Friday, December 9, 2011

The writer's midnight blues

This obsession, this lust to finish a book is problematic. I'm not as good of an employee as I used to be. I now do the minimum required of me for the money. Heresy, I know. I'm an Ayn Rand lover. Atlas Shrugged. Philosophy, who needs it? The Fountainhead was the most authentic to what I saw in her in the filmed interviews, I thought. Anyway, my mind keeps flittering off. It's too much fun to write. It's no contest, I'd rather be be tapping the keys to the voice inside, and it's hard to hide.

Now, the people at work are some smart people, and they're friends. They know I'm doing the minimum required of me, no more late nights. No more working at midnight on a Saturday because something "very important" must be done by Monday morning. I cherish my time. My time. It's mine to do with, what I will. I took a $10,000 pay cut to come to this company, and I haven't had a raise since we opened this branch six years ago. I don't begrudge anyone keeping costs down in tough economic times. Besides, I've been preoccupied with my book, so I don't deserve any raises. That's fine, We're getting by nicely on what I make. But today, we sat down in a morning meeting and my branch manager told the others in the office that they were going to have to help me out. What they will in fact be doing, is something I was never supposed to do, but he made it sound like it was my responsibility all along. What I do, is I put a price on projects. I'm a numbers man. What they want me to do is to smooch the customer's ass. Take them out for lunch. Take them out after work and buy them drinks. Close the deal. I closed the deals long enough, I won't do it any more. It takes too much to look yourself in the eyes in the morning after blowing off your wife for a third time that week.

Did I just ramble?

He also said I could get my numbers tighter, and he's right about that. I can. And I will. But it won't make a bit of difference if nobody acts like they want the job in front of the people who are buying out these projects. So, my fellow employees will be schmoozing. They're the ones who run the projects and need the rapport. I retain my daydreaming time. Everybody wins.

If I did as I was told, when I get to work, or in the evening by the wife, I'd never get a moment of time to write. You have to fight like fucking hell for it. Don't let them steal it from you. It's your life, your one life. Be fair, but don't be a chump.


  1. Indeed.

    Good for you, keeping your writing time!

  2. I've always thought the only reason to go to work was to earn enough money to be able to afford to live the life you want. When you work hard and still don't have the life you want - time to reconsider. I once told my husband's boss that he didn't own him. That he worked hard for his family, not for the company. Oops. The other wives sealed their lips but the CEO laughed.