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Our Dirty Little Secret

August 25, 2009

Those of us who write are well aware of it, but the rest of the world, employers in particular, really don’t have a clue.

Unless your name is Stephen King, James Patterson or Patricia Cornwell, you’re probably working at least part time in a job you may very well hate, and want to be free of so you can stay home and write. I know I am.

We try to compensate for this lack of writing time. We try to humor the muse when she strikes, because she doesn’t know or care where you are or what you’re doing when she decides to grace you with her presence.

One more reason that I long to have a fellow writer in my life. Someone who won’t ask a question or bat an eye when I suddenly bolt upright in bed at 3 AM, toss the covers back, leave the bedroom to clack keys in the other room. Someone who won’t wonder what I’m doing on a camping trip when he awakens and finds me gone from the tent already, only to discover me buried in a pile of decaying leaves, because I want to remember the scent when I write about my MC falling face down into them trying to escape *insert whatever danger here*

But I digress. We make up for our lack of a full day to write in sneaky fashion.

We write at work.

We open our WIP novels in Word and keep them minimized all day, adding, revising, editing whenever a spare moment presents itself.

We carry notebooks with us and jot down phrases, sentences and paragraphs in dire need of revision, but they’re ideas nonetheless. I’ve attached a couple of examples of what I really accomplished at work today. I worked on Cindy too. I’m already jotting down things, setting the scene for her sequel. It was a productive day – just not in the world of finance.



12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2009 5:58 pm

    If only I had handwriting that beautiful…

    But yeah. I have yWriter that runs on an SD card, so that my WIP technically never touches my work hard drive. Amazing how much you can write when you’re in a “work” environment… (shh!)

  2. August 25, 2009 6:01 pm

    Hi Jamie, and thanks for stopping in, and for the handwriting compliment 🙂

    Yes, why is that? Why do some of the best ideas come during work hours or in the car?

    Hence the notebook… it suffices at work – not so much on a suburban Chicago commute. LOL.

  3. August 25, 2009 6:13 pm

    Wow. That’s some gorgeous handwriting. I understand all too well the day job. Although I do love my job, I long to be at home writing. I envy those of you who have the time at work to slip in minutes of writing.

  4. August 25, 2009 6:14 pm

    H.C. – Hi and welcome to you too, and thanks to you as well 🙂

    I don’t really have the time – I make the time.


  5. August 25, 2009 6:49 pm

    You musta been watching me in my prior work life. I hated my job…No, I hated *going* to my job for a variety of reason best left unstated. And, you bet I wrote on the job. I was free to do that for a variety of unstated reasons. In fact, I finished 85 percent of my first book there, and probably 65 percent of book two. Nor, did I feel the least bit guilty about it…for a variety of reasons.

    I’m now retired, (As you can imagine, as soon as I could) but I remember thinking, “Gee, how do ‘regular’ people with acutal jobs where they have to produce something or else, write?’ Still don’t know that answer.

    Good job getting something done! Wooo Hooo

    Best Regards, Galen.

  6. August 25, 2009 6:56 pm

    Hi Galen 🙂

    I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it either. Matter of fact, a part of me thinks at times: “What if they catch me and fire me? So what? Then I’ll be free to stay home and write!”

    That’s the illogical writer in me you were talking about the other day. Doesn’t seem all that illogical to me. I don’t mind bologna sandwiches. LOL.

  7. August 25, 2009 9:39 pm

    This is hilarious and so true. I also write at work when I have a chance. Sometimes I’ll come home with my pockets full of paper scraps, on which are scribbled notes, ideas, single sentences, plot twists…it’s a beautiful thing.

  8. August 25, 2009 9:55 pm

    OMG… I’d either lose paper scraps, or be afraid I was going to! I’ve washed so many paper scraps into oblivion. I’d die if one of them was a writing idea.

  9. August 26, 2009 8:33 am

    Jules, who is this Cindy you speak of? Link me, please.
    I think we all *HAVE* to make time for our little pleasures/hobbies.
    Life is constantly getting in the way.

  10. August 26, 2009 5:18 pm

    Hey Mags. I e-mailed you from work since the rat bastages have now blocked access to WP, FB and Twitter. How do they expect me to survive? But I get e-mails with details of comments, so I had already read this, and now you know who Cindy is. And you’re absolutely right. I’m getting closer and closer every day to walking away and writing full time. People take the leap to start their own businesses – why not writers? Of course I can say that. I’d have a roof over my head and food in my stomach with no worries if I did…

  11. Mike A permalink
    August 27, 2009 6:13 am

    Good morning Julee
    i’m glad i finally got your blog set up in my reader, god i am slow. It occurred to me as i was reading this post, that it could have been written by a farmer, who finds ways to practice his love in spite of relationships, work and the rest of life. Fortunately working from my house does allow for some flexibility when it comes to some part time farming. Obviously we do differ especially when it comes to handwriting *L* you have have lovely handwriting. Enjoy the day and write …

  12. August 27, 2009 5:15 pm

    Hi Mike – welcome back from the land of the lost 😉

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