Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Monday Musing, Post-Holiday Edition

Christmas has come and gone, though the Holidays-with-a-capital-H are still upon us. Yesterday was a lovely day, a full day, and now we’re sort of back into the routine. For example, here I am, improvising a blog post, waiting for my first cup of coffee, and realizing I just forgot to set the timer so said coffee is likely to come out of the French press too bitter. All systems working as intended.

Things are not normal, though. For one thing, I’m not scrambling as much as on a typical, didn’tfinishdraftingapostandnowI’vegottogetitdonebeforeIhavetoleaveforwork Monday. That’s because New Boss decided (and got approval of the Board) to shut down the office for the week. Part of it was no doubt selfishly motivated: she wanted to spend time visiting family away from home this week, but it was also in recognition of the fact that me and my fellow underling co-worker both had put in a lot of extra hours over the year, particularly when we were down a staff person this summer. It’s nice to be recognized for this, though not expected, and I won’t expect it next year.

But it leaves me with a full week, and it’s kind of strange to think of a full week without work. What does that leave me to do? For one, I still have to fix my thermostat. I bought a new one, along with some replacement wire (I got a look at the old stuff–it’s so old, it’s the kind that’s covered in cloth. Can you say “Fire hazard? I knew you could.”), but wisely decided seven o’clock on a weeknight was not the best time. Just in case I do something wrong. It shouldn’t take long, and it should be pretty easy, but I’m the kind of person who turns simple jobs into complicated affairs. Know thyself, right?

There is also lots of reading to be done. I have a book on the end table, and another one at the library, I’m curious to see if I can finish both before next year, or if one (or both) will be first on the 2017 reading list. On top of that, I’m beta-ing for a friend and am woefully behind on that. I feel guilty, but it’s not always easy–or fast–to beta. I hopefully have not taken so long that she changes the name of one the characters (it’s kind of strange when you have an uncommon last name to see it in a work of fiction), or decides to have him killed off in some embarrassing or grisly way (of course, since I haven’t read all the way through yet, that could be exactly what happens to him).

And, of course, there is writing, writing, writing. Job one, right? So, I suppose it’s time to close this one up and get to it, and make this a working Holiday week.

What about you? Are you working this week, or are you back to your normal schedule?

4 Responses

  1. I am not working this week because as you read on my blog–I finished my revisions!! Plus Hubby is home for three days this week (Mon, Wed, & Fri), so I wouldn't have gotten much done anyway. Looks like a good time to read. Or watch TV. I'll have to toss a coin. Enjoy your week off!

  2. Congrats on your week off! It IS so good to get some special recognition for working hard. Although I usually post the night before, holidays have overwhelmed me and I'm scrabbling to get one little post out the day of. I also have a 70k crit to do, but unlike you, the first thing that always gets kicked out of my schedule is my writing. I need full concentration and a big time block to write well. I'm crossing my fingers I'll get my schedule sorted better in January. Wishing you and your family a 2017 full of peace and joy!

  3. Lexa–I'm learing, slowly but surely, that I can actually write even when there's not a huge amount of time available. I was fortunate this week to get a couple of long mornings in (3-5 hours, whoop!) and made some good progress. Best wishes for 2017 for you and your family!

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