Friday, August 12, 2011

On Working

The other day someone I was once close to told me I knew nothing about working, because I hadn't worked in over four years.

She smiled when she said this, like it was just two friends talking.

Like she wasn't cutting down what I do.

I beg to differ.

My schedule doesn't follow a typical nine to five, Monday through Friday work week. It also doesn't fit into a swing schedule.

I work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and slave down many different paths.

Unlike her work history, I don't get vacations, holidays, or time off.

I'm on call all the time.

I also don't do just one thing. I'm not just a waitress. I'm not just a manager. I'm not just an office drone. I'm not just a taxi driver, legal adviser, or psychologist.

I'm that and so much more.

I'm sure by now you're probably assuming I'm speaking of motherhood.

You'd be wrong.

Yes, I'm a stay at home mom, and that too is a full time job. One I'm proud of, and work hard at. It also encompasses everything I just listed, and more.

It's still not what I'm referring to though.

No, I'm a writer.

Every minute of my day I'm at work.

My characters don't sleep, and often times they keep me from sleeping as well.

After all, who needs sleep?

Whenever I meet a person, I'm working.

Whenever I read a book, I'm working.

Whenever I see another tragedy in the news, I'm working.

Everything I write about, I learn.

Each character has their own life, their own problems, and their own knowledge.

Because I create them, and I'm responsible for them, I have all that too.

Writing isn't easy.

It's not a cake walk, and it's not for the weak.

Being told I don't understand the working world, because I haven't been in it in four years is crass and uneducated.

Writing is work, and it's just as much a business as any restaurant, hospital, or office.

The major difference? As a writer I'm responsible for all of it. I don't have someone cutting me a paycheck each week, or notifying the IRS of my income.

I don't come home after a hard day and shut it all off.

I don't get time off for special events, or because it's required.

Imagination doesn't get days off, and neither does commitment or drive.

Here's a tip: If writing isn't working... well, you can put it on your tray, and serve it.




  1. Owning your own business is a much more difficult thing than any "job". There is no higher up to escalate issues to. There is no one else to delegate work to. In your case, you have to be constantly "on". You're amazing RSE! Absolutely amazing. Don't let anyone else try to tell you otherwise.

  2. Some folks just dont' get it. Don't let 'em get you down.