It’s been a long month, and an even longer year.
That’s not to say it hasn’t been a successful year of getting a lot of things done, because it has. Since I talk all the time about the importance of tracking your goals, here’s a quick list of things I got done in 2017:
- Turned This Blog Into a Regular, Consistent Project – Last January But I Also Have a Day Job was a mere scattering of posts with some half-finished static pages and few regular readers. For the last 12 months I’ve posted an entry a week, gained a lot of Continue reading
Angela D’Onofrio is a writer and artist whose series of novels takes place in the fictitious town of Aviario, Connecticut and contains elements of the fantastic (I reviewed one of her Aviario novels, In the Cards, a few weeks back). I met her through a local writer’s group, where I was struck by her dedication to promoting her projects and keeping an active role in her many, many creative communities. Check out more of her work here, or follow her on Twitter at @AngDonofrio.
Hello, fellow writers with day jobs! Ian approached me a little while ago and asked if I’d like to write a guest post for his blog. “Sure,” I said, “but let’s do it after National Novel Writing Month, when I’ll be done writing my fingers off…”
Which brings us to the topic of this post: Life vs. Writing. For the past four years, I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo: a challenge to authors to write the first 50,000 words of a novel draft in a month. As much as I’d love to be able to tell you that I pummeled my keyboard into submission…alas, Continue reading
I don’t often talk politics on this blog because that’s not what it’s for, but in rare cases I come across a political topic like the Republican Tax Bill that affects not only creative people with Day Jobs, but all of us who don’t quite fit the Traditional Middle-Class Mold of going to college, getting a high-paying job, and working that high-paying job until retirement.
For the past few weeks President Trump’s been talking about a new tax bill that he and others have touted as a way to bring tax relief to the middle class, in addition to reducing paperwork and loosening restrictions on businesses to make them more competitive. Though the exact rhetoric around the bill has been mixed, the White House has been careful to plant the seed that the bill isn’t designed to help the wealthy, and Continue reading
Just a quick note this week, since it’s been a busy one.
When I last checked in for my October novel progress I was working on typing up the revisions from the 3rd draft and had gotten through 55 pages, or about 20% of it. That was pretty good, but not great.
November’s progress was similar: as of today I’ve gotten through 120 pages of revisions, or roughly 40% of the draft. That’s also good (and slightly better than last month’s progress!), but not even close to where I’d like to be.
I am happy this month that I was able to spend more nights actually working than in previous months. That’s partly because I developed a rhythm of Continue reading
It’s that time of year again.
For the past five years I’ve done a yearly Art Swap where I round up a group of creative folks (almost all of whom have Day Jobs of their own) and everyone makes a project of some kind, in any medium, big or small. They make enough for everyone in the swap, mail them to me, and I collect the shipping money and mail the projects out to everyone else.
Organizing the whole thing is surprisingly simple—I keep in touch via plain ol’ email, set some deadlines early on to keep people on track, then send out group reminders as those deadlines get closer. Most everyone involved finds the deadlines helpful, since as I wrote about a few weeks ago, we tend to take tasks Continue reading
I used to stress out about work, but then I stopped.
Way, way back before I’d come up with the Day Job Philosophy, at my previous jobs I was always trying to support my employer by doing my best, since that was the way I’d been raised. I worked hard, tackled all the assignments I was given, tried to impress my superiors, and focused a lot on making other people happy—and it almost destroyed me.
Back then, I believed that if I did a job well I’d naturally be recognized for it, which would then lead me to more success and material rewards Continue reading
Some days I just don’t have the energy to sit down and do my creative work. It happens to all of us, and if you hear someone say that they can work every day despite the circumstances than they’re either lying through their teeth or they’ve somehow found the Holy Grail of Creativity that magically allows them to work at 100% peak performance all the time (which doesn’t seem likely).
Everybody reading this knows that feeling: when you come home tired from a long day at work, when you’re worried about bills, your future, or a breakup, or when you wake up on a Sunday too hungover to do much of anything. In these shittiest of shitty moments, the last thing you want to do is Continue reading
“But wait!” some of you naysayers might be shouting after my last entry about creating a world where people don’t have to spend all their time working just to get by, “if people didn’t have to work, then they’d just sit around playing video games until they ran out of money, and then society would fall apart! The only way to keep people from being lazy is to make sure they’re working hard so they can learn responsibility!”
I hear different versions of this argument a lot, and it always irks me because it assumes that the majority of people are innately Lazy and Useless, so we have to force them to work just to teach them a lesson.
This argument falls apart when you consider that being forced to work uninspiring, mindless jobs makes you see work solely as a chore, like that dishwashing metaphor I always use for unpleasant tasks Continue reading
It’s been a busy month, but not for novel-writing.
When I last posted about my progress on my new novel I was getting back into the game after a 3 month hiatus brought on mostly by my new job and recent move. Taking a break from writing helped me get a lot of stuff taken care of, but after so many weeks away I realized I had to get back to the novel or else I risked becoming even more disconnected from it than I already was—and that wasn’t a good thing. Continue reading
Answer: A lot.
I read an amazing article once (which unfortunately I haven’t been able to find again, but here’s a similar one) about how back in the 1900s or so after the Industrial Revolution had changed the way we live, people were optimistic that technology would continue to make our lives more convenient as time went on. People believed that all these awesome new gas-powered cars and factories would reduce the overall amount of work that needed doing, and that the newly reduced workloads would be passed down to the workers. Because machines and automation would be doing so much of the work, people Continue reading
I think a lot about how certain stories stick around through the generations because they reveal universal truths: Romeo and Juliet says a lot about first love, Gulliver’s Travels satirizes mankind’s stupidities, and 1984 explores totalitarian societies across all time (hence the novel’s sudden spike in sales after Trump’s election).
The best superhero stories do the same thing.
I have a friend who can school me in all things Batman and comic book hero-related (Hi Dan), but today I want to talk specifically about Superman, the precursor of them all. Or, as this entry’s title suggests, I want to talk about Clark Kent. Continue reading
Let’s get one thing straight: I love sleep.
Every day, at least once a day, I think about how great it would be to just lay down and go to sleep, or even just take a quick nap. On the weekends I try to sleep in at least one day until 9:00 or so (usually on Saturday, since that’s my no-work day) and go to bed early one night so I can get caught up, since sleep debts can have some pretty nasty effects if you’re not careful. My favorite time to sleep is on cold winter nights, covered in extra blankets, and I sleep a lot better Continue reading