I have a job. A full time one. An in-a-seat-by-9AM one. But, I also have this nagging passion for writing fiction. Sometimes, I develop storylines and characters that I become so attached to that I have a hard time letting them go for an eight hour work day (ten, including commuting). Because of this, I often find myself…writing…at work. Yeah, I’m sticking it to the man, one chapter at a time. It hasn’t been all be smooth sailing but I’ve found that it’s do-able if you follow a few simple rules.
How to Write Your Book at Work:
- Private Browsing: This is key. If you write thrilling stories that dabble in the illegal, you’re probably doing some questionable searches while researching for your book (see my previous post on The Dangers of Research). Opening a private browser window prevents your searches from being saved in the browser history. While originally created for watching porn, this nifty feature is a Godsend for us literary’s. Now, remember…you are at WORK. So, they can probably still see all your activity. But it shows respect.
- Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: As excited as you are to be embarking on your literary career, refrain from telling your co-workers (or worse, YOUR BOSS) that you’re on the brink of a Nobel Prize in Literature. They won’t get you. You’re above them. Worst of all, they may ask you to — Heavenly Father– WRITE something. Something beneath you, like ad copy. The horror.
- Keep Your Emotions in Check: You’re, no doubt, breathing life into complex characters AND because drama sells you may find yourself killing off one of your beloved characters. The devastation is gut level. However, you can not go to the monthly meeting with bloodshot eyes because Greta succumbs to a year-long battle with cancer before having the chance to confess to Joseph that she did steal his business idea ten years ago. Pull yourself together. Persevere. You’re a professional.
- Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: For some reason, coworkers love to walk up behind you while your knee deep in riveting prose. Their eyes glued on your screen. “Whatcha doing?” Karen asks. “I’m busting outta here,” I say as I type up my next meal ticket and puff on my cigar. A well placed decorative mirror can give you a heads up when the vultures are circling. Don’t let them catch you slipping.
- Take a Break: This is most important. It’s necessary that you actually get some work done that day. Make a few calls. Finesse a few spreadsheets. Make them think that you’re here for them. Actually be a good employee. You have bills and besides, it throws them off. Way off! They’ll think you’re there for them. (Pause for evil laughter).
There you go. Follow these rules and you’ll be on the NY Times Bestseller’s list while keeping your medical benefits and key to the snack closet in no time. Ah, work/life balance.
Wanna read a little of my first novel “Say When”? It’s about a girl who likes this guy who gets her into some deep shit. It’s dope. Check it out for free on Wattpad! Read Say When Here.