To work, or not to work?

Crikey, it’s been a while since I made a post. That’s actually because I was working a lot. Too much, in fact, some might say (like the husband, kids, and occasionally the dog – his sad eyes and ears tell a tail [boom boom] of their own). Yes, that’s enough parentheses.

So as a freelance writer, how much is too much work? Well, I’ve taken some time off over the Christmas period, and though I’ve been kind of bored in one way, I’ve been revelling in spending time doing *normal things. I’ve read nearly six books since Christmas Day (would have been seven, but got slowed down by… you know… stuff), and I feel like I have some kind of control back over my life. But then I sit down and catch up on the small bits I have to do, and everyone goes to bed, and I twiddle my thumbs a bit, read a bit, channel flick and… hmph.

Am I missing having a challenge, or am I just conditioned to deadlines and worth ethics? Or is it even deeper than that? Am I tying my self-worth to my productivity as a writer and editor? I think of this latter after something the other half said about people tying themselves to their career. I guess as a working mum who took time out to study (MA) and then have children etc., getting back to work and making a success of it has its own challenges and rewards.

Yes, I like supporting the family (my husband is a student bum. Ok, so he’s a smarty farty PhD student, but still…), yes, I experience an overwhelming sense of satisfaction on creating something beautiful from words, from language… Yes, I enjoy the sensation of being both good and successful at what I do. And I think that’s ok; after more than two decades working at it, I think that’s fair trade-off. And wouldn’t anyone who is self-employed feel similarly satisfied (I draw the line at ‘smug’), on their own success and enjoyment of their job?

Clearly, I love my work. However, I would like to get back to my own work (I have two books – well, three really – to get stuck into)… And in the next few months, hopefully we won’t be relying so heavily on my income. So why do I feel I will still have a hard time stepping back from well paid work? I enjoy working with people and helping them craft something good… I enjoy the reward and satisfaction that brings… But I’m not sure that’s it. In one way, I guess my success is largely measured on my ability to bring in money, after all these years. And if I spend too much time on writing my own stuff, then that income is not guaranteed (or even likely, given the publishing industry).

Meh, would you like an article written? And would you like fries with that? After all… I do have an MA, so I’m qualified. 🙂


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