Friday, April 27, 2007

Time for Sale

I've figured out a back door onto blogger so that I can post--hopefully this will do until I can update my confuter sometime in the distant future.

Working even part time has opened my eyes to the world of the writer-while-worker. I know that some folks, once they quit their day jobs and are able to devote full time to writing, get writer's block. (Oh, the humanity!!) Others blossom (go Ris!) though even those sweat and plan and juggle until they can really hit their stride. Coming from the other side, as a writer who had an entire day in which to work in writing, every day, year 'round, I've hit the wall of work interference and my nose is bruised.

It's not so much the five-to-nine hours I'm out of the house (up to ten hours if you include days that we close late due to customers plus commuting time and the leeway I give myself for arrival at the shift start) and can't write because I'm on duty. Well, all right, it is that because sh*t rolls downhill. At the top, by necessity, is work where I make money and where hours are regimented by The Big Man (aka Dan aka The Big Guy) and this presses aside all other duties normally assigned to me, including housework, laundry, gardening, and making sure the animals are properly tended to (never mind actually getting to play with and train the dogs, cuddle with the cats, do sudoku, watch videos with the family, and enjoy the occasional sit down dinner.) Before and after work, my other duties must be performed. Back in the day of total freedom, I could pick away at chores or even neglect them for days and later come back to them in a frenzy of cleaning. Well, if I do that now then more often than not the frenzy of cleaning must be put off until my next day off, which may not be until the end of the week. Then I have to prioritize for the day. Is it sunny outside? Garden! Is it cold/windy/rainy/all of the above? Tackle the laundry and dishes. Strip the beds and change the sheets. Vacuum. Clear away clutter and try to get something, anything organized. The day off is gone, and I haven't written a word except in my head where it doesn't much count.

I used to juggle writing and work. I used to work full time and write. Of course, back then, my house was even more gross than it is now and I got about four hours of sleep at a stretch. I can't do four hours of sleep or less anymore.

It doesn't help that my current job verges on full time more often than not. They're hiring again because we lost our receiving manager, which shuffled our hardware manager over to that department (he's actually trying to work both jobs at the same time, currently, which is fun to watch the tall thin man run all day.) As spaces get filled in as best they can, the hours shuffle around and land squarely on the part time staff.

Am I saying I can't write? No. I am saying it's hard, harder than I remember, and bushwacking my way toward editing Masks with my handy-dandy MacMachete (with a dull blade) is slow going. When I'm not working anymore, whether it's because I get published and need to meet deadlines, or work conflicts with daily life build to the point that I'm not willing to continue working (even for my fabulous employee discount and the ability to hammer away harder at debts and enjoy more vacations in Victoria or the coast,) I will definitely appreciate my freedom more. And get a helluva lot done in a day. I was such a slacker ...

So, a word of caution to those of you who have full time writing ability and are considering returning to work for grocery money or whatever--money is indeed not everything. Time is everything. Time.

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