Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Writing Life

I turned in my grades Sunday and Monday began my vacation. I did a bit of writing that day but mostly had to Christmas shop, run errands, and handle various life details that had piled up during final exam week. Yesterday was the first day of my writing holiday, not a holiday from writing, but a holiday in which to write. Man it was nice. I slept in until nearly 10:00, then checked email and did some blogging things, then went to the UPS store in Covington to mail my mom's Christmas present. I had lunch there, then came home and had a quick nap. After that, I started work on the Jim Sallis article, and with the combination of being rested and having uninterrupted time, I knocked out about a third of it, which included substantial fact checking. I fixed a supper of pork chops and corn for Lana and me and then hit the article again. I finished about half of it by late evening and rough drafted some more, and that was despite taking several fifteen to twenty minute breaks here and there to talk with Lana or watch a bit of TV.

Days like this make me wish I wrote full time. It's so nice to be able to write and still get some rest and get other things done, like eat a leisurely meal. Too often during the school year, writing means giving up an hour or two of sleep or grabbing a quick tuna sandwich and back to the computer. It almost always means that I miss whatever I might find interesting on TV. (I guess I'm fortunate there's not that much interesting on the tube.)

But, of course, when I look at what they will pay me for the article I realize that even if I finish it in two days it wouldn't match my salary, and considering the amount of reading I've already done for this piece it doesn't come close to what I typically make at my job in an hour. Considering bills and a 19 year old son, I'm not going to be giving up the day job anytime soon. But at least I have now; I have Christmas break. Let the writing holiday continue.

1 comment:

Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

I used to write full time. I should have forgotten the relationship I was in, which became a marriage, which ended in divorce, and listened to the people who were in California, inviting me to come there and work for them.

Here's what's been amazing to me. How people respond to you in your professions:

Person responding to a writer: "You write for a living? How cool. You do interviews? Cool. WOW. You know, I write..a little..maybe some time you could..."

Person responding to me when I became a group worker and social worker: " That must be rewarding work. It really takes a special kind of person to do that. I mean, wow."

Person responding to me when I became a teacher. "A teacher? Hmmm. Yeah. You know, I had this teacher in high school was such a dick."