“I like organizing my time as I see fit,”
Interview with Patrick Desjardins, 29, freelance journalist working from home
WHY DOES WORKING FROM HOME APPEAL TO YOU?
I really didn’t have a choice in the matter. There are no offices available for freelance reporters, even regular contributors, so I work from home. Personally, I like it. I have a little girl, and I like being free to spend time with her at home. I’ve worked in offices in the past, and found the environment disturbing. It was very distracting to see others working.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING FROM HOME?
Working from home is perfect for journalism. I like organizing my time as I see fit. During the day, I’m busy with my wife, my daughter and my other activities, so I do most of my work late at night, when I have all the time I need and am free to concentrate. At the beginning, it isn’t easy to transform your apartment into an office, but you gradually learn and get used to it. I have all the tools I need. Since I write book reviews, I have a whole reference library at home. I also do a lot of online research on books, authors and artists. Then again, I’m not always at home because I go to exhibits and launches.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A FREELANCE JOURNALIST?
I’ve become a bit of a stickler. I would say that I’m a perfectionist by nature—I think you have to be in order to be a journalist, because we put so much time into our work. You have to organize yourself and plan everything. The time management part isn’t easy. Actually, I’ve become attached to my lifestyle. Of course, having a full-time journalism job with an office and everything has a glamorous side that appeals to me, but ultimately, I’m pretty much a homebody.