IS IT GOING TO BE THE WRITE TIME SOON?
When is the write time?
For me, it's early in the morning, before work. But that may change soon – I'm on the layoff list at work (along with over 1,000 other people.) Yep, they're closing this Boeing location and as I am a Boeing sub-contractor my contract will end and that will be that. We're looking at sometime between July and September for unemployment.
Okay, for everyone else, that's pretty scary. For me, it's a relief.
I *thought* I was retired last year, but I got this great job offer I couldn't refuse. It was a little out of my line (senior security engineer) but was very good money and I have been diligently saving half and using the other half to improve our house and pay off bills. I knew it wouldn't last forever. In fact, I thought it would end this time next year. But if it ends now, well, I'll be okay with that. I can't collect my Army pension for another couple of years, but that's okay.
I sincerely hope all the other folks affected by the relocation and layoffs will find the jobs they want and need.
As for me, I will be able to write as much as I want.
Now, that's both delicious and scary. Delicious, because isn't it every writer's dream to have the time and means to write? Isn't it what you want? Isn't it what I have wanted all these work-weary years? Scary, because now I really will have to do this. I will have to structure my time, set a schedule, actually get some writing done. Hmmmm. Is that what I wanted? No excuses?
Well, yes and no. I like writing in the little time-box I have always found for myself – an hour in the morning, a few minutes here and there. I am used to it. I'm not used to a blank screen and a whole day stretching out before me. I have tried it twice before: once in 1998 I was laid off from my aerospace job (I was at Northrop Grumman then) and for six months I wrote. I got a lot done before I ran out of money and had to go back to work!
Then in 2005, I once again was among the ranks of the unemployed for 6 months. But I got little writing done as I was busy moving into the new house and overseeing structural repair work and trying desperately to get another job. Just when it looked like that wasn't going to happen, I got this great job.
So now it's going to happen. I won't have to go back to work again (the chances of getting hired at my age and with one-half of my body not working due to a stroke a few years ago are pretty slim) so I will have all the time and opportunity to write. But is that what will happen? Don't I need some discipline? I've worked my whole adult life. It's a habit I'm gonna miss.
What's gonna make me get up every morning? What's gonna make me write?
I have cable TV, for crying out loud! What's gonna keep me off the tube?
Well, I guess when it happens, I'll let you know. Maybe I'll come back to this post and laugh about it, as I slog through the re-writes on an as yet undreamed-of novel. Maybe I won't have time, as I pound out essays for NPR, flash stories for Flashshot and another brilliant whodunit for Ellery Queen.
So tell me – if you had all the time to write, would you? Or would you miss the structure of a job?
How do you do it? Let me know. I gotta make some plans.
THREE BEAUTIFUL THINGS
The new spa is finished and we tried it out last night. Wonderful! I slept better than in recent memory.
I made a cake in the shape of our front yard for Earth Day – I used crushed graham crackers for the decomposed granite. Very artful, but a little dry.
My friend Joan brought me a bouquet of sweet peas – they smell so good!