Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wait watching.

More often than usual, I've been being asked, "What's it like working from home?"

Which is to say, all of three people have inquired about the obstacles and opportunities of having a desk roughly 600 miles from that of your direct supervisor.

The short answer, or series of answers, is that I love it. Years of freelancing has given me some fairly solid organizational skills when it comes to managing deadlines and workflow. Technology gives me access to everything I would need or want from the BIG office, while luxuries like a wireless printer mean I need only to turn around instead of walk down the hall to fetch things. My lunches are better, my tea often loose leaf and I can live stream NPR without fear of reproach for slowing down the network.

But then there are days like today. Days when the spirit is not moving and, were I in the office, I would instantly instigate a conversation with the Roller Derby Queen...most likely about my crippling level of writer's block/writer's apathy. I would covertly read online comics. I would watch the clock.

Here, however, I fight the urge to sneak out to the bookstore, or the real world comic shop. I flip from news/talk to music to keep myself from talking back at the hosts or the guests. I leave Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter in the other room...even though I'm nearly, almost, practically finished (1).

Which is why I'm writing this blog post that is, for the most part, about my complete lack of motivation for doing the writing I need to be doing.

And cookies.

Because that's the other thing that I would be doing if I was sitting in my BIG office and not here on this rainy, dreary day. I would be eating overpriced baked goods.

So what's it like working from home?

Slimming.

1. And damn. It's good.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Common Cents.

I know.

I know.

I know.

If the title of this blog post was given a 1950s black-and-white cowboy movie Indian name it would be "Limps Laden with Unoriginality", but it's all I've got right now.

And yes. I know that it should be Native American and not Indian but I was going with the whole 1950s thing.

Anyway.

So, as I've mentioned in a now nauseating number of posts, I'm trying to carve out more time for my own writing at the same time that I'm trying to mold my BIG day job into something with more of a creative focus. While the latter continues to be a struggle, the former is doing much better.

In fact, I've been accepted to a week-long summer institute where I would be studying memoir with this guy.

The problem is that, to secure my place in the workshop, they're asking me to do something unspeakable.

Pay in cash.

As Leopold and the Roller Derby Queen were quick to remind me when I voiced my concern about this particular aspect (1) they both invoked those magical words: tax write-off.

Even with that I find that I'm taking this decision seriously, for reasons far bigger than a hit to the bank account (2).  Reasons like the shyness that most people don't know is a very real part of my personality. That anniversary that I mentioned down in the footnotes. My fear of showing up and finding myself surrounded by real writers, writers who have ditched the day job or spend their days teaching creative writing or are still in that brilliant in-between place that is an MFA program.

My lack of new work.

At this point I still don't know what I'm going to do. I have, in order to allow time for my payment to arrive, about one week to decide.

Which is great, because I was really feeling short of deadlines these days (3).

1. And can we take a moment to give Leopold full credit for his encouragement of my pursuing this opportunity? If I go it means that I will be away for our anniversary. This would be one of the reasons that we'll soon hit lucky 13. It hasn't always been easy, but it's been amazing.
2. To put this all in perspective, if all my clients were to settle their outstanding invoices I would not only be able to pay my tuition without a blink...I would be able to score something way better than a dorm room for my accommodations and bid farewell to the folks at Visa. So, this is more about the worry that comes from having a Depression-era mindset than actual empty pockets.
3. Yes. Sarcasm.