Friday, October 31, 2008

Changing Times

This posting is dedicated to my husband, Bob.

For the past four years I have had the sweet luxury of almost unlimited writing time. Four years ago I left my office job when we had to leave Charlotte for Bob’s new job. We lived briefly in Columbia, South Carolina, before returning to Charlotte for his next assignment. But I didn’t return to work. Our children were all through college and Bob was earning a comfortable income. He wanted me to have the time and energy to devote to writing.

I appreciated every moment of this precious gift. There were days when I put the writing aside temporarily due to other commitments. There was the time I took four weeks off and painted almost every room in our house and the time I supervised the updating of our kitchen, family room, and one of our bathrooms. I occasionally babysat my grandson full time during the summers and part time during the school year, but I managed to keep up the writing schedule for the most part. During my four years of freedom I managed to finish two novels and revise another. One book was published, one self-published, and the third is currently under revision. I’ve also started a fourth novel.

Sadly, my writing freedom has come to an end. Bob’s computer programming contract ended today, and with the current economy the outlook for a new job any time soon is not promising. We’ve known this was coming for some time and have prepared. Two months ago I started looking for a job of my own, but didn’t get a single phone call, let alone an interview. Then I found a job on Craigslist and the whole thing was handled by email-very 21st Century. I am now an "inventory processor" for an Internet company.

The manager is very informal. He emailed me to come in for an interview and said to dress casually. I did so and a couple of days later he emailed me to start work Friday. I had to email back and find out what time to be there. The pay is low, but I’m proud to help in some small way and happy that I’m working with a great bunch of people.

I'm glad I have a job, but sad I can no longer write full time. After I got home exhausted on Friday, I ate dinner and then sat down to work on my new book. I got a whopping 250 words done before I ran out of steam. But books are written a word at a time, and a writer who really wants to write will find a way. I now get up earlier and write before work and even if I only get 200 words down each day, eventually I will have written a book.

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