Bluntly put, if I were my own boss, I’d quit. Does that make sense? What I mean to say is that if my real boss treated me like I treat myself when it comes to my writing life, I don’t think I’d last very long at a real job. I make myself work six days a week. No vacations. No sick days. Hardly any excuses. I had a splitting migraine and was throwing up for half of Saturday, and I still felt guilty that I hadn’t gotten any writing done that day. Guilty enough that I wrote extra on Monday and Tuesday to try and stave off the feeling somewhat.
Why do I do that to myself?
Well, part of it is that I just love to write. There’s certainly something to be said for being able to do what you love. And I know that if I don’t force myself to write, then it likely just won’t happen. I have a lot of other things to do, and so without the pressure to write, I’d just let it slack off. I mean, I like to do a lot of things I don’t get to do on a regular basis. Play board games, read more, go out to the movies, fish, hike. Why don’t I get to do them? I don’t make time for them. I really don’t want writing to be added to that list.
And so I drag myself out of bed an hour early every day and force myself to sit in front of that screen until 1,000 words are written. I take my iPad with me on vacations so that I can keep the writing going there. And that’s all very good. I’m proud of how much writing I’m able to accomplish. But I can’t help thinking I ought to be to the point now where I can not write *sometimes* and not feel guilty about it.
Way back when I started my daily goal, I had to write every day, or I really did stop writing. Aren’t I at the point now that it’s ingrained enough into me that I’ll do it even if I take a sick day or a vacation now and then? And in my defense, I *have* taken a few sick days and vacations–it’s just that I still felt guilty while doing so.
When I’m sick and stay home from my real job, or when I go on vacation, I’ll tell you one thing: I don’t feel guilty. Maybe if there’s a huge deadline, and I just can’t make it to work, then I’ll feel bad. But if I’m not missing anything vital? I just lie in bed and let myself be miserable. Maybe I should work out some sort of a contract with myself. X number of sick days per month. X number of vacation days.
But something’s telling me that’s a tad overkill.
Maybe I ought to unionize . . .