Standard advice for anyone working at home is to have a dedicated area, get dressed for work, and separate the whole process from your home life. Novelist Jeanette Winterson has an unusual way to ensure that happens: she “cycles” to work on a stationery bike before she begins the writing day.
Picture by Phil Campbell
Winterson explains her approach in an interview with Salon:
I pretend that I have to cycle to work. I don’t, because my studio is in my garden. But I get on my bike and I do a circuit and come back. So I have cycled to work. If I don’t cycle to work, it’s so fixed in my head, I can’t go to work.
If you have an exercise bike, this is a clever idea (as well as ensuring you’ll get some physical activity regularly, often a challenge for the self-employed). It’s also a reminder how routine is important when trying to complete creative tasks, a point I heartily concur with after two years taking part in NaNoWriMo.