Bonus 24 hours

Today was the bonus 24 hours everyone gets once every 4 years. For some reason, to me, it feels almost special. Of course, it’s rather silly to think that. But for some reason, the idea of having a whole extra day is great.

I, of course, worked for part of it. A short shift of 5 hours, though it was smack-bang in the middle of the day, so I couldn’t really do anything else. Never-the-less, I did need to go into work to give them a copy of my convoluted timetable, and to discuss my future plans with them.

On the way in, I heard a rather good advertisement for Masey Publisher. They were capitalising on the whole 29th thing and had ads running telling people to do something out of the ordinary, as the chance only comes around once every 4 years. I rather liked it. I generally enjoy those kind of ads that are out-of-the-ordinary. They are also much more effective on me. I wouldn’t have been able to remember the company that the ad was for unless I liked it. And you wouldn’t have known the ad was even for Masey Publisher until the very end.

Anyway, I got in and had a good day, all things considered. It was busy with a function. I knew the company that was having their ‘do’, as they were customers of my father’s company. I say were because they are relocating their factory to Singapore, and a once sizable account for my father’s firm is no more. He’s pretty annoyed about that, as is the whole company. I suspect a few of the employees are worried too, such is the position of his industry in this country. Everything is going to Bali.

I had the discussion with my boss about certain things, and then ventured the topic of when I could possibly go on holiday, and for how long. Being a casual employee, I’m not exactly tied there. Nor are they ‘obliged’ to roster me on for hours. So the last thing I want to do is do something stupid that will see someone else get my hours. And I think a month-long holiday is one of those stupid things. I had hoped that 3 weeks would be something they could handle.

Anyway, my boss (who I’ve always had much respect for) proved to be an even better guy than I even imagined and said I could conceivably take as long as I wanted off and still expect my job to be going when I returned. So I settled (in my mind) that I’d go to the U.S. in July - fly out the 30th of June, come back the 25th. Without attempting to brag (who am I kidding - of course I’m going to brag!) it’s likely that I do a bang-up job. I really do put a lot of effort in, and certainly more than other people on the roster. I think that my boss would want me at work even if I took more than a month off. It’s good that, I guess.

I put the cricket on the televisions on the walls to watched. I hardly watched it though - it was so boring to begin with that I just gave up and occasionally glanced at it to find out the score. I don’t understand why ‘dead’ matches are ever played - and especially in this series. I would be happy to have moved the finals forward, just to get the Indian cricket team out of here a few days early. Seriously, I’m sick and tired of them whining and complaining about every match they lose.

My shift came to an end at 5pm, and I was off. The traffic wasn’t too bad surprisingly. Usually I have quite a wait to get onto Henry Lawson Drive at that time of the day, but today I did not. When I got home, my mother was feeding a cockatoo some bread. I don’t know why, but she was. We went inside, and then half an hour later, eight of them were in my neighbour’s tree pulling off lemons and eating them. The sight was very funny. Some of them perched on our fence with one foot and in the other, they held their lemon. They were digging away into it with their beak and loving it. I wondered whether they’d eat the lemons if they tasted the same as they tasted for us.

It was a funny thing to watch as well because our neighbour loves his lemon tree. But laying all around it on the ground is dozens of rotting lemons with beak-marks in them. It’s a funny sight.


Balance Your Life

Writing is a solitary task.
Writing needs concentration and quiet.
Writing requires absolute commitment.
Are all there scary statements true?

What is more, is it possible to balance your writing career and family without turning yourself into a zombie?

Everything is feasible; I am the living example of it.

There is only one secret: TIME PLAN.

This is step one for the aspiring writer’s success. Without it, nothing can be achieved. How can you do it?

Simply make a rough plan of the time allowed to your writing project every day. It is highly important for the writer to know exactly WHEN he /she is going to settle down and write, feeling free of all the other responsibilities that he has.

I have made a simple schedule. You can work out yours according to your family needs.

Every morning just after breakfast, and as soon as the family have gone, I allow myself to work on my PC for one to two hours, depending on the workload of the day. Then I go on with the house chores and all the rest of the family tasks till noon. At 2 o’ clock everybody is back so I serve lunch, but after that I have 2-3 hours free to work on my morning assignment. Thus, there is plenty of time to care for the family , while in the afternoons I still have time to go to my part time job in time , feeling satisfied I have worked at home on my project.

In the evening I sometimes find an hour or so , when the family watch TV . This time I sit with them in the living room , having pre arranged to do the easiest tasks for my writing job, such as note taking or layout planning of new stories or articles. I use pen to paper and I don’t bother if I make mistakes. Next morning, there is plenty of time to revise them and complete them.

If this plan has been working perfectly for me, why not for you as well?

You only have to calculate when and how long you need to write every day. Of course , you must stick to your plan and never give it up , apart from very urgent cases. Remember that your work is also urgent, so never skip it.

If you respect your writing job, the others will do so too. What is more, they won’t feel neglected as you will give them your care and attention at the time they are around. Furthermore, your house chores will be done in time and you won’t feel overworked. Many a times I used to end up with half burned meals and I felt extremely stressed trying to catch up with all the house chores before the family was back home. So, telling yourself ‘I’ll do it later’, it’s not the solution. ‘Later’ will come in no time and you will find yourself in a very difficult situation. Yet, no one will believe your excuses as you have been in the house the whole morning , and you will feel inefficient for no reason at all! ” A little every day” is my motto, and, in the long run, everything is done and everybody is happy. Keeping your writing and family under control will make you feel satisfied and everyone, including you, will be happy.

Also, keep in mind that there is nothing odd if you work in unconventional places.

I sometimes find it stimulating to work in the living room with all the family around. Noise does not bother me ,on the contrary, it brings me more ideas. This article was outlined last evening while we were all watching a football match. Well, the truth is I did not watch much of it! I was absorbed in my new article, but that’s how this idea sprang out. I can perfectly work in a chatty setting. Have you tried it? You may come up with fresh ideas and great articles.

Finally, who says that writing can turn you into a zombie? Shatter the myth! It’s up to you to enjoy both your family and your writing career. Simply make a time plan!