Flexibility of Writing Career Allows GWU Journalism Alumna to Stay at Home with Children

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Author Erin Boyd Odom, ’03, Offers Tips for Those New to Working at Home

Written by: Claire Coile, ’20, Intern for Office of University Communications

Erin Odom reads to her three children Erin Boyd Odom, a 2003 Gardner-Webb University alumna, is a published author of two books, wife, mother of four children, blogger and website manager. Plus, during her “spare time,” she is constantly whipping up healthy, new recipes in the kitchen.”

With recent COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, Odom and her family have transitioned to a new normal. “My husband, a teacher, has been working from home, and all four of our children have been doing virtual school at home,” Odom shared. “It has been quite the transition, but we have enjoyed all the extra time together. While it has been stressful at times, I feel like this time is a gift.”

The couple’s home in Mooresville, N.C., was already Odom’s usual work environment. She offered strategic advice to those making the switch. “It’s important to establish work hours and stick to them because it can be so easy to get distracted by all the things going on in the house,” she suggested. “It’s also important to try to find a specific place where you can work. I have an in-home office, but it is open to the rest of the house, so we actually bought a wall desk for our master bedroom closet, and my husband and I now take turns working in there.”

At Gardner-Webb, Odom learned how to write and manage her time well, two skills that now enable her to enjoy having a career and be at home with her children. The University also connected her with lifelong friends. The relationships she established there are her most valuable experience during her time at Gardner-Webb. “GWU was like one big family. People were friendly and your professors got to know you on a first-name basis,” she affirmed.Bookcover for You Can Stay Home with Your Kids

She recalled why she chose Gardner-Webb as her college home. “My youth pastor had attended GWU, and I fell in love with the campus when I visited,” Odom reflected. “I had a peace in my heart that God wanted me there!”

Additionally, Gardner-Webb offered the perfect distance for Odom. “It was far enough away from home (an hour and a half) to give me a taste of independence, but it wasn’t so far away that I couldn’t come home when I needed to see my family,” she said.

Odom decided to major in journalism and Spanish with an English minor. “I wanted to take every single writing class GWU offered,” she stated. Odom was not kidding. Between her major and minor requirements, she fit in every writing class.

Bookcover for More than Just making ItJournalism attracted Odom due to its versatility. “I hoped to marry and become a mom one day, and I knew that I wanted a career that would allow me the flexibility of working from home,” she observed. “Writing does just that. I have made a full-time income for my family from home since 2012.”

In the early years of marriage and motherhood, Odom learned valuable lessons that she decided to share. She created a blog and website,thehumnbledhomemaker.com, where she regularly posts nutritious recipes, homemaking tips, smart budgeting for the family, and natural health and beauty remedies. Odom has published two books (“More Than Just Making It: Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated” and “You Can Stay Home with Your Kids!: 100 Tips, Tricks, and Ways to Make It Work on a Budget”) with Zondervan, in addition to writing several eBooks.

To learn more about Odom and her work, go to thehumnbledhomemaker.com.

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