Stay at Home Mom to Work At Home Writer - A Quiz

How Successful Will YOUR Transition Be?

One of the biggest chunks of my audience here at Freelance Writing is stay-at-home moms wondering if this is the work-at-home  career they’re looking for. In their emails, I can sense twin drives: ambition and longing for a career and an income, alongside the passion they have for keeping close to their children and making themselves available for that child’s younger years.

I get it.

Although I came to freelance writing when my children were slightly older (a toddler and a kindergartner), I’d spent their early years finishing my college degree.

 I enjoyed the peaceful days we spent in our quiet home before I tagged off with my husband and went to evening classes.

My background as a former stay-at-home mom and a current work-at-home mom offers me some insight into this matter. Here is how to tell if your transition from stay-at-home mom to work-at-home writer will be successful.

(Note: I don’t mean to be sexist here! Most of my emails are from moms, but stay-at-home parents of any gender will find this list helpful).

Do You Have Writing Talent?

These questions focus on your ability to actually produce and compose the work for which you’ll eventually be paid.

  • Do you have work experience that translates to writing?
  • Do you have a “natural” talent for writing?
  • Do you understand the basics of grammar, punctuation and syntax?
  • Can you focus enough to write longer pieces during marathon periods of time when available?
  • Can you write in short bursts of time?
  • Can you compose even with constant distraction?
  • Are you able to effectively research?
  • Are you able to self-edit?

Freelance Writing as a Business

It takes more than just the talent of a writing artiste to be a successful freelance writer. A measure of business acumen is also needed. Asking yourself these questions will help you to determine if you have the business sense to succeed as a freelance writer.

 

  • Can you be assertive and forceful when appropriate? Conversely, are you not a pushover?
  • Have you had any experience in working without supervision or via the internet? That is, have you completed any other tele-work, whether that may be telecommuting, contracting with companies, or running some kind of online business?
  • Do you have enough math ability to properly figure rates and manage a bank account?
  • Do you have the ability to communicate outside of writing, such as through phone calls, conference calls, and in person?
  • Do you understand or able to find guidelines and limits on establishing a business in your city/county?

Personality Traits of the Freelance Writer

The unique environment that a freelance writer must work in require some unique characteristics. The additional strain of being a parent means that the work-at-home freelancer must be exceptionally able to handle certain situations. Ask yourself the following questions.

  • How well do you handle stress?
  • Are you self-disciplined and self-directed?
  • Are you tenacious, or are you likely to choose to quit when circumstances are difficult?
  • Can you multitask effectively?
  • Can you avoid distractions through sheer willpower?
  • Are you flexible? That is, can you be interrupted and return to your task with little effort? Will you be able to roll with clients’ needs?
  • Are you confident and self-aware?

The Freelancer’s Supporting Cast

Because the freelance business takes place within the home, and because it is such a unique situation, the family and home plays a more pronounced part in this career than in some others.

  • Do you have the support of your partner in this endeavor? What might that look like?
  • Do you have s potential home office  area in the home where you can work without distractions? Is it quiet enough to take client phone calls?
  • Will you have time to compose text, whether that’s uninterrupted time, or significant time in short bursts? What might other members of the household be doing in this situation?
  • Are any of your children high-needs? How might that impact your career?
  • Does your partner work, and in what capacity? Does that career present hurdles in the form of travel, high-stress levels or non-routine hours?

    The Money Questions

    Your final considerations are some of the most important. Generally, in this case, a stay-at-home parent is not likely collecting an income, so the transition is a bit easier than that of someone leaving the cubicle race in order to start a freelance writing business. However, do still take a look at these questions to make sure you've got all your bases covered.

    • During the first 3-12 months of your career, will your financial needs be covered by some other source of income? What about health insurance?
    • Are you able to afford needed freelance writing tools such as laptop, desk and printer?
    • Are you able to borrow or hire the help of  a babysitter or nanny on occasion to meet marathon deadlines?
    • Are you aware of what your time is worth? That is, have you thought about where and what level you’d be in a traditional career?
    • Do you understand independent contractor tax practices, or do you have access to a tax professional who does?

    Making the transition from stay-at-home parent to work-at-home parent is a distinct process. Carefully exploring the quiz questions above will help you to identify areas of strength and weakness, and to start your new career off right.