Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Write on Wednesday-Working Nine to Five

Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I work in an office~a real business type office, where I have my own cubicle, complete with plastic desk protector, overhead bin, file folders, an "in-box," and a telephone extension. I spend those three days a week writing medical reports, summarizing medical records, preparing billing statements, and shuffling great lots of paper - bond paper, that is.

If one must work in an office, (and, at this juncture in my life, I must, for the checkbook demands the extra weekly feeding) my particular situation couldn't be better. I work with six other women whom I'm very fond of. They range in age from 27 to 67, they're all bright, personable, funny and easy to get along with. My work hours are flexible, I can do lots of my work remotely, and I have an "alter ego" who can trade off with me when I travel to Florida.

Perfect, yes?
And no. As much as I'm grateful for my job and all its conveniences, I have to admit that it's become awfully boring. Twice lately, I've literally fallen asleep at my desk after lunch! ( Luckily, my cube is in the corner so no one noticed!) Six years ago when I interviewed for my original position as a "medical report writer," the interviewer was concerned that I would become disenchanted with the pedantic nature of the writing required.

"Don't worry," I assured her. "I like writing fact based reports. I'm certainly not a creative writer!"
Hmm. At that time, I was being completely truthful.

But things change, don't they? Nowadays, my head is filled with poems and stories and ideas for stories and blog posts and books oh my.

And somehow, I don't feel as if I could ever explain this compulsion to any of the women I work with. I feel as if I'm harboring a secret life, that when they ask what I did over the weekend and I say, "oh, not much"- leaving out that I wrote three blog posts, or started a new story, or did some research for the novel I'm thinking about writing, or for the one I've already written- I'm denying them the ability to know who I really am.

A while back, I wrote about coming out of the writers closet, and this post is certainly reflective of those feelings. As much as I love and am grateful for the community of bloggers with which to share words and ideas, I'm feeling the need for the kind of interaction you can only have with people in the present.

How about you? Do you have a "day job" and does it hamper or inspire your creativity? Do your real world friends understand and support your writing?



Anonymous kimberley said...

What I usually get when I do mention it is "Oh, how nice." and thats about it.

But I do have one dear dear friend in Mississippi who is an artist with whom I have spent many wonderful hours and days. I wish I could hug her right now!

Blogger Mary said...

I write web content. Most of my family and friends don't feel it's a real job since I don't leave the house. They phone, drop by and otherwise hamper my work day. It drives me nuts near the end of the month when my deadline is drawing near.

Creative types like artists and writers support each other, but most others don't understand that what we do is a serious service. Enjoyed your piece.



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