Writer’s Triple Shift

October 14, 2009 § 6 Comments

10458832_200Lots of us have discussed the challenges of writing and supporting ourselves, but I’ve never heard it phrased this way before – working the double shift.  This essay by Emily St. John Mandel about how well known writers view the challenge  is worth reading.

But here’s what I want to know: Is it a triple shift if kids, partners and/or dogs are also in the mix? My dogs are as demanding – and pleasurable – as family.

I think I work a triple shift – well, OK,  a 2.5 shift – I don’t have to talk to the dogs.

How many shifts do you work? And what do you count as a shift?


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§ 6 Responses to Writer’s Triple Shift

  • I have reduced my life to only two shifts. Sleeping and working. The family, day job, pets, and writing all get lumped in there somewhere and not necessarily in the working only category!

  • seanfraser says:

    When I’m writing I go hard at it and I can do that for a few days or week .

    I’m lucky that my profession involves writing and I have to produce most days and that helps. What I find is that it is the quality of the short breaks I take that recharge my batteries.

    • I think you are lucky, Sean. The writing I do for work does nothing to fuel my creativity, and makes me want to avoid the computer.

      When you talk about the quality of your short breaks, what do you mean? What kinds of things do you do?

  • Sonya Feher says:

    Thanks for the essay recommendation Pamela. It’s making me realize that all of the pushing against having so much to do that isn’t writing is actually making me that much more determined to write. Maybe working the second or third shift as a writer is actually helping my writing and not hurting it.

    • That makes sense to me too, Sonya. When I’m committed, I’ll write no matter what – and the lack of time forces me to be clear and focused. I’ve been meaning to tell you that I’ve seen how prolific you’ve been lately – two blogs and each active – now I understand.

      I need to reconsider my commitment!

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