|Jack & Ianto from Torchwood and yes, I'm still traumatised.|
Friday, August 19, 2011
Having a real job (or two)
People talk about work/life balance all the time, and how difficult it is to maintain one. It's even more difficult if you are slaving away at something that you consider work, but nobody else does. Because I might work eight hours at my day job, then come home and write for six or seven. And no, this is not the same as doing nothing even if I don't have a lot to show for it at the end. Just because I go to bed at 3 o'clock in the morning doesn't mean I've been up watching TV and stuffing around on the internet. I wish it did, but it doesn't.
The problem with writing as work is that we writers know that it's work, but family and friends often don't. Because, to be totally fair, a lot of the time it looks exactly the same as eating chocolate and staring into space. Sometimes it looks the same as looking at fan videos on Youtube for Captain Jack Harkness and Ianto, but really, I'm working, I promise.
So when I'm acting like a weirdo rushing from one job to another, from one computer screen to another, it's not just that I've turned into an anti-social cow. (I've always been one of those.) It's that if I want to be a professional writer, I need to treat this as a real profession. I need to put in a lot of hours and a lot of practice, and in order to do that I need to make sacrifices. If I was working double shifts at my day job you'd understand. But because it's 10 a.m. and I'm still in my pyjamas, you think it's not a job.
It is. It just happens that the uniform is fuzzy pink flannel with bunnies on it.
Any tips for explaining to the important people in your life that writing is an actual job?
(On a side note, is anyone watching Torchwood? How are we feeling about the new series? I'm loving it, in a cranky sort of way. You all know why. I'm still upset about Children of the Earth.)