Thinking of writing as a JOB, and then defending that position, is the hardest thing in the world to do! Endless demands on my time and the internal pressure to meet the needs and expectations of others chip away at my writing-is-my-work resolve.
Meetings, birthday parties, solar eclipses, livestock shows, trip preparations, school preparations…I have neglected my writing while tending to other, more pressing matters.
Today, I dropped everything else and stayed home to write.
I have conflicted feelings: I am writing. (That’s good!) I am not doing X-Y-Z. (That’s bad.)
I have had other, “real” jobs before in my life. When I was a vet tech, and I was expected to be at work every weekday from nine to five, I went to work. Every day.
“Can you be at the library at 2:00 this afternoon to lead a class on —?” Nope. I’ll be at work.
“I need you to drive to Timbuktu this morning to deliver these files…” Not gonna happen. I have to be at work.
“Why haven’t you made any progress on the Finch project?” Because I’ve been at work all day.
The weird thing is, when I am doing a “real” job – with a real boss, at a real office, with a real time clock – I don’t feel at all bad about not being able to do all the others things people want me to do. I don’t feel guilty for saying, “Sorry, I can’t do that. I have to work.”
But with writing…
…maybe because I am kind of my own boss, maybe because my office is at home, maybe because there’s no time clock hanging inside the front door, maybe because writing is so much fun that it doesn’t always feel like work…
…with writing, for some reason, saying “I’m sorry. I can’t do that. I have to work” is the hardest thing in the world.