Well Hello!

This is my old blog, which I no longer update. Feel free to browse around old posts and such, but the much more recent version of my ramblings are to be found at MarilynAnneCampbell.com

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Almost-Perfect Side Job for Writers

By noon today I knew what I was going to blog about tonight. This post was going to be about the wonders of housesitting, and how it just might be the perfect part-time job for aspiring and emerging writers.

I stumbled into housesitting a few years ago and still only play live-in guardian and cat-servant for one couple - academics who tend to go away at least once a summer. It's a not a bad gig, considering it amounts to someone paying me to sit around the house all day, during which time I have absolute freedom to write away.

This morning things got going beautifully. A new place meant a new head-space, and after the small handful of chores required to keep the furry ones happy, I sat out on the back deck and got to it.

Things were rolling along nicely, hence my lunch hour decision that the situation should make the blog. Unfortunately by early afternoon I was enjoying the antics of the squirrels more than I was looking at the screen. Knowing this signaled that a proper break was in order, I took off to get a few photos I need for the about.com site, intending to get back to the real business of writing after dinner.

So here's the problem with housesitting.

You can try to convince yourself you're going to treat it like a writing retreat, but it so easily slips into feeling like a vacation. I have no idea what happened to the past five hours. I'm generally a night-writer, doing my best work after the sun goes down. But this comfy couch seems so very far from that office full of my things-to-do...

Here's my suggestion. If you're a semi-pro writer looking for an easy way to make a little extra money while you work on your stuff, look into housesitting. But before you go, make sure you have a distinct plan of what you're going to accomplish each day that you're there.

And if possible, housesit for people with a worse entertainment system than you.


  1. Hi, Marilyn! Long time no see! :) I hope you're doing well. I love the new look of your blog!

    Housesitting does sound like a good way to get some writing done. And like you, I'm a night writer. I seem to come alive at 10 p.m.!

  2. Hey Thomma Lyn,

    Yes, I dropped off the face of the blogosphere for quite awhile there (although I was still lurking about reading whenever I had time). Glad you like the new look. :)

    I actually remember reading that you were a night-writer. I even recently answered the question "What time did you come to bed last night?" with your phrase "Dark o'thirty".

  3. Hello again Marilyn :)

    Thank you for the comment on my end of the blog-verse. I was wondering if you might be able to suggest a good place to live between the 700-800 2 bedroom range? I know it's a long shot, but going through countless ads is starting to make my head spin and if you have a suggestion I'd love to hear it :)

  4. Hi Elize

    As you've probably already noticed, I wrote a comment about this over on your blog.