Inspired by those cheesy images of freelancers working blissfully from the beach, I took a towel, sunnies, big straw hat and my trusty laptop down to the beach to write my Flying Solo article in the sun. Here’s the unedited result.
As I write this I am sitting on the beack. It’s alittle glary (as you might expect from the beach) so I put on my sungkasses.
I don’t know if you’ve ever don it but the first thing you notice is that in the sun you literally can’t see the screen. I was surprised. I’m not talking ‘a little difficult to read’. I’m talking ‘squint, grope and peer right up against the monitor’ just to work out how to open a new word document.
Once you get into a document wiuth a white back ground it’s a little easier, except when you need to move the cursor aroundto save anything.
The next thing you notice is that its ereally uncomnfortabke trying to type sitting cross legged., it’s literally been about 15 minutes now and my lower back and shoulders are killing me
Ok, how about I try that classic lying forward on the ground with my feet crossed carelessly behind me pose. That’s the position all the ‘get rich quick working just a few hours a day” articles seem to take.
As I turn around and carefully spread out my towel it is blessed relief to my back and shoulders. IIt is now that I reaise that this big hat I’mwearig to stop myself getting burnt to also stops me seeing the screebn.
To see now I have to rip back my neck at such as angle that the pain is immediate. My sunglasses have also flopped down y nose so farthat I can look over the top now. At tleast the screen is slightly clearer without sunnies.
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But here’s anoither problem I’m having. Sitting up I’m facing the ocean and the wind is blowing sand towards me and hitting ther backof the laptop which is ok. Lying on my stomach the wind is blowing sand intot the screen and dropping onto the jeyboard –not fgood.
Enough now. I have had to sit back up to write this psaragraph, making the time that it’s comforteable working on my sromach approximately 80 seconsds.
By the way, I’m also writing this in 44 font so that I can read it throughthe glare. It’s an effort to even change the font size because I can’t see theo toolbar without shieklding the screen with both hands and need a third hand to move the cursor. But I don’t have one.
Also, now I’m getting just a little embarrassed. Based on the freelancer on the beacjh myth I assumed there would be hundreds of bud=sy and rich freelancers firing away at the beach wrking just a few hours a day. ButI can’t see another laptoip anywhere.
I didn’t bring any notes which is just aas well because they would be blown awayby now
I don’t actually have wireless broadbacnd but I open my outlook just as aan experiment. Doesn’t really matter much because the 34 messages in my inbox are a faded list of barely decipeherable lists. I open a message randomly but the blue font used in my client’s reply is illegible.
But, as it’snotw about lunch timethe sun is shining straight ontothe the monitor and visibility is even poorrer
9-5 of this would seriouslt be torture. Get me a job in an air-conditioned cubicle any day..
MY back is killing me, my neck is sore and I’m slightly friustrated. I might go and work in the car.
If I can only find the little ‘x’ in the corner of this bloody screen I’ll shut down and finish this sucker from home,
Luckily I can’t stand any more of this as my battery isn’t looking too good. It says 25% left but from experience that sort of figure is a bit like the petrol light going off.
Starting to get a little worried as the wind is flicking up sand and I’m worried about it getting into the keys.
Better run before battery gives out.
PS: I had originally intended to tidy up these notes into a proper article, but when I got back from the beach and read it at my desk (where I could actually see the screen) I thought leaving it was the best way to answer the question ‘Can you run a business from the beach?’