I’ve worked for many bosses during my IT professional career, most of them full-blown sociopaths who never gave a rat’s patootie about me. Recently, I wrote of the sociopath I currently report to and the knife he carefully slipped between my ribs.
And I wrote about the recent decision I’m making to get down and dirty with something I’ve been doing for most of my life. Something that had become far more than just a part of me. Something I’d entirely, and fervently discounted as a possible means of full-time income.
It’s getting close now. The dominoes are all just about lined up and waiting for me to flick the first one and start the chain reaction. When I do, there’s going to be a new boss of mine in town.
But in all fairness to my boss, I (and the three sisters Fate, Karma, and Kismet) probably brought about this new need to change gears.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. My boss (but not for long) is still a sociopathic as*hole, but in hindsight, I believe I provided him the ammunition he needed to fire a kill shot he already intended to do.
This morning as I was driving to “work,” I let my thoughts drift to a time back in the nineties.
No, not the eighteen-nineties ya’ll. The nineteen nineties. I ain’t that old.
What I realized is that as early as nineteen ninety-five, I’ve been attempting to serve multiple masters. Nearly every one of those work masters I hated working for, but there was one I hated not working for. Most of you who’ve read my work know how I feel about writing. I’ll not bore you with the details but suffice it to say I’ve been doing this writing thing for a long time.
And therein lies the fundamental rub.
As far back as nineteen ninety-five as I was slaving away for other egocentric taskmasters, I was often answering to a higher calling and writing. Sometimes at work, when I should have been “working,” I was writing.
Full admission here, folks.
I wrote the entire draft of my first novel, all one hundred and eighty thousand words, (parsed down to a much tighter 90K) during the first seven months of nineteen ninety-five while supposedly “working” for a mom and pop tech company.
I was undoubtedly performing a dangerous high-wire act back then, but I somehow managed to pull it off.
So, when it looked like the mom and pop company was going under, I did what any self-respecting closet writer would do.
I put on my traveling boots, hailed a cab, and got the h*ll out of Dodge.
I got a job “working” for a more prominent, more established tech company, and of course, climbed the ladder to the tiny platform and stepped out on the high-wire again.
Book two was written while I was supposedly “working” for the second tech company. Book three while working for a third and book four while working for the last.
Here’s why it’s the last. Recent changes in the way I see myself, how I view my writing career have dramatically shifted my priorities over time. When that began to happen, I started stepping out of my writing closet more and more.
It didn’t take long before I stopped being a writer who works and became a worker who writes.
After twenty-five years, you’d think I’d be willing to just be true to myself and stop fighting, but no, not Mister Head-Stuck-Up-His-Own-A*s, not me. I had to stretch this lust for comfort and path of least resistance out as far as it would go.
Until it became no longer comfortable and possessing more resistance than a steel curtain.
Of course, being the stupid sh*t that I am, I have just now realized there was only so long I could have possibly continued playing this game of write, work, write before my boss smartened up to what was happening.
All these years, it has been nothing but a classic case of me being able to run and yet, not being able to hide. So I finally decided to stop hiding altogether and announced to myself and my sociopath boss, I was a writer.
What a stupid thing to do.
I suppose this is his way of telling me to put my money where my mouth is.
In hindsight, I don’t think I can blame him all that much for what he did next, for slapping my a*ss with an action plan, but what the h*ll, I will anyway. Even though he and life did me a huge favor.
In a few short months (might be even sooner, we’ll see), I will become the boss of me, telling myself what to do, how to do it, and when to get it done. When I stop to think about it, for the last twenty-five years, I’ve forced myself to focus on several masters and have still managed to do what I love.
Now I have to focus on the business of writing. Yes, I understand it won’t just be about writing, although I certainly will write more. It will be hustling for new clients, managing deadlines, tons of submissions, hearing nothing but crickets along with getting tons of rejections. It will be pounding out word after word after word and maybe getting a few wins thrown in.
Hey, look at this way. When times get tough (and they will), I can always blame the new boss. I’ve heard he can really be a pr*ck at times.
Thanks So Much For Reading
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