Monday, 11 January 2010

Life. Work. Writing. Whatever.

As is so often the case on a Monday, I am writing this while listening to an extremely boring conference call. "But!" I hear you cry, "If you can concentrate enough to write this, why can't you do some real work instead?" This is a valid question, and one that I'm going to sidestep by thinking about the increasingly permeable boundaries between my work, my home life and my hobbies.

Once upon a time (actually about a year ago), things were simple - I went to work in an office every day, I spent my lunchtime in the library writing longhand and in the evening I watched TV / typed up what I'd written / sent stuff to agents. My life had some kind of balance, a daily collection of work, words and polite rejection. Then, imperceptibly at first, the ground began to shift beneath me. I lost my job and the new one was quite a cultural change, with a team of co-workers spread across five countries and two continents. Suddenly I was working at home as much as I was going to the office, and those nice neat boxes of time started to collapse. Undiscovered Voices happened as well, and my harmless little hobby took on a more serious aspect - it started to feel like, well, work.

I'm going to Istanbul tomorrow, on a four day business trip, and that's grabbing much of my attention and threatening to stop me finishing this blog post. But even this visit is not all that clear cut, because:

A. I've never been to Turkey before, so it feels like a holiday.
B. It's a lot warmer there (I have a hot water bottle beneath my feet as I typing this)
C. All that time on planes, waiting in airports and at the hotel is perfect for writing.

I guess what I need to do is impose more structure on myself, but I don't really know where to start. Right now, my life feels a lot like those chocolate bars you see in shops at the height of summer (go on, you can remember that far back) an amorphous squishy mass barely held inside its plastic wrapper.


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