Come at me!


My friend Megan (who you met) changed her life as a freelancer when she got a shared workspace with some other awesome creatives. Somehow getting up and leaving the house alleviated much of that weird "I didn't get anything done today" feeling that plagues freelancers, even when you've gotten TONS of shit done. So now she has a workspace where she goes to work, but on her own schedule ... but she has to put pants on. And it seems to help.

posted by Ariel on March 20, 2007 at 02:40 AM

The whole "not wearing pants unless you want to" thing is extremely liberating. It made me never want to go back to work ever again. I need a job where getting dressed is totally optional...

posted by Kris on March 20, 2007 at 04:19 AM

i am wondering if i might know the identity of the author who emailed you back right away and if i am right then i think that she, too, heeds the gospel of no pants.

i am pants-free in the 'hood during weird hours, too! when i first moved in, my transexual next door neighbor named pepper commented on my lack of curtains and advised me to get some with the missive, "boys be across the way be smokin' DRUGS." i still don't know if that was some sort of secret code for "please put on pants."

posted by suzun on March 20, 2007 at 06:33 AM

Eff, pants.

posted by Kate on March 20, 2007 at 09:56 AM

It might take a little while to get used to taking time for yourself, but as long as you are getting your work done it really doesn't matter. Naps, bubble baths and no pants...that sounds like a pretty perfect work day.

posted by angela on March 20, 2007 at 10:43 AM

As someone who just made the totally opposite switch yesterday (and literally to the building you used to work in, bitch), I'll say that if you're getting the things crossed off your list, do what you damn well please. My problem was always that I didn't get up and keep a schedule and do all that crap that I'd promised myself I would do, and then I also didn't get my work done.

Also, re: what Ariel said, you should check out that Paragraph place in Union Square. I fantasize about working for myself and camping out there.

posted by EV on March 20, 2007 at 10:44 AM

It was Oprah, wasn't it?

posted by Michael R on March 20, 2007 at 11:31 AM

I'm going to have the Mary Tyler Moore theme song in my head all day.

posted by M on March 20, 2007 at 11:40 AM

I'm still perfecting the WAH thing, and can only tell you this: Working for even two hours at a coffee shop changes everything. I highly recommend it.

posted by Nicole on March 20, 2007 at 11:58 AM

My problem during my freelance period was that I started drinking earlier and earlier each day. Get up whenevs, go to the gym, shower, make some lunch, watch a Magnum P.I. episode, do some writing, pour myself a wee glass of wine, write some more, start making dinner for myself & the husband (more elaborate each day; this is when I got seriously into making my own croutons), perhaps another not-so-wee glass of wine (it helps me creatively!) ... you get the idea. I can totally see how housewives back in the day could get bblasted by the time Darling came home from a hard day at the office.

posted by Gleemonex on March 20, 2007 at 12:11 PM

Thanks for making me laugh in your last three sentences!!! At point or another, I think we all do it.

...and of course you're going to make it!


posted by Paulina on March 20, 2007 at 02:33 PM

"I am the type of person who will sleep until the last possible second and then leave the house with wet hair, fifteen minutes late, everyday."

What a relief! I really thought I was some crazy case of arrested development because I don't know anyone else who just rolls out of bed and barely makes it to work within 30 minutes of when they are supposed to be there. I might still be a crazy case of arrested development, but at least I'm not the only one.

Thanks easter bunny! *bach bach!*

posted by rob on March 20, 2007 at 02:52 PM

Who knew there were so many of us out there? And all writers? My husband laughs at me for being 30 minutes late to work consistently and eating breakfast at my desk when I get in. Who are these freaks who get up, make breakfast, and watch the Today Show?

Anyway, I have felt the same guilt about working from home. But I try to alleviate it by thinking of myself as a high achiever. If I can do something in two hours that might take someone else eight, I deserve a bubble bath!

posted by Kristin on March 20, 2007 at 03:01 PM

I'm so jealous of your pantslessness. I wish I could do that, but I work for my dad's company. He knows how much I like to procrastinate and take bubble baths, so my WAH time is pretty limited. You'll get your schedule down, and it's absolutely okay that it means you work in the wee hours.

There needs to be some sort of foundation for the acceptance of creative who are only inspired late at night and how we're just as busy working when the rest of the world is sleeping as are the early risers. And one of the laws will be that we can't be in trouble for being 30 min late every day just so long as we showed up at work with pants on.

posted by Sara on March 20, 2007 at 06:10 PM

Lucky! Enjoy working from home, wish I was.

posted by Milly on March 20, 2007 at 07:07 PM

Wasn't it Ted Kennedy who said, "Where are my pants?"

A recent party quote from a friend, "There are no pants where we're going."

Pants or no pants, darlin, you're gonna do just fine.

posted by Johnny on March 20, 2007 at 07:58 PM

Sarah Brown, I think I get a little more in love with you with each post you write. I had to wear pants today...and after reading this, I feel a little sad about it.

posted by nicole on March 20, 2007 at 10:41 PM

just once I want to brush my teeth with orphan tears.

posted by dutch from sweet juniper on March 21, 2007 at 12:42 AM

I totally second the suggestion to get out and work in a coffeeshop for a couple hours. It gets pants on and gets you out with the living. It stops me from "just resting my eyes" within the first hour of getting out of bed.

It took me at least six months to re-adjust to working at home after 4 years of full-time 9 to 5. Best piece of advice is to respect your personal clock. I'm like you. I get jack shit done all day but do more from 10pm to 2am than I ever did on the clock from 9 to 5 at my former job. If you work best at night, work at night. And enjoy your ice cream sandwiches.

posted by steph on March 21, 2007 at 09:08 AM

That feeling of guilt is such a wacky one isn't it? I'm pretty much fully self-employed WAH (and making a living too) and I still feel like I need to explain myself when my fiance gets home at 4pm and I'm sitting on the couch, watching tv & drinking coffee. It's time for my coffee break - honestly! Of course, the days that I'm still working at 11pm make up for it LOL.

posted by Chloe on March 21, 2007 at 02:26 PM

Pantlessness is my natural state. The first thing I do when I get home. Too long without pantlessness and I start to feel suffocated. Lucky me, my office is at home and my work is out in the world, so I get to shuck them at least a couple times a day.

posted by Teresa on March 21, 2007 at 03:07 PM

I suffered from the same syndrome when I was a freelancer. I implemented rules, such as "I WILL shower and shave Every Day." Eh, that didn't last long...eventually, I became a guilty, stinking, unshaven husk...who finally got another corporate writing gig. I don't know if I failed or not, but I could not hack it. But you can do it, Sarah, I know you can.

posted by Theron on March 21, 2007 at 03:21 PM

A pox on all of you pantsless work-from-homers. I hope the boils are painful and pustulant and weeping a terrible smelly goo. A pox on you all, from all of us miserable pants-wearing desk drones!

posted by styro on March 21, 2007 at 03:48 PM

Hi, I'm just a stranger passing by. I was taking a break from work and decided to put my recent "theme" quote for my life, "Que Sera Sera," into Google’s search engine and I came across your blog. I just wanted to say I normally find blog's dreadfully boring and skim through them, but I literally read every word of this passage. I completely relate and I've actually gone from having your current schedule to sitting at an office desk wishing I was back at home with no pants on. I write as well, and my only meaningless advice to you is: DON’T FEEL GUILTY, as if you could help it, but people tend to be creatures of routine and if we're given the freedom to be routine free, we feel a lost, displacement or guilt. What do you expect when from a young age we're taught: breakfast, school, lunch, home, dinner, bathroom, bed, and then we do it all over the next day and the next day, etc?

posted by Paula on March 21, 2007 at 07:44 PM

I've been freelancing (although on the left coast we call it "in development") for the past four years. I don't even bother putting on pants for the UPS man anymore. Viva la no pants!

posted by the slackmistress on March 21, 2007 at 11:54 PM

i feel it's a little early for me to be yearning for freelancing and stuff since i've only been working, AT ALL, for eight months, and i like being a lawyer....but i feel like i could do it at home. are you writing a book or what?
i like pants, though! how else do you keep yourself from seeing your tummy fat? and don't u catch cold?
it's the high heels i want to be free of.

posted by forsoothsayer on March 22, 2007 at 04:47 AM

Wow. I feel so much better knowing I'm not the only one. Right down to the pantslessness, the guilt, the lateness and guilt even when I did have a pants-requiring job, I am so there. Did I mention the guilt?

posted by Kate on March 22, 2007 at 10:16 AM

I've worked both sides of the fence and the guilt--it never goes away. It's stuck to me like some wild rabid, strike that some, some, some--.

What I mean to say is that the feelings of illicitness that we're all describing are a function of being raised by Ben Franklin's _Poor Richard_.

posted by By Jane on March 22, 2007 at 02:05 PM

Seriously, a plauge of boils upon all y'all.

posted by styro on March 22, 2007 at 04:15 PM

Dude, I have that boils thing? AND I'M IN AN OFFICE ALL DAY.

I sense a contract renegotiation. And absolutely no change.

Who's the author?

posted by Erin on March 22, 2007 at 10:00 PM

I did not put on pants until 2PM today. Unemployment is totally my style.

posted by Em on March 23, 2007 at 02:35 PM

When I was unemployed in the fall I was able to get up by 9am every morning to watch Columbo on A&E. Best incentive ever.

posted by meg on March 24, 2007 at 01:47 PM

I would like to try your problems on for a while. And your pants.

posted by brittney on March 25, 2007 at 11:48 AM

*waves hello*. i hear you on the guilt thing. my situation is slightly different, but not by much. i left my job about 1.5 years ago to open my own shop. i make soap, perfume, bath and body stuff. even though i do actually go out of the house and work in the store each day, what time i get around to doing so is pretty nebulous since almost all of my business is from the internet anyway. i can't help but feel pangs when my husband leaves every morning to go to his job and i'm still sitting here in sweatpants and sipping tepid coffee. i'm going to get work done, probably as much as he is...but it's not so visible, anymore. and i can take breaks anytime, or even lock the door and leave altogether, and nobody's going to be waiting behind a closed conference room door with a Letter of Instruction for me when I return. it's weird. i feel like i'm getting away with something. i do the work, but i'm not putting in the 'face time' that corporate culture values so much. anyway...enjoying your blog, have been back-reading quite a ways. i suppose i'll take a shower now and start thinking about eating something and maybe heading to work. :)

posted by Melanie on March 27, 2007 at 09:17 AM

Is that why all of the celebs are adopting? To wash in orphan tears? And all these years I've been waiting for hand-woven orphan-hair handbags to hit the runways in Milan.

posted by littlewhiteliar on March 27, 2007 at 04:39 PM

My husband has been working at home for like 3 years now, and he only wears one kind of pants: pajama pants.

He also works the midnight shift - it's when creativity sets in, apparently. I dunno, I still have to get up at 7:30am. BUT you have to remember the wise words of Kyle Dunnigan - even when you're waking up at 2pm, it's still 7am in Japan, so technically you're a "go getter" just in the wrong time zone. :)

posted by mia on March 28, 2007 at 12:49 AM

mortgage manufactured lenders home

posted by manufactured home lenders mortgage on April 1, 2007 at 06:27 PM

Sarah, I just want you to know that I am dying of jealousy for your artsy, dirty-haired daytime schedule.

posted by elise on April 2, 2007 at 11:49 PM