Forgive me if I've blogged about this before, but I think it's worth talking about again, especially if you have plans to become a novelist. There are job hazards related to writing. Like ... I've been in my nightgown for three days straight. Now there's something you don't see many women announce on the Internet! I shower and just slip that big ole' solf t-shirt back on. I run a brush through my wet hair, lather on some wrinkle cream, deodorant, brush my teeth then get back to work! Makeup? What the hell is that?
Time is my most valuable commodity these days. I know so much of it in the very near future will be taken up with personal and family obligations, so I don't want to waste a minute of it. After a quick morning affair with my treadmill (which I've decided I have to do if I intend to live to a ripe old age) I'm showered and back to my desk in record time. But personal hygiene maintenance has slowed to a grinding halt. Of course, there are those writers who forgo showers to make their deadlines. Their families must pry their hands from the keyboard. They've learned to live with swamp-ass and crotch-rot. Maybe that's in my future. Who's to say?
I also know time is of the essense in my world. Nothing much matters as I put the final touches on my major blockbuster novel that rocks! Now that's something you never want to put in a query letter! Jeez-oh-man, but here in my blog ... I'll say it. It's going to split the sky open for some evangelicals, I assure you. Good for some, and well, not so good for others. Can one be that bold? Can a writer make such lofty statements like that, God forbid? As I sit here in my natural woman mode, you bet I can. I also know there's nothing, and I mean nothing, out there like it. Not like this. But I hear the call, I feel the tug on my soul ... every day ... finish the story ...
And so ... I ignore my grumbling stomach, my unpolished fingernails, my rough heels, my flat hair, and the fact that I no longer wear pretty clothes and shoes to work ... I've moved beyond all that. Way beyond. I've changed my world.
I've given up TV, talking on the phone, and quick trips to CVS for Tylenol and shampoo. I send Michael on errands to the post office, dry cleaners, and Walmart for Alka Selzer and Ben Gay Pads. My office chair is permanently shaped to my behind. I slip on my headphones, turn on my Itunes, and read my novel's edits from the day before.
I got got got got no time ... listening to the old Guess Who song, No Time, I laugh and eat a quick bowl of cereal. No time to cook, change the sheets, or wash more than one load of laundry. I've got too much to do! I even keep a pile of books by the toilet. Hey reading time is reading time!
15 hour days are the norm for me. I've never worked this hard in my life. But it's different now. I don't have to pick up kids, get stuck in traffic, plan meals every night, grocery shop, worry about the car, garden, or worry whether the electric bill has been paid on time. No, I'm a lucky woman in so many ways ... those daily grinding burdens have been, thank you Jesus, lifted from my shoulders. My family is wonderful and (you're probably sick of hearing this) but I have the most wonderful husband in the world.
So, though I'm working harder than I've ever worked, developed carpel-tunnel, eye-strain out the wazoo, and live in a room not much bigger than a walk-in closet ... I'm a blessed woman.
A blessed woman with job hazards.
Blessings to you and yours.