I just finished up NaNoWriMo again. 50,000 words in a month is a lot of writing, especially when you’re holding down a (more than) full time job. I didwell with the scheduling and wrote a lot on the evenings and weekends, so while it took a pretty big toll on my personal life, it was manageable.
This was not the case a few years ago, when I did NaNoWroMo the first time.
At the time, I was working for a company that heavily valued Face Time. We had to be in early and out late and any deviation was questioned by management. I understand the need for some positions to be physically in the office. And I also think that interacting face to face with your colleagues is generally a good thing and helps with professional development. But being present in the office for the sake of being present in the office is useless and unproductive and pretty much only exists for managers to feel better about their management abilities.
I was, by the time NaNoWriMo rolled around, frustrated with management for a number of reasons, not that least of which was that I’d been assured during the interview process and during my initial days that flex work was very important, it was all about getting your work done, etc.
I wasn’t having any problems getting my work done and was getting positive feedback on the work I was doing. I was, however, finding it very annoying to keep my butt behind my desk beyond the hours when I was actually productive.
So as NaNoWriMo closed in, I made a decision. I was just going to write the damn book at my desk.
In the lead up to November, I started doing my prep work for the novel. I mentally blocked the hours of 8:00 to 9:30 for writing. Then I’d get on with my regular work until 17:30/18:00. When November started, sometimes I’d tag on an extra 30 minutes in the evening and stay until 18:30 or later. Just writing.
I finished my book easily.
We rolled into December and I kept up the habit. Instead of working on the book, however, I just did personal administration, online shopping and, unsurprisingly, applying for other jobs.
We had performance reviews before Christmas. Mine were glowing. My supervisor emphasized that I was dedicated to the team, a valuable employee, that I seemed really positive about my work.
I’ll be sure to thank this employer when my first book gets published.