My new job

Today was the first day of my new job as a full-time writer.  The long-term benefits aren’t as good as with my old job as a pharmaceutical industry chemist.  But you can’t beat the commute (up a flight of stairs to the attic, until Donald and I get around to switching offices, at which point it will be a few steps down the hallway from the bedroom).

I tend to measure my progress in hours spent writing rather than word count written, for various reasons.  But today I was pretty happy with both:  6 hours, and 2800 words.  (Maybe the word count seems low to you, but I’m not a very fast writer.  When I was writing an hour a day, 400 words was pretty typical for me.)

I did have a few bad moments early this morning where I failed to resist the lure of the internet, and spent a while reading about caviar and foie gras.  Not because I was planning to buy any, at least not in the immediate future, just … it’s the internet, do I need a reason for wasting time?  Then I spent a bit of time around lunch researching various CSAs in the area and how they work (still liking the idea of CSAs and having trouble admitting that Donald and I really don’t need so many vegetables).  Perhaps I spent a little more of my 6 hours than I needed to, researching different kinds of nuts and where they grow (this counted as “writing” because it was relevant to the story I’m working on; the caviar/CSA excursions didn’t).  But for the most part, I was pretty disciplined.  I sat down in my chair in front of my computer for two 3-hour blocks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and I didn’t get up except to go to the bathroom.

I’m pretty sure I won’t always do so well, but I felt that it was a good start!

Oh, and last week I had another story accepted.  I’ll say more once it’s confirmed and I’ve gotten a contract and all that.  It’s the 9th story I’ve had accepted.

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8 Responses to My new job

  1. ruthling says:

    Congratulations! I hope your boss doesn’t suck 🙂

  2. Wohoo! May you and your new job have a long and profitable relationship.

    You may, at some point, find the need to leave the attic or otherwise entirely. I did. In that case, may I recommend the BPL, main branch? Nothing like the echoing Bates reading room to propel your writing further up and further in.

    The other thing I’ve felt helpful, particularly when dealing with difficult passages or information, which—by the way—you cannot do in the Bates Reading Room is drink. Seriously, sometimes the words flow better with a little libation. Just don’t spill it on the keyboard.


  3. Simon C. says:

    Hey Kristin, congrats on your career change (finally!). Best wishes and I hope you do really, really well. As much as I can, I will try to drop by and sample your writing.

  4. Kristin says:

    My new boss is tough, but so far we’re getting on all right. 🙂

  5. Kristin says:

    The reading room at the BPL might work, but I’ve found that I’m very sensitive to distraction. It might be a problem if the people around me were typing too loudly. Seriously! Donald and I went on a romantic writing retreat together once, and I had to work in a different room because I couldn’t concentrate with the sound of his fingers on the keyboard. Maybe I was just worried that he was writing more words than I was!

    I’ve found it’s absolutely impossible for me to write in coffeeshops, because I can’t stop eavesdropping on the conversations around me, especially when they seem more interesting than what I’m writing.

  6. Bathes in milk says:

    Excellent. When I need discipline (and also because I am no where near as disciplined as you are) I set a timer and won’t even let myself go to another website until it dings and I take a walk around the block (the mandatory head-clearing following every desk-based hour long endeavor!) Good for you!!!

  7. Pamela says:

    Congrats on the new fulltime gig. I can’t wait to see the output.

  8. Arun says:

    Geoff just posted this on G+, and it made me think of you and writing slowly. I don’t know if it would help.

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