Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Busy busy busy

Well, a post here is long overdue but I have a pocketful of excuses, all of which boil down to one thing - like everyone else out there, I've been very busy.

I'm not complaining, far from it. But a couple of things at the weekend did make me stop and think. The first was on Saturday night, when a concerned voice said to me, 'It's almost eight o'clock on a Saturday. Aren't you going to pack in?' On Sunday, when I mentioned that I had taken a bit of time out to play a daft wee computer game for a while but had to stop skiving and get back to work, the same voice asked, 'Aren't writers allowed to relax on a Sunday?'

All of which made me wonder: how do those of you who work for yourself manage the split between work and not work? For those of you with a 'proper' job who are also writers, editors, publishers or whatever, it must be even worse. Do you actually have any kind of work-life balance? And how much does it matter, to you, to the people in your life?

For me, one of the biggest advantages of freelancing is being able to manage my own time. A short while ago I popped out to the shops for some odds and ends. (Cold remedies - blergh!) I was able to go before the lunchtime rush, which made it much less of a chore. Sure, I started early this morning and may well do some work this evening, but so what? If I do, I'll very likely be writing and that's more fun than anything else. That's what I did in the evenings when I had a 'proper' job, so it's no real change.

One of the things I miss is being paid regardless - sick pay, holiday pay, Bank Holidays, just being there and skiving. Would I go back? I might have to, at some point. It seems the things I am best at don't pay terribly well. But unless I'm obliged to, it would take one hell of an inducement to get me back into a 'real' job. (And I'll never have as good a boss as I do now! ;p)

This week's biggest regret: my observation that eating dried apricots is like eating tongues. Oh how we laughed - until the next time we each popped one into our mouths. Eeewww!!!


  1. The toughest part of writing, at least some times, is the discipline it takes to focus on the actual act of writing (that old "applying the seat of your pants to the chair thing" someone once said). Temptation is everywhere and it's easy to get distracted.....the fun part is when you hit those creative surges and the hours disappear and morning turns into midnight in the blink of an eye.

  2. You've pegged it there, Kevin. I can't understand how it is I can get so creative - and effective - with regard to avoiding something I love to do. Crazy! And when it flows, when you just can't get the words down fast enough, that's wonderful. (Especially if when I read them over afterwards, they're actually good!)