April 18th, 2006


Too Much Work, Not Enough Writing

It's been one scheduling emergency at the store after another, and it's making me antsy. Yesterday, for instance, with no warning, I found myself working until nearly 7:00 on a day when there were plenty of other things I wanted and needed to do. If I hadn't gone in, the store would have sat empty all afternoon.

Now, extra hours means extra money, and that's a good thing, especially since I just got another raise. But it also means I haven't been able to do any significant work on the novel in what feels like ages. I was already a slow writer even back in the days when I was doing it full time, but managing the store has slowed my progress to a snail's pace. A blind, crippled, mentally disabled snail. I know it's not a race, it'll take as long as it takes, but still, I'd like to be done with this initial draft so I can get to the editing and revising phase, which I much prefer. Plus, the sooner I'm done, the sooner I can sell it, and the sooner I can start work on that novelette I promised Necessary Evil Press. The good news is that I'm not on deadline. The bad news is that, to a writer, not having a deadline doesn't matter.

See, most people have one job. They go to work 9 to 5 (or whatever their hours may be), make their living wages and spend their free time pursuing leisure activities like going to movies or dating or playing poker or seeing friends. Not so with most writers. We often have two jobs: the wage job and the writing. Personally, I tend to spend my free time either writing or doing other things, sometimes being social, other times doing important things that need to be done, but always secretly stressing over the fact that I'm not writing when I ought to be. As ridiculous as that is, I'm certain I'm not the only writer who does it.

Luckily, we have a really good new person coming into the store in a week or two, and everything should get back to normal. Then I should be able to get back to work on the novel with some regularity. Fingers crossed.

I love the store and I enjoy working there, but I do often miss the days of writing full time. Whenever I get stressed out about work issues, though, I just have to keep reminding myself: free health insurance, free health insurance, free health insurance... That, and the fact that it's nice to have money so I can actually go out with friends, even if I'm secretly stressing over the fact that I should be at the keyboard.