Monday, January 27, 2014

Loving the Job!

Years ago, I saw a coffee cup with the message, "I love my job, it's the work I hate!"  I have lately revamped it to say, "I love my work, it's the job I hate!"

Before I get fired, let me explain.  Many jobs have a ton of requirements that have to be met that have little to do with the actual work that the job entails.  My full-time job (besides writing and having a family life!) is as a cake decorator.  Out of an eight-hour day, perhaps two or three hours are spent doing things that are NOT actually decorating a cake.  I stock shelves, bake bread, price items, clean up, answer phones, wait on customers, etc. 

As a writer, I also do a lot of work that isn't specifically writing... and a lot of writing that isn't specifically the reason I have this writing job (in case I've completely confused you, I spend a lot of time writing, not my books, but other things!)  I'd love to go to either job and just do what the job description states:  Cake decorator (decorate cakes.)  Writer (write!)  However, the real world doesn't work that way.

One thing that I can say about the writing job is that it's extremely portable.  When I'm not at the bakery, there's not much I can do to further that job.  Ditto for the winery job.  And we won't even discuss how hard it is to get laundry and dishes done when you're not home!  But writing is something that takes place in the mind long before it ever ends up on paper.  Sometimes my co-workers and friends might think I'm either in a bad mood or sad or troubled because I suddenly get quiet and seem distracted.  It's not that (well, not all the time); it just happens that I suddenly get an idea for a scene or a piece of dialogue or a storyline and I start working it out in my head (unless there is a piece of paper and a pen lying around!)

Writing has always been a portable occupation, so long as we're talking about the act of writing itself.  I used to carry paper and pen with me wherever I went, now it's more likely that I'm hauling my laptop on vacation with me.  Unlike the other jobs where I have to show up at a certain place to work, the writing isn't limited to the hours "on the clock".  If inspiration strikes somewhere, I don't have to wait to get to the office to do something about it.  And if we're just sitting around relaxing and I don't feel like reading (it's happened... well, it COULD happen!) then I can write.

What this boils down to, though, is a fact that is indisputable.  I love my writing job.  I love to write.  And even if it means that sometimes I have to go back and edit or I have to deal with marketing and promotion (I really don't know of many writers who enjoy that part of the job), in the end, it all comes down to that flow of words from the pen or keyboard.  I don't think I could write full time and then find the energy or interest to decorate cakes after the writing time is over, but I've been coming home from the "real jobs" and finding the energy, interest, and excitement to write for nearly twenty years.

No benefits, no paid vacations... but I love it anyway!

Plus, I can have coffee and snacks whenever I want!

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