I have visions of laying out my corrections in a line across the living room floor. My living room is relatively clear for the moment. Like lots of my friends I have been caught up with the Marie Kondo bug and have been watching cleaning videos for fun. In a vague hope of finishing January as if I set resolutions, for a short while I have this expanse of floor free.
I am sitting with my pile of papers with corrections my classmates gave me in writing class. But then, looking up, see the craft cupboard door is open. Ignore it. It’s a crazy mess and the papers balanced on top of the box which barely contains the craft stuff. Those papers are all very important. Doesn’t only keeping their best work encourage children to improve? Must try that. Anyway the important artwork is spilling everywhere. And he’ll make more later so the table is strewn with papers too. So I am just looking at my clear floor. Focus on there. Time to get some work done.
And then…Desperate calls from work…I’m late for a shift I didn’t know I had. And I really don’t want to go. It’s Monday, a new week and I had so many writing plans. Great start to my new writing year! So before I know it I am sitting on the bus willing myself not to get off. I really want to go back home.
Instead I write a list- how NOT to quit your job
1. Remember you need money. It may not be much money, fitting in part time work in retail around school hours, writing and running the household isn’t that well paid, surprisingly enough. But you do like the money if nothing else for all the books that Marie Kondo is not getting you to throw out.
2. You like people. Sometimes. Being mainly at home and in most evenings you don’t see people at all. Well one six year old, mostly and occasionally your husband. When you force yourself out to talk to people, you remember that you enjoy talking to adults.
3. You like those particular people. Working with people is fun when they are good people and we have a good team and don’t most people go to work because they like the company (I mean you probably have to work, but you’d change job if you didn’t like who you work with).
4. You don’t like people. And that’s good too. Use that. Those are the people that spark ideas. Even if people are angry-which happens way too frequently in a public-facing role,- sometimes you can reason why after. Mostly though you talk to people, hear their life story and then they walk off without buying the clothes you said look good. Constant character analysis right there.
5. January is quiet in retail so you can probably stand around and daydream about your characters. Or let a question about plot mull around.
6. You can read your book on the bus and not feel guilty about sitting down. At home, you’ve got that craft cupboard to clean out and can’t justify sitting down for long.
Crisis averted, I go off to work for another day and manage not to quit my job.