Those Glitches in My Writing Career

Cartoon of Girl WritingI love my writing life. It’s given me great satisfaction over the years and a little bit of income, so I can’t complain. But there are days when things don’t go quite as smoothly as planned, especially on the domestic front.

Sometimes I’m a battle with my kitchen. I can’t tell you how many times the chili I’ve made winds up burned at the bottom of the pot because I was too engrossed in editing to remember to stir it. On occasion, I’ve forgotten to take something out of the freezer for thawing. I also tend to stick to the same ten recipes because I don’t want to take the time to search for new ones. Now that I’m on a leave of absence from the day job, I have been trying new dishes, though.

My nineteen-and-a-half-year-old cat likes to be near me when he’s not sleeping, which is a lot. Whenever I’m at the computer, he plunks himself in my lap and proceeds to drool over my hand and the keyboard. I keep a box of tissues nearby. There’s no point in yelling at him. He’s mostly deaf and lifelong habits are hard for him to break, so I gently put him down on the floor off he goes to find another place to sleep.

The cat is not the only daily interruption. I’ve always kept an open door policy for my family when writing (the kids are grown and don’t live at home anymore), but sometimes interruptions occur while I’m trying to sort out a difficult plotting problem. I’ve been known to give hubby a blank stare when he asks what’s for dinner, not because I don’t know the answer (although sometimes I don’t) but because I’m trying to pull my thoughts out of whatever scene I was working through.

My husband (an accountant) earns a lot more money from his job than I do from writing. When he does my taxes every year, I get a lot of chuckling about my “cute” bookkeeping system and an annoying amount of snickering about my income. But overall, these are minor glitches.

The larger ones include the occasional lousy book review, agents who take years to fail to sell my book, publishers who either dropped me or folded, and tiny royalty checks.

Still, these things are part of every writer’s life. You know as well as I do that every job and career choice has them. But for me, the pros outweigh the cons and glitches notwithstanding, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

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Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a Canadian author from British Columbia, who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired me to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for my Evan Dunstan mystery novellas, as well as my Casey Holland transit security novels. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at debra_kong@telus.net

8 thoughts on “Those Glitches in My Writing Career”

  1. These all sound familiar. My husband knows not to disturb me when I’m writing but my dog will come into my office and drop the ball at my feet, then look at me with those adorable big eyes. She still doesn’t quite understand, “As soon as I’m finished this chapter, I’ll play ball with you.” I am in awe of people who write books while raising small children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Darlene. Happily, hubby’s at work weekdays. It’s the weekends where the disruptions really happen, and yes, I can relate to your situation with your dog. Whenever my daughter’s away, I babysit her black lab, but he’s pretty good about waiting patiently. Luckily, I can’t sit for long periods of time, so I have plenty of play breaks when he’s here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate to both your post and Darlene’s comments. I have really been burning food since I started building my new website and when in “edit” or “drafting” mode I get so engrossed I completely forget there’s food on the stove until I smell it. This happened the other day during an online meeting and I had to say “Hang on! I spell the rice burning!” I’ve actually started to set timers on my phone now hoping that ping will alert me;)

    And I have a 14-month-old lab who jumps me frequently when I’m perched at my desktop. It’s a good thing, really. She reminds me that I have to get up and stretch and, oh yeah, feed her.

    But isn’t working at home the best?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is, Wendy, and thanks for sharing your thoughts! When you think about it, all those interruptions could be a blessing to get us out of our inner worlds and to engage in the real world. It’s just a question of balance, which as you know, can be challenging at times 🙂

      Like

  3. This all sounds so familiar, Debra. It’s so great to know I’m not the only one where domestic duties and the thrill of being on a writing run or edit collides. Enjoy your bit of break away. And know that the few months will fly!

    Liked by 1 person

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