Thursday, 19 February 2009
Burning the midnight oil - Linda Strachan
I like to write at night because it is more peaceful. The phone doesn’t ring, no one comes to the door and there is that edgy quiet, if you need it, that darkness and the silence within which it brings.
I also find myself writing emails and doing all sorts of odd jobs on the computer often late into the night. The other day, well it was night really; I sent an email about a book cover to my illustrator, designer and a note to my agent, too. It was very late and I didn’t expect anyone to answer I just was trying to clear a few things from my desk. Almost immediately there was a flurry of emails.
It made me wonder how little the established ‘norm’ of working 9-5 applies to not just writers but many of the other people working in publishing. Email makes all of this possible but I wonder if it makes us also a slave to the job.
With so many freelance workers with the ‘freedom’ to choose our working time do we find ourselves forgetting to stop, trying to just write this last email, check this text, until the wee small hours or until our eyes are so tired or sore we can no longer see?
Is it a freedom or when does it become a compulsion, a drug - the temptation to get it all finished (when it never really is - there is always another email) overtaking all good sense?