Rogue Ink

May 3, 2008

Working on the Weekends

Filed under: Entrepreneurship,Off Topic,Writing — Tei @ 7:32 pm
Tags: , ,

It’s Saturday morning. By ‘morning’ I actually mean ‘one in the afternoon, but I just got up and made breakfast, so bite me.’ Last night I went out and saw a movie with a friend, played some air hockey for the first time in a decade, and won both games, which feels just as righteous at twenty-four as it did when I was fourteen. Arcades should never go away. And screw first-person shooter games. It’s all about air hockey and skeeball and those machines that would let you keep playing forever with 50 cents if you were good enough. Mortal Kombat. Oh, man, nostalgia’ll kill you.

Now, yesterday was a blow-off day for me. I had just finished a pretty hefty-sized couple of projects. It was a cold, gray, ‘Curl Up With a Cup of Tea and Watch Doctor Who on DVD’ kind of day, and I know to obey those days if you don’t have a good reason not to. Otherwise the Gods of Naming Days come after you, saying stuff like, “Dude, we named it that for a REASON. We did not name it ‘Get a Jump Start on Next Week’s Work’ Day, DID we? NO. It was even sub-titled ‘Christopher Eccles Is MY Doctor’ Day. What is WRONG with you? Quit organizing your receipts for tax purposes this second and watch him dip Billie Piper.”

Which means that today, Saturday, is a work day.

And I have a confession to make.

I like working on weekends.

Seriously. I like the devil-may-care nature of the whole thing. I like heading on over to the farmer’s market and parking myself and my notebook behind the cart full of fresh tomatoes and basil and scribbling down outlines in the midst of the smell and the street busking musicians and the flower-sellers. Eventually I’ll toddle over to a cafe full of people who are all having a lovely weekend, getting some breakfast with their lovers the morning after, discussing the vacation they might take, the book they just read, the relaxing, diverting, amusing stuff. Nobody talks about work on a Saturday. Everyone is tired of that. They talk about the stuff they enjoy, and that’s a delightful environment to write in, because I enjoy my work. It’s writing. It’s the best fucking job in the world.

If you’re a writer. I imagine that for a fisherman, catching fish is the best job in the world. And that is cool too. Power on, fishermen. Everyone’s got their own truth. My truth is Writing Rocks. Yours may be that Star Wars Rocks. And both of these things are equally true.

When I write around other people who hate what they do for a living, it starts to rub off on me. I start to go, “Yeah! Work sucks! Rise up and overthrow your overlords! Who’s my overlord? Damn it, it’s me.” When I write in a cafe full of people enjoying their Saturday, that rubs off on me too. I say things like, “It IS a lovely Saturday, and look, I just finished this first draft! And you’re starting a band with some buddies of yours? Awesome. We are both extremely cool.” Much better. Anarchy is good for desperate times, but this is writing we’re talking about. I prefer to be chill.

Nine-to-five, Monday through Friday. Uh, no.

I like that I can tell the common calendar to back off, because I am going to take one day off on Friday and one off on Tuesday and hell, maybe half a day off on Sunday, just because I can. As long as I put in the forty hours a week (or so) I promise myself, I can work any day I want, and at any time of day. I can wake up at noon if I want to and work until eight. I can work for two hours in the morning, take the afternoon off, and finish up in the evening. I can get up at five and – no, wait, I can’t do that at all. Early morning is where my abilities are shot. But all the rest of it, I can do.

And yeah, this does often mean that I work Saturday AND Sunday. Or Friday evening, or other times when all the world is theoretically supposed to be out gallavanting the night away. That’s where my roguish nature steps in. I don’t want to dance just because it’s Saturday. I’ll dance on the day I wake up and just have to dance. I will dance in my front yard if I have to because it’s four a.m. on a Wednesday and no dancing places are open. I don’t want to work just because it’s Monday. Actually, if you think about it, nobody wants to work on Monday because it’s Monday. But you do, don’t you? Yeah, you do. Stop that. Listen to the gods of naming things. If they say that this particular Monday is, in fact, “Wear a Stupid Hat to Work and Shoot the Breeze with Your Boss All Morning” Day, do it. Go for it. Especially if you’re a freelancer. You have no excuses. No one is going to fire you for this stuff.

Outside-World Intrusion.

Yeah, sometimes I have a deadline. Sometimes I have to work on days that are much better spent hiking up a mountain. Most of the time I don’t, though. If I work whenever it feels good to work, and play when it feels good to play, my schedule generally accommodates that. I don’t need to play all the time. I don’t always have the urge. In the space of a week, I try to work about the same number of hours as everyone else works. I just catch them when the time is right.

It’s Saturday. I’m going to go write a bunch of monthly missives for a woman who runs public speaking seminars, and eat free melon from the fruit-stall guy, and maybe sit under a big tree and flick at ants that invade my personal space.

I love my life.

Subscribe. It’s Saturday.

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15 Comments »

  1. Well it probably helps if you love your work, or for that matter, your work is what you love. You can spend hours together forgetting weekends and holidays. Unlike in a paid to work situation where your mind is more on the clock and the check!

    Cheers!
    http://www.promediablog.com/

    Comment by Ranjay Mitra — May 3, 2008 @ 7:55 pm | Reply

  2. Smiling here. You so get it.
    Jan

    Comment by jancartier — May 3, 2008 @ 11:51 pm | Reply

  3. For a minute there, I thought you were blogging about that cheesy Loverboy song from the 80’s… 🙂

    Seriously though, arcades are the shit, and if you are enjoying what you’re doing, working on Saturday or Sunday rocks.

    Figure out what you’d do for free (and you have), and then do that. Then figure out how to make money at it (and you’re doing that)…

    -Brett

    Comment by Brett Legree — May 4, 2008 @ 12:22 am | Reply

  4. […] this recent post, for example, Taylor explains why she likes to work on weekends. And you’ve got to love a […]

    Pingback by Of Note: Rogue Ink — May 4, 2008 @ 12:51 am | Reply

  5. It’s true, especially for me,that the people around you can have a serious impact on your attitude. The only other living beings in my office are the cats. They don’t complain, they nap often, and every now and then they get a burst of hyper activity that cracks me up. Nothing like the sound of scrabbling claws on tile for no apparent reason other than the sheer joy of bolting down the hall to tackle the other cat snoozing at the end of it.

    When I worked in the animation department, the guys I worked with made up games like Chandler and Joey on Friends did and played them in the hall. At my last job, we had lightsaber fights 3 times a day. Of course once corporate stepped in and made everyone serious, creativity went right downhill.

    I don’t miss the office. I don’t miss the commute or the 9 to 5 grind. I don’t miss the backbiting and the office politics. I don’t miss the birthday parties and the lame meetings.

    Just the other day I was saying to my mom that despite the cranky clients every so often, where else would I get paid to write, do graphics and be online all day?

    When things feel crappy, I remind myself of why I’m doing what I’m doing – and it certainly isn’t for the money. I value my sanity much more.

    Comment by Harrison McLeod — May 4, 2008 @ 2:36 am | Reply

  6. It’s definitely nice to be able to set your own schedule. You can be much more efficient working when you want to and when you’re most productive. Of course the benefits of being able to not work when you don’t want to are also pretty sweet.

    Comment by Michael Henreckson — May 4, 2008 @ 3:59 am | Reply

  7. Jan: Smiles are good.

    Brett: Someday, you and I will swordfight and then play air hockey.

    Harry: I have mad lightsaber fight envy. Thanks for coming and contemplating with me.

    Michael: Sweet indeed. Sweet like my watermelon.

    Comment by Tei — May 4, 2008 @ 5:08 am | Reply

  8. @ Harry: I didn’t realize half of the ‘Men’ used to work in animation. 🙂 It’s my world too, but I do it from home and like it that way (also with two cats scattering on wood floors). The studio environment can be great…toy collections, Nerf gun fights and yes, light sabers. But when it gets all corporate, you said it: Creativity takes a dive. Would love to know where you worked but I assume you’d rather not say. 😉

    Not answering to anyone rocks, indeed.

    Comment by Karen JL — May 4, 2008 @ 7:01 am | Reply

  9. I have never understood hating what you do. That’s self imposed slavery, and it drains you, can ruin your health, your relationships, your life.

    The number one reason people give for living like that is money. “I need the money”, they say as they drag their miserable asses to yet another day of abuse.

    What do they need money for? To be happy, of course, to have what they want, and do what they want.
    And what’s the most important aspect of the having, doing, being trio? Of course it is the “being happy” because all the “having” and “doing” is to feed that.

    So giving away happiness for money is idiotic. Find your happiness first. Do what you love, and the money is secondary. Still important, obviously, but happiness is paramount.

    Comment by Tony Lawrence — May 4, 2008 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  10. I absolutely love seeing passion like this. I am glad that you have it and that you understand that working shouldn’t be a punishment. I’m delighted to see someone so young with such wisdom.

    I’d love to hear what your “office” looks like…if you even have an “office.”

    Comment by Sandie Law — May 4, 2008 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

  11. Indeed, writing rocks! Just the other day, I completely exhausted myself just writing all day. Sigh, I wish for the day to come that I can do solely that for a living. In the meantime, I still hate having to work on Mondays (just because it’s a Monday) and stuck in the 9-5 grind. But I’m working on towards waking up when I feel like it, working in your pajamas, dancing and nobody seeing you, eating ice cream on your desk whenever you feel like it and working what you love for a living. Yeah, I’d really like that.

    Comment by ksyu — May 4, 2008 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

  12. Karen: Clearly, I have to get me some cats. Do the two that occasionally invade as though they lived here count?

    Tony: Self-imposed slavery indeed. Dave Navarro’s been talking a lot about how even freelancers manage that sometimes. It’s a hard thing to remember, happiness. You wouldn’t think.

    Sandie: Okay, you’ve officially inflicted that information on everyone. I’ll take some pictures. They’ll be one of these lazy weekend posts.

    ksyu: Join the revolution. You know you want to.

    Comment by Tei — May 4, 2008 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

  13. Tei: visiting kitties could count, but you kind of miss out on that sporadic behavior that usually comes out around midnight. One of mine get the ‘tears’ as I call it and scatters through the place making these odd growly-roars that crack me up. They’re good company and low maintenance. Love the little suckers.

    Comment by Karen JL — May 4, 2008 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

  14. I’ve pretty much had tunnel vision my whole life, figuring that I would CHOOSE my life’s work, like my mom did before me. And I did. And I’m glad. Love your blog, found you through Catalyst.

    Comment by allena — May 5, 2008 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  15. One of the reasons we’re good freelancer is that we are good at working our own hours. I hate being on someone else’s schedule. I like my own.

    If I want to work on a weekend, I do it.

    If I feel like taking a day off in the middle of the week to do something fun, I do it.

    As long as I meet my deadlines, it’s no one’s business WHEN I do it, as long as it gets done.

    I love the freedom.

    Comment by devonellington — May 5, 2008 @ 5:02 pm | Reply


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