New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #7: The Elusive Search for Balance

by | Sep 6, 2021 | Articles | 0 comments

It’s Labor Day today, and what are my wife and I doing? You guessed it: laboring!

I’ve just finished a massive job, editing a manuscript for a 90-something client. Hey, God bless him, right?

And God bless me for having the intestinal fortitude to get through the most challenging editing project of my life. Last night I pushed myself to finish the last ten pages, for the sole reason that I didn’t want to face them today or tomorrow.

 

About Labor Day

I wanted to write extensively today about the labor movement, the eight-hour day, employer-provided healthcareall those great benefits I used to have when I worked a J-O-B. But I’m too tired from the work I do now, running my own business.

In all honesty, I found some of the above mentioned client’s ideas to be truly repugnant, e.g., placing greater value on an older person’s vote than a younger person’s vote. As the wife of a hard-working immigrant who’s paid taxes since a month after she arrived in the U.S., my client’s outrage that immigrants have the audacity to send money home to relatives was…well, let’s just say my blood pressure went up a tad.

But I got through it by keeping my sense of humor. I was reminded of comedian Bill Burr, talking about elder Americans’ scandals for “old school” thinking and language:

You never talked to a grandparent and asked the wrong question, and all of a sudden it went down this crazy road? What did you think he thought? This guy’s parents were part of the generation that finished off the genocide of the Native Americans!

 

Work/Life Balance for Writers

Meanwhile, my wife—now an American citizen, I’ll have you know—is working a double today. No eight-hour shift for her, even on a national holiday, nor for me either.

And my topic for the week? Finding that elusive balance as a full-time writer?

I don’t know what to tell you. Freelancing can be feast or famine, and you have to knock every project out of the park. I spent almost 40 hours editing that manuscript which, if it had been well-written, self-edited and proofread to begin with, would have taken about 15. But the dude is over 90, so why not let him have his day?

So…balance? If you’re married and/or have kids and you’re a real writer, try not to be a shitty spouse or parent. I guess that’s about the best I can offer today!

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