Lockdown, Mental health, Uncategorised, Writing life

Lockdown – working from home



A few tips for working from home from someone who‘s done it for a couple of decades – pretty much common sense, so apologies if I’m womansplaining (!) but it might help someone – and in these times I think we all need kindness and help 🙂

1) wear your work clothes (it will help you keep a work mindset) – one of my friends says that wearing shoes helps

2) sort out a routine (where and when you work – it is hard, especially if you have young children, but it’s also a way to help teach the skill of compromising!)

3) batch emails and use a timer when you’re checking them (ditto going on the internet – both of them can be massive time sucks if you let them)

4) get up and move at least once an hour – stretching, walking round the room/marching on the spot, up and down the stairs if you have any – if you have a fitness tracker that reminds you, great, otherwise maybe use your phone to set an alarm

5) hydrate properly and eat well (ie put the cookies and tortilla chips in a cupboard – if they’re out of sight you’re less likely to scoff a cookie with every cup of coffee)

6) schedule in social breaks (again, use a timer! but those breaks are important – if you’re on your own, maybe work out a schedule with friends so you can FaceTime/Skype/whatever)

Main thing is – you’re not alone. It’s doable. Sometimes it’s boring, sometimes you won’t feel like it – but schedule in treats. Get two things ticked off your todo list, and that earns you 10 minutes doing a crossword/playing guitar/whatever makes you happy.

Stay safe, be kind, wash your hands, and we’ll get through this.


Planet Kate, 30 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #85 (Medical Romance set in a GP surgery with a PAT dog); updating my website one backlist book per day; and starting my Big Book;
  • Reading: The Last Days of summer, Sophie Pembroke (enjoyed); The Final Echoes, Shirley Wells (enjoyed); Random, Craig Robertson (intrigued by the format – unusual for a crime novel to be written from the villain’s POV, but had to skip a few pages because I can’t cope with mega violence); The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (re-read and last time I read it was pre-kids, so was interesting to see how my response to the text had changed – still made me angry but for different reasons, and the writing was still fabulous)
  • Looking forward to: uni visits – Bristol, this week
  • Workouts: dog-walking (I’m struggling in the heat and a hard workout would probably put me in heat exhaustion, so I’m being kind to myself);
  • Planet Kate last week: Yay, finally finished putting M&B #84 back together and sent it to my editor. Had a quick London trip with Chloe – took her to see Othello at the Globe (Mark Rylance was fantastic as Iago; Emilia was also very strong) and then we had a trip to Primrose Hill. So pretty (I took a lot of location pics for a future book). We also saw Yeats’s house and Plath’s house, went book shopping, and I discovered the delights of iced coffee. And then on Sunday I went to see Danny Baker with Gerry at the Theatre Royal in Norwich – great show, very entertaining.
  • Fave pic from the last week: View from the south bank when the rain had stopped; Chalfont Square; and the gas holders in King’s Cross which have been turned into flats


Planet Kate, 16 July 2018

What’s happening in my world, this week:

  • Work: writing M&B #84 (after realising I have got it totally wrong and shredding it); updating my website one backlist book per day (well, I was until I got the White Screen problem); and faffing about with my Big Book
  • Reading: All the Missing Girls, Megan Miranda (really interesting structure- told backwards – good read); Her Last Lie, Amanda Brittany (didn’t see the twist coming)
  • Looking forward to: a couple of days in Buckingham
  • Workouts: hopeless – too hot – early morning dog walks only
  • Planet Kate last week: The Tempest at the Cathedral – fabulous performance
  • Fave pic from the last week: the cathedralC791113E-1788-471F-AFA0-D19458D5077D