Monday, February 22, 2010

My Glorious Fridays

I had to work last Friday. Normally I don’t work on Fridays. My work schedule is Monday thur Thursday. Friday is my day. My day, with the house quiet and to myself, my time for writing with no distractions or interruptions.

For the last two weeks my program almost department has been conducting on-campus interviews to fill two new faculty positions. Friday interviews were scheduled to accommodate candidates. As a result I have worked the last two Fridays. Missing two of my Glorious Fridays in a row!

I have a few competition deadlines looming and fear I will not have anything ready for them. So I thought of requesting Monday off. One day in lieu of two sounds pretty fair to me. I would just say I needed the day as I had two deadlines to meet. And that’s when I hesitated. Imagining once I mentioned deadlines, I would be asked, deadlines for what. To which I would have to reply writing.

The next statement would be, Oh you write, are you published? or Have I read anything you have written? Even though this conversation was going on in my head I blushed with embarrassment, a feeling I was overstating who or what I am washed over me. And of course I would have to answer, “No I am not published. My deadlines are for writing competitions." I can see the dismissal in my imagination. But I need to write. I have missed two Fridays in a row and I feel it. I physically feel the toll it has taken on my well being. I have been dragging myself out of bed in the mornings and nearly crawling on all fours up the stairs to my bed at the end of each day. I have tried to put words on paper, but neither ideas nor words have been flowing. I have been in a kind of Fridayless funk.

Oh, more embarrassment, I need to qualify, I am not a professor or a lecturer. I am a University Services Associate, referred to as a USA. They do love those acronyms here. This position was previously known as Academic Associate and previous to that Administrative Assistant . All fancy ways of saying Secretary. I guess it is no longer politically correct to call someone a secretary. I didn't plan to be or dream of being a Secretary/USA . I don't particularly like being a Secretary/USA. But life's circumstances steered me in this direction. So here I am now with this particular set of skills, why fight it. After all this job allows me to have my Glorious Fridays. The one guaranteed day of the week I am able to do what I love best, to write. This secretarial job affords me my greatest pleasure. In a perfect world I would be able to dedicate everyday to my writing. But in this world, my real world I delight in my Glorious Fridays, the day of every week I can dedicate to my writing. Except of course when there are on-campus interviews for new faculty.


KarenG said...

Oh that's too bad you missed TWO Fridays in a row!! Hopefully you'll be back in your favorite sunny spot next Friday, just you and your imagination and your laptop. (Or however you write lol, me, I love my laptop!)

Old Kitty said...

Hi Ms USA!

Bet you're the bestest one there too! Oh yes you are.

Did you manage to have the Monday off without declaring "I am a writer, fear me!"? Oh but seriously I do so know what you mean! Have you told a chosen few at work or are you completely living these two lives completely separately? It's so difficult isn't it? I tried to be quiet about my writing at work but in the end when I needed feedback most, I chose to tell a handful - the ones I knew were artistic in their own way. I remember asking the 100Stories for Haiti forum if I should tell my work in general - just to generate publicity - get people to buy the book and the overwhelming response to my little query was "NO!!! Never mix work with your writing!!!" I don't exactly know why... I guess it's because work powers that be might think my heart isn't in my job. Well it's not but hey, I do my job to the best of my abilities thank you very much! LOL!

Oh Ann GOOD LUCK with your deadlines!! I hope you get your stories in on time - I HOPE YOU WIN!!!!!!! Then maybe one day you could just stand up infront of the lot of them and say, "yep - see that novel languishing in the Top Ten... I wrote that! Hah!"


I'm keeping everything crossed for you. I hope you get your Fridays back soon. Go get writing!!!!!

Take care

Susannah said...

Fiercly guard your Glorious Fridays - precious time for our self and our personal projects is vital. :-)

Brigid said...

Hi Ann, I totally commiserate with you, it is difficult enough to find time to write, so it is really important to get those deadlines met.
I agree with you about admitting to be a 'writer', I'm always afraid to say it, normally say 'emerging writer'. If your deadlines are for the same competitions as me, best of luck. Despite children with chickenpox and feeling flu like myself, I am going to post my entries this morning, that in itself for me is an achievement. Hope you get your Fridays back,
Brigid x

Karen Walker said...

Hi Ann,
So nice to "meet" you. I noticed you left a comment on my blog today and wanted to thank you. So glad you found me. As someone who began her working career as a secretary, I totally get it. I just love the movie, "Working Girl." I hope you got to take Monday off and get some writing done. Looking forward to following your progress.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Writing comps are extremely important! I enter them too although haven't for a while now due to concentrating on my book. You can't miss anymore Fridays, now get to it!!

CJ xx

Ann said...

Hi All,
Thanks for all the lovely comments. I took Monday off. I was so excited to get to my computer and get to work on my entries. Then it happened, computer crashed taking everything with it. Computer is now at with the computer doctor who assures me all will be restored. Alas not in time for those deadlines. I have not confided my writing status to co-workers. I think I will keep that to myself. I will not be missing this Friday, am looking sooo forward to it. I have lots to be getting on with! Computer or not!!! :)

jinksy said...

Gosh - did you have to resort to the old fashioned pen and paper?! Writerly, indeed! Hope the computer doctor uses the right medicine -my son is currently doctoring my PC, so I sympathise totally. Happy Friday, when it comes.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Writing time is so hard to come by when you're working, but you'll have future Fridays, right. Don't let one or two lost days or a dead computer drag you down. A notebook and a ballpoint pen work just fine.

Niamh said...

Good luck with keeping your time free! I'm sure if you tell people they will be so excited for you:)

Don's Girl said...

Ann: as I write this, it's almost Friday again! Got my fingers you get your DAY back!

I so enjoy meeting other writers. I self published in yester-century. Re-reading the book now--yea, needs work. Yet, folks seem to enjoy the story. I wish you well on the route to getting published--I'm right there with you!

As for Blue Bell Ice cream--seems it's a southern thing. It gets as far as Kansas City, I think..YUMMY stuff. You can order it from their site--for an arm, leg and first born. :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog!


shantiwallah said...

Hi Ann,
Here comes my opinion even though I'm aware you never asked for it. I, most likely like you, have been 'writing' my whole life. Journals, letters that go beyond the usual, blogs, etc. and so I think we ARE writers. Until last week I was a teacher and I used that word to define myself, begrudgingly, whenever people would ask what I do. Don't get me wrong, I love being a teacher and I will always be one in some way or another, but that is only one facet of my persona. Another facet is the writer one. I've been slowly making a go at writing for a living and then last week, when I finally made the leap and quit my job I had nothing more to do than to say I am a writer whenever anyone asks.
People have a certain idea about what a writer is and that idea is not really about what writers actually do. Well, a few people do, but not many. I'm talking about living off published books.

What I've learned so far is that there is a whole lot more to being a writer. To make a living, you need to either do something else (like being a USA) while you are writing the great novel, or you need to write articles, blogs, competition pieces, etc. as your "other" job. Personally I'm not aiming to write a book at the moment, I'm just trying to establish myself as a writer of articles for various media and in various genre. I believe that if a book is going to emerge from me, it will emerge when it's ready. I just need to be writing for a living. Others may be more driven by the book, which is their calling and a wonderful pursuit.

So, to make a long comment longer, you ARE a writer and you just need to get comfortable saying it. I was also uncomfortable at first, but I think you have to embrace it and put yourself out there so people know what you are looking for. Things have started to happen for me only after I did that. Just say, "In my other life I am a writer." It's magical and freeing and other people start to ask you about what you love, which is very empowering (and great for your writing!).

I hope this makes some sort of sense because I haven't had my morning tea yet and I'm aware that I've rambled all over your comment space! Good luck!