I’m aware that my last post here also started with an apology for not posting, but it seems adult life has decided to smack me in the face. That’s one of the problems with university; you essentially get paid (by your future self, so the joke is on you) to laze around, eat pizza, play video games, and make lots of new friends. It’s a very sedate pace of life.
But when you leave, you become a proper grown up, you start talking about tax, most of you seem to become teachers and complain incessantly about marking, you know what 9am looks like. You start reading the calorie content on food packets because you actually want to know, rather than because you are trying to see how much of your daily intake you can cram into one meal.
The surface area of your floor becomes more carpet than it does pizza box.
Of course, this change happens at different speeds depending on who you are and what you do. Those who do manage to get full time jobs will still be able to afford pizza and drinking and inflatable vicars. I’ve just started my own business, so things are a bit tight at the moment, and I talk a lot about whether or not Kit Kats are tax-deductible, ways of fitting a filing cabinet into my already over-crowded bedroom, and whether stopping in the middle of the day to watch an episode of Bones counts as a healthy break from work or not.
The lifestyle of a freelance professional copywriter (oh, the notepads! the search engines! the dictionaries!) is a great one, and I am very much enjoying meeting and working with exciting people on interesting projects. The one major drawback of being self-employed, as anyone who is will tell you, is that your job does not stop. I’m not claiming we work harder than people in full time employment – that’s subjective, and depends on who you are and the job you do (I’m sure I work harder than a full time dinosaur vet, for example); what I mean is that if you work from 9-5, once you get home, that’s your time.
Being freelance, because your job is where you live, you can’t get away from it sometimes. The guilt kicks in. ‘What the hell are you doing, trying to have a sleep, at 4am, when there’s that work item you could be redrafting??’ In full time employment, that guilt probably doesn’t affect most people – for a start, you’re working to make someone else rich, and if it’s a large corporation, the chances are that they don’t care about you, so why should you care about them? And besides, you’d get in a lot more trouble for breaking into the office at 4am to do some filing that you would for leaving it until the following morning.
Basically it all comes down to time management, and that’s where I am still learning, and that’s why this blog has suffered. I love writing it, I love reading the comments, I love interacting with all you lovely people. But there are often other things that demand my attention, and sometimes, to be honest, after writing thousands of words all day, when my arms are aching (repetitive strain is turning out to be my nemesis), the last thing I want to do is write something else.
What it comes down to is being able to step back and say ‘Right, you’ve done enough actual work today, time to get back to your passions’. Because that’s what blogging, and writing creatively (which has also suffered massively, so it’s not like I’m just ignoring you people. Apart from you at the back there. Yeah, you.) is for me; a passion. I want to blog because I enjoy it, and because I want to inspire conversations and debate with a variety of weird and wonderful characters from all across the world (apart from you, again. Yes, at the back. Putting a wig on hasn’t fooled me.), not because I have to do it.
I think every blogger has their blips, however. So, to get that conversation rolling again, when was your last one, and what caused it?
Or if you haven’t had a blip, what have you done to make sure you avoid it?