When I worked in an office, I didn’t blog on office time, did I? Nor load up the big ol' Blog Feed Reader and check in with all the publishing industry bloggers. Nor did I flit from Amazon stats to Fictionwise stats.
Just FYI, I also didn't print personal stuff onto office paper. If I wanted to use the paper cutter for something personal like bookmarks, I asked first. And I did it after office hours.
Know why? Because, to me, doing those things would be like stealing from the boss!
I just realized after brunch yesterday that I’ve been stealing from myself. If I’m supposed to be “at work” eight hours a day, I need to be working. (That part was pointed out rather vigorously by my Conscience.)
I don’t have current issues with my I.E.—Internal Editor (something Devon Matthews and Taryn Raye have been blogging about). My problem has been with my E.F. –External Fritterer. Most of my frittering is about writing—as opposed to, say, housework—but if I'm not actually working on a manuscript, or preparing a story collage, or making notes about GMC, then I’m stealing from myself.
So as I drove home from the brunch yesterday, I picked what I consider a reasonable annual income I want to make from writing in a year, and divided by 52 for the weeks, and divided by 40 for the hours in each work week. That's how much money I'm stealing with each frittered hour.
This stops, now. Or, actually, it stopped yesterday. I got quite a bit of writing done when I got home from the outing. And after my work day, I checked my email accounts, commented on blogs, read industry news. It makes for a longer, but more productive day.
Thanks, Conscience. And thanks Susan, Taryn, Devon, Nora, Shiloh, Jennifer, Cheryl—and others who keep to a schedule. Finally, I think I GET IT.
The concept of stealing has made it more real to me.