Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why I Should Never Write in Public

Today is my last day at work. The next two weeks will be spent packing and moving, and on June 1, Andrew starts his new job as an engineer... and I start mine as a stay-at-home writer.

It still doesn't feel real!

I used to get most of my writing done during lunch breaks and the occasional downtime at work. For many reasons, writing at work was a great thing for me. I had no choice but to sit at a desk in front of a running computer all day, and if I didn’t write during my breaks, I wouldn’t have anything else to do.

There were a few embarrassing downsides to writing away from home. Some of my writing habits seem odd if you don’t know what I’m doing.

For example, when I have trouble describing a character’s expression, I make the same expression on my own face and describe what I did. I do the same thing with gestures. While writing at work, it was very difficult for me to keep from shrugging, gasping, or raising a skeptical eye brow at my computer.

(Oh my gosh, I totally just raised a skeptical eyebrow as I’m writing this.)

I was friendly to my co-workers, except between 12:00 and 1:00. If someone ever tried to interrupt me during my oh-so-precious lunch hour, heaven help them.

When I ran image searches, I couldn't always predict what kind of images would come up. Many times I've run what I thought was an innocent search and had to close the browser, look over my shoulder to see if anyone saw, and delete all browsing history.

The worst was when a scene in my book made me emotional. I’ve choked back tears at work on more than one occasion. When I finished the rough draft to Sacred Fire, I was so happy that I walked around the office with a huge grin on my face all day long. I also get mad at my book sometimes, and no one knows why I’m suddenly so grumpy.

From now on I can be as odd as I want. I can't wait.

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  1. I also make the facial expressions and gestures that I struggle to describe. But I can't write at work so it's only the cat I get disparaging looks from!

  2. I write at work on very rare occasion too. And I do exactly the things you're describing. I always try and hide it really fast when a coworker walks by right as I'm laughing or gasping or making faces when my characters are.

    best of luck with the move, and enjoy the full-time writing thing ^_^

  3. Good luck with your move and congrats on being able to write full-time!

  4. I do that! I make the expressions. I make the gestures. I thought I was the only one. I'm so happy I read this!

  5. Hahaha, I second Annalisa's thoughts! We are not the only ones. Oh, I wish I could be a stay-at-home writer too! Maybe someday...

  6. Yay, I'm not a crazy person! Or at the very least, all writers are just as crazy as I am!

  7. That is so exciting that you will be able to write full time. And I completely know what you mean. Sometimes when I am writing in public, my face will be inches from a page where I am writing madly....only before I stop and scratch out everything I just wrote!

  8. Congrats, you're going to be a full time writer!

    I don't write as fervently as you seem to do with all the various facial expressions and gestures that come on, but I've been told that I do make some odd facial expressions when I read, write and watch films, which makes people think that my expressions reflect my mood when they actually don't. Haha.

  9. Sounds both exciting and scary, but then I guess all big changes are both rolled into one! Good luck!

  10. Hi,Alot of times I may be thinking about soemthing else. Maybe a scene in my book and someone else might read my facial expression as I'm angry or upset.As soon as I finish grad school I hope to get a job as a professor, then I'll be closer to being a fulltime writer. Nicolas Sparks said he started writing one page per night, at the end of the year he had a book. I've written 300 pages on Hillary Hermes and I started it last June.

  11. Guard that time zealously. You'll be surprised at how distractions and other people encroach, like dust


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