Some Weeks Are Better Than Others
There are some weeks where it just doesn’t come together. Everyone has them. Somehow, though, for a writer, it’s just disheartening when it happens. I know a number of writers for whom this is true. Writers, as I’ve mentioned here before, don’t have a boss, have no water cooler for chats about the latest episode of “Desperate Housewives”, and no lunch buddies. They work just as hard as everyone else, but without the camaraderie that can characterize the more pleasant offices.
This is not to say that in-law issues, kid problems or car challenges – general life stuff – hits an office worker any less than a writer; but it’s just easier for a writer to put down his or her work and focus on the challenge of the day. A general person with a job-outside-the-home has a boss to whom to report, and colleagues to whom they are responsible for good work product. Otherwise they get fired. In a way, when disaster hits an employee, it’s almost a relief to go to work where none of the chaos is happening. Maybe there’s different chaos, but different is better sometimes! I remember this clearly from my time in various jobs when I was younger.
So this week has been a tough one with various kid/family and home issues popping up, as well as the charity work that I am doing heating up. I’ve let it all consume my brain and lower my productivity writing-wise. I’ve worked very hard to clear up the issues, so I’ve not been idle. But my writing life has taken the hit. Sometimes it’s just what happens. I’m doing the very best I can and it has to be good enough for now. One day at a time.
So true! Sometimes when Real Life knocks me for a loop, it’s harder to recupe if you work for yourself, too. There’s not that separation from whatever happened/s in Real Life to the job/s that need to get done.
On top of that, though we’ve mentioned it before, is the fuzzy boundaries. Most people have a difficult time seeing a writer or work-from-home person as, actually, working. Often we can rearrange our schedules to fit something in, so when we can’t, well, why not? We’re hard on ourselves regarding that too – asking ourselves the same question. After all, wasn’t one of the “perks” of working from home flexibility?
I think even emotionally, yes, an office worker gets at least an easier time than an at-home worker when Real Life attacks. There’s less guilt imposed. It’s culturally accepted that people in an office simply cannot afford to take a lot of time off or they lose their job. Most people share this experience and this pressure from the the office culture. So, mentally and emotionally, the office worker is “allowed” to separate things. In the office, most coworkers will give him/her some time alone, cover a few extra duties because most people are nice like that. For the at-home worker, we have no co-workers that can take up the slack for a few days while we recover mentally, emotionally, and physically from whatever happened. The work just piles up, and we still have to do it.
This creates a responsibility and a need for the at-home worker and writer to be more self-forgiving and understanding. It’s hard, definitely, but it only hurts us and makes us less efficient if we add to our own burden guilt.