A Writer’s Life: Balancing Work and Work
Like many authors, in addition to my writing and book related activities and appearances, I have a day job. Luckily, it’s a job I really enjoy and I work with good people. It is, however, a job that requires me to do a lot of writing and editing, which surprises many people. I often get asked, “How can you write all day and then go home and write?”
Part of what enables me to do this is the fact that, as stated above, I have a day job that I love. The other major contributing factor is that I am a writer. It is not just something I do. It is part of me and necessary to my mental health. When I tell people that my stories come from the voices in my head, it’s not to be funny. It is a fact that I get characters and voices in my brain that speak to me about themselves and telling their stories is the best way to quiet those voices.
Also, I am not happy when I am not writing/editing.
But getting back to the “how” of my process, some people, like me, may recall being told as children to “put our thinking caps on.” Really, what we were being directed to do was to focus on the problem or learning at hand in a studious way.
When I write, I wear a variety of hats. At work, I wear a rather professional hat, one that keeps me focused on clarity and non-emotional responses to the questions and concerns to which I am responding. When writing fiction and poetry, I wear a very different, more decorative, creative, and emotional hat covered in feathers and, buttons, and dragon scales and whatever else strikes my fancy. It’s sort of like having a switch in my brain that turns on and off the more fanciful functions.
So, it doesn’t feel like I write all day and then go home and write. It feels more like I do my day job during the day and then cut loose on the story page. All just part of the writer’s life.
I know I am not alone in this. We are all multifaceted creatures. Although, perhaps, some of us just have a thinner line between what we see as work and play.