Work this week has been… difficult. This cartoon sums it up far better than I can put into words. So I shan’t dwell on that.
So yeah. Work has drained a lot of the enthusiasm out of my week and that’s spilled over a little into the writing. That’s also been a bit wobbly this week due to a bunch of other issues that have just left me feeling worn out and utterly weary. Project: Loophole is still well ahead of target, though, so that’s OK.
It was always going to be pretty horrible, the first full week back at work. Getting back into the working-writing swing again has been a grind. I have infinite envy for those who work as writers full time; not in terms of word-count output, but simply the fact that you can spend your entire working day concentrating on what you have to do. Work-home-chores-writing-cooking-maybe more writing… there aren’t that many waking hours in a day after you take out the 8.5 (including driving time) that work swallows up. It’s exhausting, quite honestly, and at times, quite a struggle.
I’ve never been under any illusions that writing around my day job would be in any way an easy thing to do. In fact, I’m outstandingly proud of myself that I’ve produced two novels and about seven short stories in the last year. People have been enjoying my stuff and saying so in public fora (more specifically, people I don’t even know have been saying they’ve enjoyed it and that’s somehow even nicer). It’s been a whole lot of fun and it continues apace.
But there are frustrations. Not all of them are easy to explain or even justify, but when you’re tired and feeling more vulnerable than you might otherwise be, an offhand comment made on an internet forum can catch you off guard. You read it. You re-read it. You think ‘is that a spiteful dig at me’? Then you rationalise it; no, it probably isn’t, you say. It could refer to any number of people. Or me. It’s about me, isn’t it? No, it probably isn’t… and the cycle continues until the whole matter becomes insanely out of proportion and you’re convinced the Spanish Inquisition are going to turn up on your doorstep any time now. Then you forget about it. The pot, you think, is calling the kettle black. Different strokes for different folks. <Insert other random saying of choice here>.
I only post in a few places now in terms of fora. I took the advice of people like Dan, Nik, Jim and Graham very much to heart about it. I haven’t once gotten involved in debate on a forum when people have perhaps not been quite right in an assumption they’ve made. It doesn’t mean I don’t read the ensuing discussion, because that can sometimes be interesting. I do post when asked something directly and there’s at least one forum where there’s a very friendly, lively conversation about the Silver Skulls that’s been ongoing for a long while now. I have fun with those conversations. Those conversations add very much to the fun that all this writing lark gives me.
The harshest thing is that I’m at a situation where work-life balance isn’t the issue. The issue now is work-work-life. Two to one. I’m getting there; but it’s a slow process. I know it’ll come in time. Fortunately with ongoing advice and support, I’m doing OK. And more to the point… hard work though it is? I love every moment of it.
Have some wise words.