I work from home. All of my writing is done at home – I am emailed projects, I email back completed projects. This is a lovely way to work and I enjoy it thoroughly even though I sometimes feel like I am working a million jobs just to make what I would normally make if I worked a regular, office-type job. However, I would prefer a million jobs cobbled together than the hell that is sitting in a cubicle.
I once worked as a technical writer at a software company, which was a good job until they “restructured” and put me in a room with 6 other people. My boss interrupted me every 5 minutes with a question about the software, that as my boss she should have known the answer to. Nothing causes frustration and then rage faster for me than being interrupted when I am writing. This was a hellish set-up because with writing there is a flow. Once you start writing and the words are pouring onto the screen quickly and easily, being interrupted cuts off that flow and causes you to have to start all over again. Other than research, the longest part of writing is getting started and getting the flow going. I can write very quickly if I am uninterrupted. With interruptions it takes a much longer time to write, because I have to mentally regain my footing, the Where Was I of writing.
Working from home means that the only person who really interrupts me is Will and as he writes, too, he gets the frustration of interruptions. He does try very hard to leave me alone when I am writing, albeit not entirely successfully. I try very hard to make sure he is gone before I start and it seems to work well.
The downside to working from home is that I do not really have co-workers. I never thought I would miss co-workers, as I suck at playing politics (I have the woeful tendency to answer questions truthfully, and when my opinion is asked, I give it) and so mostly annoy and get annoyed by co-workers, but apparently any interaction with people combats feeling isolated. When I take lunch, it is alone. When I take a break, it is alone. When I do anything that would normally involve maybe speaking to someone throughout the day, it is pretty much just me, alone.
I end up talking to the cats. This is something I have always done to one extent or another. I talk to animals, birds, fish, trees, anything remotely alive. I have told the spiders of the house that they are welcome to stay as long as they stay mostly out of sight – any trapeze artists who want to swing in front of my face (this happens to me more often than you would think normal) are going to either being squished or relocated, depending on the mood I am in at the time. However, those are mostly short conversations. “Aren’t you a pretty tree?” “My what beautiful feathers you have, you pretty bird.” “Seriously? What were trying to do, build a web on my nose?”
With the cats, they meow at me, and I talk to them, then they trill and rub against my legs. It seems to make both of us happy.
One of the things I have noticed lately, though, is that I also talk to myself. I first noticed this at Crossfit as I would tell myself that I could do something. “Ok. Take a breath and then keep going.” or “Don’t get psyched out. The box is not that high.” or “You can do this.” Little things like that to help me get over that little naysayer in my head that seems to be quite the pessimist.
Walking out of Crossfit today, Will forgot his keys and had to go back inside. I stood there waiting for second before I remembered that we drove separately as we both had to go work. “I do not know why I am standing here waiting for him,” I said to myself. Out loud. The problem is at Crossfit there are Other People there who can hear me, so I either have to play it off like I was talking to them in an under my breath mutter, or just be That Woman Who Talks To Herself. I am not sure which of these two people I would like to be categorized as.
Will also talks to himself, but he has done this forever so I am not really sure what his excuse is. If I am going to talk to myself, at least I know I will be in good company.