Friday, June 8, 2007


One thing I miss about having a "real" job is vacation time. The other thing I miss is the ability to leave work behind and possibly have someone else help me out if I need to finish something.

I have a home office. It sits in the far corner of my house, usually away from any action. But yesterday was nuts. My son graduates high school tomorrow, so we're expecting a house full of company starting later today. So my husband took off work to help prepare for that, since he has to be out of town today. Every five minutes he was popping his head in my office, to tell me this, that or the other thing, or bring me the baby.

My daughter is here, with that precious baby. How can I refuse saying yes to holding him or watching him when I'll have him for only a few more weeks before he moves 3000 miles away.

The son had friends spend the night and more showed up during the day. My office is next to his bedroom, so there was a parade of teenage boys going in and out of that room.

And all the while, I had a backlog of work, trying to get caught up from everything I missed on Friday and over the weekend, doing that on top of what I already had scheduled for this week. Yesterday was packed full of work and I got little done. I ended up writing an article due today at 1 am. I planned to write it yesterday afternoon. The editing project I wanted done on Wednesday -- not even close. Every time I got settled, someone in this very full house decided I was needed.

I planned to take a vacation day today. The work due today was meant to be done by the time I went to bed yesterday. Yet here I am, at my computer.

The bottom line, if I don't do the work, I don't get paid. There's no back up to support me. There is no money coming from a bank of vacation days. If I have something else planned on the day of a deadline, I have to get it done early. I guess that would be my vacation pay, huh?

I'm not complaining about it. It is one of the trade offs for all the other wonderful things about writing life. The trick is figuring out how to make my family understand that when my office door is shut, I'm working. And when I get behind, it makes my life a little more stressful.

When my coffee cup is empty, I'll be off to "enjoy" my vacation day of housecleaning and preparing for tomorrow's party. If I can finish cleaning by 2 or 3, I'll sneak into my office for a bit to work on my vacation day. It's the only way I get paid for today.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Finding that friends and family don't always see writing as a real job and thinking that you should be available 24/7 just because you're there is a problem. I find it helps to talk to them sometimes about the self-discipline needed to write and sometimes they work it out for themselves that just because they know you're home doesn't mean you have the afternoon free to entertain them. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't!

You'd have an extra problem because your deadlines are going to be racing at you fast and furious. But, hey, we get to write - that has to be some sort of blessing!