Reader Question: How did you make yourself show up for work when you were a freelancer, when you’re the only one who knows you should be working? Did you put on a suit, rent an office?
Mike: It wasn’t easy sometimes. I admit it. I can easily be a beach bum during the summer and a lazy hermit during the winter. But I also liked to eat and pay my rent and go to a movie occasionally. So I forced myself to be disciplined. I didn’t put on a suit or rent an office, but I did take my laptop into the wee hours of the New York City night, parking it at some 24-hour diner or deli or cafe, and working almost non-stop from around midnight until around six in the morning. I did this, because when I’m about town like that, I couldn’t do anything BUT write. I couldn’t slack off watching TV, couldn’t call anyone (everyone I know is fast asleep), couldn’t take a nap (I guess I could, but I’d probably be thrown out of the place), and I couldn’t chat away the hours on the internet (I don’t have a wireless connection). I was a captive writer. It worked for me. You need to find what works for you.