I find myself in the uncomfortable position of explaining how I spend my time each day. Not to my hubz, who doesn’t really care as long as he has a clean work shirt and some undies. Not to my kids, who don’t really care as long as dinner is on the table. And not to myself, as I certainly don’t care as long as I have been able to read for pleasure at least a half-hour at some point during the day.
But, much as we don’t like to admit it, and much as it sucks, there will always be factors of society to whom we each owe a modicum of explanation. The instruction to “Be yourself” is all well and good — and clearly is a motto to which I strive to commit — but doesn’t mean diddly-squat on applications, requests for assistance, and family gatherings.
Don’t believe me? Next time you apply for a credit card or loan, under the box marked “Occupation”, respond with “Whatever I please” — see how far that gets you in gaining your request for funds.
It has been suggested that, because I don’t work outside the home, I don’t have a job. I will grant you that our house isn’t always dust-free, and I do fall behind on laundry. I will admit that we eat pre-processed, packaged food for dinner more often than is healthy (although it is almost always accompanied by green vegetables). So to assume I’m a lousy “HOUSEWIFE” isn’t far off the mark. I am, indeed, a truly terrible housewife, insofar as housewifely duties are concerned.
All this dodges around a certain question, however. I was careful to indicate that I don’t work outside the home. I don’t. I used to, and then we split the household chores between us, since we spent equal hours away from our residence. Society would still expect that it was *ME*, the wife, in charge of laundry and meals, but that’s not the way it fell in our marriage.
Now I work from home, and almost a year later, it’s still kind of vague as to who is responsible for which household jobs. I think we both agree that, since I’m actually *HERE*, and since I am able to complete my work-from-home-job in my pajamas, the household chores should generally fall on my shoulders, and that’s the way we try to run things. It doesn’t always go to plan, though.
Here’s a look at my general weekday, which consists of 11 hours + 15 minutes. And yeah — this doesn’t include cooking, cleaning, making breakfast &/or lunch, doing laundry, hopping on the treadmill, taking a shower, or eating fucking Bon-Bons.
Administrative Work (2 hours + 30 minutes) :
- 30 minutes sorting emails into the appropriate folders so I start every day with “Inbox Zero”.
- 30 minutes responding to personal &/or blog-related emails.
- 30 minutes making &/or returning phone calls (appts., school, family, etc.)
- 1 hour on an online job for which I’m actually being paid
Blog-Related Work (2 hours + 30 minutes) :
- 30 minutes on Triberr, consisting of sharing my tribemates’ posts, responding to questions, adding new members, and scouring the conversations for new information.
- 15 minutes promoting my daily blog post via Twitter and FB.
- 45 minutes responding to comments on my blog (in 3 x 15-minute intervals)
- 30 minutes on Twitter responding to any personal mentions, conversing with other bloggers, or promoting interesting &/or funny Tweets.
- 30 minutes on FB responding to any personal mentions, conversing with others, or promoting interesting &/or funny posts.
Writing-Related Work (4 hours + 15 minutes) :
- 45 minutes writing one blog post.
- 45 minutes writing an extra blog post.
- 45 minutes writing a guest post.
- 2 hours writing my WIP.
Reading-Related Work (2 hours) :
- 1 hour reading, responding, and promoting other bloggers’ posts.
- 1 hour reading, taking notes from, &/or doing exercises from writing-related books &/or blogs to learn more about the craft.
To those who question how I spend my day, I want to know how many 11-hour work days you put in. I might be sitting here in my pajamas (I am), and the house might be a wreck (it’s in so-so shape), but that’s only because I have a lot of shit to accomplish. The laundry is clean, if not all put away.
Obviously I don’t get it all done, all the time. Currently I’m several thousand words behind on my WIP’s word count, which I’m supposed to make up today — except that we’re going to be visiting with family — which you’ll note ALSO doesn’t show up on my list of work.
I’ve also heard questioned the idea of considering “writing” as “work”, since it does not yet bring in any money. I like to call this a money-free investment. Instead of dropping several thousand dollars onto a project and hoping it pays off, I’m merely dropping several thousand hours of my own time — and enjoying myself in the process. How is that crappy, retail nine-to-five job treating you? I hear it SUCKS BALLZ.
Maybe you should start a blog and begin a novel. First, though, you’ll have to be lucky enough to find a spouse to support you, thereby allowing you the freedom to follow your dream. Good luck with that. I got that last one, people.