Friday 22nd December 2017

And suddenly, it was Xmas.

It seems like Christmas has just suddenly arrived.  I’ve been busy doing loads of things and telling myself that I really need to do a few things for xmas, only to suddenly find I’ve run out of time.  It seemed like only yesterday that it was Black Friday and I was telling myself that I had plenty of time.

The few days I have left are purely for pre-arranged events.  Tomorrow I’m seeing relatives and close friends and today I went out with Kate to catch up.

But first I had the day job.  It’s been really bothering me this week.  I know that when everything is quiet, people have a habit of sending emails and asking for information.  Heck, I kinda did that to my agent yesterday (only to wince once I realised I done it), but this goes much further.  This is specifically asking for things in a short time period when people who need to make decisions are off.    It’s those requests designed to cause stress, that come not from a place of trying to address issues that need resolving, but of malice and office politics.

I seriously thought, at one time this afternoon, I might have to cover a call out.  Whilst the rest of the company had shut down for xmas, I stayed on for another 2 hours because someone decided an issue needed to be resolved before xmas.  This annoyed me because it needed a lot of people involved, all who had already left for the holidays, and I had to hang around waiting for them to realise that.

I had something similar to this happen nearly twenty years ago.  I was trying to use up holiday, had made a point of coming in (in my own time) for meetings, had spoken to all the project managers to ensure that any last minute projects could progress without me.  In essence everything should have worked without me… except I get a call from my boss at 2pm on Xmas Eve.  One of the project engineers was trying to get something done and they needed me in.  I was 2 hours away at the time and I pointed out that by the time I got there people would be long gone.  Why hadn’t this been mentioned as a possibility when I’d asked all the project engineers so I could have put contingencies in place?  What difference would it make if I sent in paperwork now when no-one would look at it until 2nd January?

That incident lead me to leaving that job for another a month later.  I hated that their poor planning had resulted in an emergency on my behalf.  I still hate that to this day, and my pushback whenever some senior manager wants info in a day is to ask why?

So this afternoon just irked me and just acted as a reminder that next year, whilst things might not ultimately change, some serious consideration will need to go into the day job.

Thankfully I got to relax by heading out to eat cake with Kate.  I say eat cake but we always end up getting a carvery and then taking cake home.

We were talking mostly about Kate’s novel and the voice she’s been struggling with.  I think when you start writing you’re so worried about telling the story that you don’t worry about how you tell it.  Seeing Kate put so much work into voice is exciting because whether it ultimately works or fails it’s a sign of her progress as a writer.  She might not have had the best year in terms of personal matters or word count but I think there’s been huge growth there which will start to show next year.  I’m very excited to see what she produces.

We had a long chat about various things going on in my life as well as book 2.  She’d wanted me to get the book to her to read by xmas but being realistic it’s looking like end of January is more likely.  Chatting to her about the book made me realise how excited I am about it.  It’s still very rough.  There’s every chance that Black as Knight might need some further changes that will impact this, so I’m not worrying about being polished but having a rough structure of a novel for her to read.

It’s a reminder that perhaps 2018 will finally be the year that the writing career starts to take off.  I feel like I’ve been beavering away in the background for so long with so little to show, and that might change.  I hope so as events like today in the day job remind me that I desperately want to one day write full time.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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