting thrown down the stairs–those noises catch my attention.
Start small when tuning out background noise. Turn on the television if you need some noise. Just don’t sit where you can easily see it.
Sit down and write for five minutes in the noise. Focus your brain and thoughts on what you’re doing. Watch each letter appear on the screen if you have to.
Purposefully ignoring the normal sounds goes a long way to becoming productive with noise!
Write what you know
There’s a great reason to niche down–you’re writing about what you know. When you don’t have to spend tons of time in concentrated research you’re increasing what you can do without total concentration.
When I’m writing about parenting, homesteading, small business, or educational topics, my fingers fly. I can deal with much more noise without it bothering me.
But, when I’m branching out to new areas–my tension rope automatically shortens. I have to concentrate more, and I’m less able to do that in the noise.
So write as much as you can about topics you’re already knowledgeable about. When you’re trying to learn a new niche, or writing in a different format than normal, that’s when you might need more quiet.
Close your eyes and type
I don’t know about you, but I can drown out the noise a whole lot better when I close my eyes. If I’m just sitting and typing without needing to reference notes or anything, I tend to close my eyes.
I can get inside my own head more easily, and concentrate my thoughts on what I’m trying to get done.
It’s also a great way to improve my touch typing skills.
Just don’t do this one if you’re overly tired, or you may find yourself with your head on your keyboard and a whole lot of random characters on your screen. Not that I have experience with that or anything–just a general warning!
Do you freelance in noise?
Please chime in with your tips below. All of us who freelance with kids will be super thankful for your advice!
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