Thursday, March 8, 2012

Am I there? It feels like I am.

This week I've been working like a dog. But like a golden retriever more than a doberman. You know, catching balls, chasing cats, sleeping on the couch. But steadily working.

And I don't mean at my office job. Sure, there's tons of stuff there need my attention (which is why I'm in the office at 7:45 this morning) but my freelancing work has really picked up, and I'm thrilled about it. I'm now doing more writing than acquisitions editing (that's what I do in my office job), and I will now will officially call myself a writer without the disclaimer that in my office job I don't write at all. Because emails don't count.

But in the past two weeks I've been hired as a paid blogger for a great website where I'm learning cool tips like practical uses for olive oil, picked up some assignments at the Harvard Post [that's Harvard, MA and not Harvard University], and been contracted to write reading passages for two history textbooks that will be published by Discovery Education.

Success! Even though I've never had set career goals, I've always been good at writing. And as you tend to like what you are good at, I've always liked writing. Loved it. I never complained about having to write a paper in school, and looked for the classes where you had to write the 20-page research paper instead of take an exam. So I think I'm where I'm supposed to be in my career. Sure, I'm not writing Hollywood blockbusters or wining the Pulitzer (yet), and I totally fell asleep while writing my article Tuesday night on two public hearings because it was 1 AM and I had been up since 4:30 AM but had a 6 AM deadline to meet. My hands were on the keyboard still though. But that's the business.

And that is something that is important in writing. The schedule. I used to think that you had to schedule time to write--set aside a block of time to sit down at your large desk, overlooking your beachfront property with a cup of tea and a scone. But you know what? Scones are really bad for you, I love coffee, my desk is buried in junk and I don't live near the beach. Plus, if I were to schedule in a writing block, my powers of procrastination are so acute that I would probably retile the kitchen floor to avoid it. Because then it's a task. So I write in the few minutes between meetings, on my phone on the commute, and on my sofa at midnight with reruns of Friends on to keep me company.

I write like I breathe, naturally, unconsciously, and all the time.

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