Caitlin Kelly

Writer and Editor

 
 
         
   

tips

   
         
    Running a Home-Based Business    
 
Take Good Care of Yourself
It Takes a Village
Someone's Life
Trust Your Gut!
Jargon
Getting Fired
Pain
Fear
Pleasures
Pitfalls
What It Takes
When the Going
Gets Tough
Intellectual Archeology
NoNoNoNoNoNo
NoNoNoNoNoYes
Interviewing
The Best Writing
is Rewriting
Use a Dictionary
Carefully Chosen Language
Inspiration...
Running a Home-Based Business
Quality Control
Coming Up with Ideas
Selling the Story
Reading
Paying Attention
Play Dates
Getting It
  A staggering 8,000 people a day now start a home-based business, according to the American Home Business Association. It sounds great, but the best way to make the most money, unfortunately, is to never leave your home/office. The downside is extraordinary isolation and loneliness.

These are some of the ways I cope...

1) Exercise
Whether it's a rousing game of squash, doing lengths in the pool or just a brisk hour's walk around my quiet little neighborhood, I need to up my pulse rate and get the endorphins flowing. Yoga smooths the kinks out of my back after hours at the computer. I play lousy tennis with a friend across the river, shoot some hoops, run around the track, lift weights. You can also smile at someone who is not the UPS guy.

2) Teach
For four years I was an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. It gave me regular, challenging interaction with a room-full of adults who expected me to be the expert on everything. Help high school kids make career choices, mentor a college student or be guest-for-a-day at a primary school. Students of all ages are hungry for inspiration and gritty real-life details.

3) Join mailing lists
As a Canadian native and Francophile, my list includes: the Canadian consulate (a monthly calendar of events); the French consulate (ditto), The American Society of Journalists and Authors, mediabistro, and The Americas Society (political and economic panels). Thanks to my writing on antiques and decorative arts, I also get invitations to shows and openings. There's nothing like gazing at a 17th-century Buddha to put my day into perspective.

4) Network
Rub brains regularly face to face with a colleague or friend who really understands the demands of running a business from home. Two heads are smarter than one!

5) Play hooky
Everyone needs a break. Create some of your own. From September to June, a nearby church offers $5 concerts every Wednesday at noon. It's inexpensive, lovely, something I look forward to on a regular basis. Best of all, it's not in my house.

6) Meet interview subjects, interns/researchers and editors in person
On a six-week trip to Australia and New Zealand, covering the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, I spent my 10-12 hour workdays in a T-shirt and shorts, clambering in and out of 60-foot racing yachts. I toured 110-foot boats under construction, got soaked with sea-spray in Sydney harbor. By being around the small, tightly-knit yachting community for a month, I also met a wide array of new sources and picked up story ideas being in the right place at the right time.

My writing, my soul and my Rolodex are richer as a result.