“Don’t waste another day…”
Today was my last day of freedom before work starts up again. I work as a school photographer, a job which is way more demanding than it probably sounds and a job that no one seems to respect. Considering some of the people I work with, that latter point doesn’t surprise me too much. I’ve spent a lot of time in real life complaining about my job, and as much as I hate the politics that go on in the office (which I am privy to because my mother and sister both work there, too), I actually like a lot of aspects of this job.
For instance, I like the hours. I’m not really a morning person, no, and waking up between 4:30 and 5:30 isn’t really my favorite thing, I do like the fact that I’m usually back at home between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. The hours vary, of course (I once got home from a middle school at 6:00 pm), but for the most part I wake up around 5 am and back home by 4 pm. And how many other jobs are going to pay you for the time it takes you to drive to work? Sure, I make less than $12,000 a year after taxes (and that’s including the unemployment I get during the off-season), but it could be worse. I get weekends and holidays off. Since I only work when school’s in session, I end up with a lot of time off (mid-November to late January and then again from mid-May to August).
I’m never going to be paid a lot of money to work at this job. I don’t even think I’ll be able to do it forever. School pictures are going out of style, and I expect the company will close soon, even though we’re the biggest photography company in the state (probably the country). Still, for now I’m enjoying the fact that I have to endure four months of hell before getting a two month break. Not many other jobs out there offer that type of benefit. Sure, most jobs pay a lot better than mine does, but for the hours I work, I’m actually okay with the money I get. I would have to work full-time and year-round at minimum wage to make the same amount of money. I’d much rather work seasonally than year-round for that kind of money, especially because it means that I have four months a year that I can dedicate solely to writing.
My boyfriend’s parents keep trying to get me to find a new job. Part of that is because I complain about it all the time (teachers are really quite stupid most of the time, I’ve discovered), but part of it is because I think they don’t respect my job. I don’t really blame them for that, as I don’t have much respect for it either most of the time, but I’ve discovered I actually really enjoy my job because it gives me time to do what I love. I don’t have to worry about getting home between six and seven at night and then trying to find time to have dinner and socialize and write. I have two days off each week to write, and I generally have at least an hour before anyone else in my family gets home that I can use to write. Then, in the off-chance that I do get too tired and demoralized to write during the week, I always have winter and summer to write.
This post is supposed to be more about writing than work, but I felt that I should go ahead and write about all the positive things about work before I actually go back tomorrow and start hating it again. If I think about it as my career, it makes me want to throw myself off the nearest tall building. If I think about it as my day job while I work on building up my writing portfolio and trying to become a published author, though, it’s not so bad. And while I know that I will probably never be able to support myself solely from my writing, the idea that I’m working toward that goal is enough to keep me going for now.
In writing news, I have written about 2k today, bringing my total for the month up to 80,338. I’m about a day ahead where I want to be, though I’m a few months behind where I wanted to be in Tilt. I found myself summarizing some of the major events that were supposed to occur, which for anyone who knows me is extremely odd, as I tend to draw out everything as long as I can. I decided I wasn’t doing my story justice, so I decided to give myself a break and work on something else. Writing isn’t supposed to feel like a chore. I’ve often found that if I put something off until the “right” time, by the time I give myself permission to work on it, I don’t want to write it anymore. I’m trying to break myself of that habit. Tilt wasn’t working for me at the moment, so I moved on to something else.
That something else is a story about a young woman who cheats on her boyfriend with a guy that she used to know. It’s completely not what I usually write (as I hate the idea of cheating and would never forgive someone for cheating on me), but for some reason I was drawn to this idea. It started with a dream I had that I couldn’t forget. I thought it was going to be a short story about the one-time event, but I’ve now written almost 5k, and she has only just met the guy at a coffee shop. There’s more to these characters than I originally thought (not much more, of course, but a little more), and I’m interested to see where it goes. Who knows – maybe I’ll get bored with them and go back to my original novel in a few days. For now, though, I’m interested in seeing what they do. It’s sort of fun writing about a character whose actions are so drastically different from my own. Usually when I write, I try to think about what I would do in that situation. Now I’m writing about what I wouldn’t do, and it’s kind of fun.