Thoughts on work and the creative brain.

Sorry for the late blog post all. My husband's deep in end-of-semester crunch and he has been stealing my laptop away to help him study.

(Also, I've discovered Supernatural, but that's a blog post in itself.)

Ahem.

I've begun to notice that I have a distinct gear-shift issue when it comes to my day job--customer service at a corporate coffee shop--and my PRIMARY job of professional novelist.

*brief pause while I do a happy dance at being able to type the words "professional novelist"*



See, I've been in customer service for almost a decade, most of that in some form of food service. And anyone who's in that kind of job will tell you, there are very defined goals.  Serve the customer. Keep busy and keep things clean. Maintain a happy and professional demeanor.  Don't complain. And if you're having a bad day or you don't feel well, then power through it.

Showing up is your job.

Meeting the expectations is your job.

Putting aside your own feelings to serve the customer is your job.

And all of this is great training, honestly. There's something to be said for being self-motivated and able to do your job under any circumstances. And developing a habit of politeness is not a bad thing either.

So what's the problem?

Well, it turns out that all that powering through and pushing yourself to meet expectations under any circumstances... is not a super good strategy for writing. Not being open about your stresses and asking for help and encouragement (a problem for me in any case) is not a good strategy for writing.  Taking care of others instead of yourself is not a good strategy for writing. 

And if it's not a good strategy for writing, then you can imagine what a horrible strategy it is when you're faced with a huge pile of copyedits.  Basically....



Things are better now, and I've made a lot of mental notes in my "things I'll do differently next time" file. But I'm beginning to realize that the way I do work--the way I've been trained to do work over the years--isn't gentle on the creative brain.

I'm not used to having to take care of my creative brain, so this is a new journey for me. And I just wondered...

Does anyone else have this problem?

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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.