Nina asks: Have any pointers for a Corporate America Rat on how to maintain sanity as a writer?
First off, let's rid ourselves of any notion that writers are sane, okay? We live in the side of our brain that Corporate America rejects, the creative side that makes any authority figure cringe, the weird neurotic side that often causes alcoholism, drug addiction and lights the eyes of neurologists everywhere. We're weird, at the very least. We march to the beat of a different drummer--an often distant one.
Now that we've cleared that up---
There are some tricks to keep us functioning in a normal manner acceptable by most of society. We can set normal business hours--normal for us, at least. If that's from 8 in the evening until 3 in the morning, we can call it working the late shift and people understand.
We can try not to answer the door in our pjs at 3 in the afternoon.
If we're in creative mode, we can try to stay in front of our computers and not wander the aisle of Kroger's muttering, "He said it wasn't murder."
But I think the one big thing a newly full-time writer from Corporate America needs to work out is how to stay socially oriented. We have no water cooler, no break room, no cubicle row to wander through and pick up the latest gossip. We need to establish networks of communication with our peers, but we also need to Get Out of the House. Very important. Some people take their laptops to the coffee shop to work and interact with real human beings, just as if they were still in a cubicle farm. Others have a well established network of family and friends--exploit them, please. Go to the theater, visit, go shopping, anything to keep the creative well fed instead of letting it swallow you alive.
The business aspects of surviving as a writer--they're the pits. Make sure you have a spouse with benefits and a regular income or it's back to Corporate America unless you happen to have the luck of a lottery winner.
As for my contemp proposal, is this Day #8? My brilliant reader has returned it with tweaks. I've dutifully made my corrections but went back to re-read the last quarter of the historical today before sending it off to my historical reader. I think I'll give my paranormal proposal another brushing off on Monday. And then maybe, if I'm feeling brave, I'll send both off on Tuesday. And Wait some more. Knock wood.
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