One of my biggest problems as a writer is that people don’t see what I do as work. I’ve posted about this before and I’ll likely post about it again. It’s a BIG issue for me because this is my job. At best people see it as a hobby that might take me someplace maybe (except for the rare few and you know who you are) at worst, people feel I’m wasting my time sitting on my butt all day getting fat. Well, I’m not getting fat, I don’t think I can get fat but that’s besides the point. From the moment I pour that first cup of coffee until I fall into a coma every night, I am working.
I spend maybe an hour a day on social networking, but this is work. Most recently I’ve spent this hour reading trade blogs. Yesterday I spent this hour drooling over the fact that Ms Townsend replied so quickly to my request and the explosion of pages views I got after posting her profile. I spend another hour on this blog trying to figure out what to post through a sleep muddled mind.
Though out the day I write, edit, review, profile, research, develop stories, characters and plot. I polish, expand, shorten and remove what I’ve already written. I read aloud what I feel is damn near perfect until the words sound like song. Then I do everything over again. I put in close to 18 hours a day on my work all while taking care of my daughter, the house and meals. Yet, I can’t possibly be working right?
Writing is physically more demanding then when I worked as a maintainer on a coal powered power plant. At the end of the day my back is killing me, my head is on fire, my eyes want to vacation in a dark cave, my hands are swollen like those doctor gloves when you blow them up and I feel as though I’ve been hit by a truck.
The multitasking writing demands out shadows that of when I worked as a line cook. I have to juggle many tasks related to writing and taking care of my daughter. While you do have to multitask as a line cook generally speaking the tasks are all related. However, as a writer my tasks have nothing to do with each other. Such as just this morning I’ve had to feed my daughter while working on this blog, revising an action scene in my book where I blow the hell out of a truck, and keeping her out of the trash, kitchen counters, desk drawers and bathroom. At the same time I’m also working on mixing more romance into a scene that before yesterday didn’t need any but today it does, I’m reading a trade blog that hopefully will help me expand my story in a way that works better than what I had before, reading one of my writing books on the subject of tense and playing ‘whats that color’ with my little girl. All at once. My head hurts.
Writing takes way more discipline then when I was in the Air Force. In the military you can count on someone breathing down your neck to get the job done, as a writer, the only one breathing down my neck is myself and my daughter when she wants to play at my being a jungle gym. Sure, there are deadlines to be met, but what’s stopping us from waiting until the last-minute to get them done? Nothing.
To sum this all up in one nice little package. Writing is the hardest jobs I’ve ever worked. It’s also the one I enjoy the most. And the one I wish I could quit every day.