I’d rather be writing

A typical day on the job

I have a really fun job, by a lot of people’s standards. I get to be around books all day; I get to play with kids; I get to sing and dance and make a fool of myself on a regular basis and have people applaud me for it (they’re usually about two years old and just like me because I’m bright and bouncy but meh, a clap is a clap). I have great workmates, good hours and, best of all, if I stuff up, nobody dies (we just get a huge pile of fairy books we can’t sell. Oops. What? The first one in the series was good!).

Anyway, despite all this, my Twitter status this morning was #Idratherbewriting. And it’s true. It doesn’t mean my job isn’t pretty cool. It just means that writing is what fires me. It’s what gets me up in the morning. It’s what I think about nearly 24/7 (which is why I asked you if you wanted a book to put your book in, instead of a bag. Sorry, Sir). I have characters talking to me at all sorts of inopportune moments (which is why I asked you “Can I hello?” instead of “Can I help you”?). Some days, I really, really, really don’t want to leave the house because I’m just on a roll, and I know if I leave my story will turn out really differently, just because I’m won’t be in that moment when I eventually get to work on it again.

My job has lots of writerly “perks”. I would never be able to afford all the books I buy if I didn’t have my generous discount. And I wouldn’t get the chance to chat to kids and teenagers on a daily basis about what THEY like in books. I wouldn’t be able to see every day what sells and what doesn’t and why. For a writer, working in a book shop is the perfect side job.

But, still, I’d rather be writing.

Other Writers Who Work (WWWs), how do you cope with having to “down tools” and go to work when you’re in the middle of a writing roll?

4 thoughts on “I’d rather be writing

  1. Oh yes. The juggle. I get anxious and a little depressed if I’m not doing enough. But then the day job is just another part of the juggle syndrome. When I’m surfing I get guilty because I should be spending three more hours at home finishing the thing. You know…THE THING (42,000 wds and 15k to go). But then the surf is really good and I’d feel guilty if I wasn’t doing that as well. Then of course there’s the kids. And they always make me feel guilty. So I see it this way : My job is kind of important to who I am and what I do. I like all that interaction with the world and I think it might make me a better writer one day. I reckon I’d be right to be a full-time writer in maybe another ten years. Does that make sense? Having said that I have never just done one thing anyway…I complain heavily about it but deep down I embrace the juggle.


  2. I’m with you, too, Kate! It is so difficult to be at work when the WIP is sizzling and I’d rather be jotting down all those ideas (sometimes, if I have downtime at work, I do jot a couple down, but shhh, we won’t tell anyone about that, will we?)
    But I agree with Sally – whenever I’ve taken days off work to get some writing done (god, I love the person who invented rdo’s!) I never seem to be able to utilize the free time properly. I seem to procrastinate over my words more when I have ample time to write than when I have only an hour or so in the morning or the evening.


  3. I am so with you on this Kate. It is hard to go to the day job – whether you like it or not – when you have a story (or three) on the boil. I try to think of it as brewing time. While I’m serving customers, or photocopying, or filling in a form, my wip can be ticking away in the back of my head.
    Also, experience has shown that when I didn’t have a day job, I was more prone to frittering my writing time, because I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do now that it is so limited.
    But one powerball and I am leaving the dayjob behind to just write, write, write!


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