Friday, January 16, 2009

Split Personality: The Boss versus Herself

I've just finished my second week in my new job: full-time writer. Since non-voluntarily retiring from my part-time job, I decided to give up the wonderful world of the service industry to focus only on my writing. I'm in a very privileged position, I realise, to have both the encouragement from The Man and the financial means to rely on one income so that I can pursue my dream.

Still, can I just say that writing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday (and sometimes on the weekend) is really, REALLY hard? And that sometimes I would give anything to sit in an office and chat with my colleagues? Sure, rolling out of bed and into the next room sounds great. But part of me actually misses the ritual of getting dressed in my gear and joining the legions as they march to work.

When you're employed by a corporation, you don't feel that guilty slacking off sometimes. But when you're employed by you, the constant tug of war between making excuses and chastising yourself can drive you mad. Even now as I'm writing this, I'm thinking about the chapter I should be editing.

It's great to have uninterrupted flow, but I have to admit I am starting to feel a bit stir-crazy! Twitter is great, but an evil you also need to guard against. Can someone tell me: How can I stay sane working from home, yet on-task at the same time?

7 comments:

Marianne's Muses said...

Well fisrt and foremost you are still bringing a job home. You can now write from anywhere. Gather your inspiration by getting out there and engaging in LIFE. You still need contact from people. Find a passion and begin to write about it as you live it. Too often when a person quits being told what to do they find it hard to let it flow. Detox and Live. Email me @marianne.stclair@gmail.com and we can discuss more

MJFredrick said...

I would love to have this problem :)

I find I'm actually more productive during the school year than over the summer UNLESS I make a schedule and stick to it. It takes some discipline, which I sorely lack, but if this is what I want to do....

Also, work in a day off once a week. Or a morning off, or something, to go to breakfast or hit the book store.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I get up and get dressed. That seems to signal to me that I'd better work hard. I screen calls. I do tend to answer emails throughout the day.

Oh and having a dog helps. She gets me out and about.

And if I'm fuc...well, you know. Too much on the internet, I go to a coffee shop with my laptop and write there.

Elle said...

I've not managed to figure out the solution yet!! What I have been doing is breaking up my full-time writing with mind-numbing temp jobs. Once you finish an job assignment like that, it is very easy to remember the delights of writing in comparison and crack on with it! Of course, the motivation then wanes ... it's a constant battle! :p

You just have to keep pushing yourself to do it - if you like, I can tweet you menancing messages if I see you on Twitter!? :p :0)

aprilx said...

Adopt a dog from a pound or pick up a stray. S/he will keep you company, shower you with love, and get you to go outside a few times per day! Perfect.

And if you find yourself on Twitter too much, go to a library or somewhere with no wi-fi.

Marsha said...

Great advice! Thank you!

I particularly like the advice to get a dog. I may use that as extra proof to coerce The Man that we need to get a pet. So far, he's been quite reticent as he thinks he'll end up doing most of the work. (Hand on heart, he's probably right. Still...)

@sex scenes at starbucks - I would go to our libary but it always seems to be full of mumbling homeless people who I fear *might* be more distracting than Twitter.

@Elle - I may need you to be my Twitter police! :) I'll let you know!

Thanks again!

aliceinparis said...

I am an artist and work from home. The most important thing is to get into a set routine. Create a habit. I wake up and have breakie/ do email and computer puttering first, then go to the gym if it is a Mon Wed Fri, and then come home and work, sketch, paint,prepare canvas etc. I take a break at lunch and do a bit more computer, then back to work, and later a walk,post office run groceries etc. Sometimes I will do a bit in the evening depending on how creative I am feeling. But because I work from home, it is easily rearranged if something comes up. I do find I am most productive if I stick to the routine.
Best of luck!!!
Cheers, Shelagh