Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Work Life Balance

Or maybe the title should actually be work/work balance. With a little life thrown in.

No, I'm not going to whine. I'm grateful to have a day job. Some day I would love for this author gig to be the day job, but that isn't the way it works. At least not yet.

The downside to the day job is that there are a few months each year where it gears up, requiring significantly more hours. That would be now. March Madness (as you may have seen in prior year posts). It isn't just for basketball. While that's excellent for the business for which I work, it is difficult for those of us employed there. We go from a 40-hour work week to 60+. Just this morning, when I signed on at {yawn} 6:00 a.m., I had an email from someone that was sent last night after midnight. I replied to the email and was stunned to get a response almost immediately. To which I replied (again), "you haven't been up all night, have you?" He assured me that he had managed to get some sleep between those emails, but it isn't unusual for these guys to work well past midnight. What is unusual is seeing them back in the office before 9:00 a.m.

These hours tend to block the creative process a bit. Focus has to remain sharp on the work at hand, and with the day job demanding more attention, that leaves less room for independent thought and creativity.

At this time I would like to give a shout out to Beverly Long. I sat with her for lunch at the last Chicago Spring Fling Writer's Conference and we commiserated over long hours at the day job, but let me tell you about Beverly. She was under contract to deliver three books that year. Count them. Three. I asked her how she managed to accomplish that in addition to working a 9-5 (and often longer than 9-5) day job. Her answer? she had two of them essentially completed, so it amounted to finishing editing on #2, and working on #3. And, she added, she didn't watch much television. She's my hero! Last year I managed to complete two books, and I thought that was a challenge!

So what does one do during peak periods like this? First, I have to manage my stress levels. That means eliminating things that are not absolutely essential. As much as my writing is an essential part of who I am, for the month of March in particular, I have to devote my attention to the day job. Until you guys make me a best-selling author, there is no alternative to this.

Will try to keep blogging. In the meantime - Back to work.

1 comment:

  1. You go girl - do what you have to do. Will look forward to your next book!