Everyone told me to treat writing like a job. I'd need to show up and actually work, as I would for any other employer. There should be goals and deadlines. A plan. In other words, I need to be productive. It’s all very true. But…
I have quickly found, I’m my own worst boss.
Ironically, I’m a manager at my day job – you know, the one that actually pays the bills. I have eleven people who report directly to me and I hold a great deal of inter-departmental responsibility on top of that. You’d think I’d be a better boss to myself when it comes to writing. Not so much.
If you’ve ever worked for someone else, then you know when you have a bad boss your job can go downhill pretty damn quick. This applies when you’re self-employed, too. Part-time, Full-time, it doesn’t matter. Bad leadership is bad business, period.
The Good Boss
We recently held a Leadership in-service at work and they discussed topics such as, What qualities make up a good boss?
The top answer is leading by example – pretty hard to do when your “example” is what you’re trying to improve. But there are other authors out there who are emulation worthy.
Fairness was also somewhere near the top. And I don’t think fairness means a six hour marathon of Arrow on Netflix as a reward for surviving the Monday through Friday routine. So I began thinking, it’s really not fair to the characters when their author is slacking off, is it?
Other qualities that I can recall were recognition, organization, and conflict resolution (which isn’t that just handy). You get the drift; all of these are applicable to writing as well.
So this is part of the new mindset I’ve been trying to keep when it comes to writing. To be a better boss to myself.
Maybe you’re lucky enough to not have a certain affliction, but apparently I’ve got it bad. It’s called procrastination. And it’s usually followed by the excuse “I don’t have time.” Yes, I do. And if you’ve said this – you probably do, too. Not probably – there’s time. But like anything else it doesn’t magically jump up and identify itself. So the challenge is to start being honest.
“I don’t have time because I watched six hours of Arrow.”
“I don’t have time because I spent an hour scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook.”
“I don’t have time because instead of writing, I decided it was a good time to google HTML for blogger.”
All true stories, by the way. And I did learn a lot about HTML – love Google. LOL. But it’s not getting the story written and that’s the bottom line.
What about you? Suffer from procrastination, or find yourself without time like me?