Archive for August 16th, 2012

Thursday, August 16th, 2012 by HelenKay Dimon
Work Through It

This has been a work through it week. For the second time in three weeks, my laptop crashed. Last time it was a “disk error” and there was supposed to be a one-hour easy fix program. The program actually took 16 hours to complete. Yeah, I handled that about as well as you might think. Suffice to say it was frustrating but I was happy because it worked…not so fast. This week the laptop crashed again but the “disk error” became a “fatal disk error.” Apparently there’s a difference between those and the second kind is really bad, hence the “fatal” part. It was like, run-out-and-buy-a-new-laptop bad.

Under normal cirumstances this would have been a huge pain. Since I have a September 1st deadline that is super tight and also had an August 1st deadline, the laptop implosion happened at a really bad time because I can’t afford to go days without writing right now. To the extent there is a good time for this sort of thing. But the timing didn’t really matter because I had to keep going. My September 1st book is on a tight production schedule and can’t be late. Hence the days of anxiety and current late-night writing sessions.

This is the kind of thing no one warns you about before you get published. First, there’s the whole issue where you’re writing one book and doing copyedits on another and thinking about a proposal for one in the future. It’s multi-tasking that I never expected until I signed those first few contracts and got whacked with the why am I getting copyedits now panic. Once you figure out how to juggle those things, you get slammed with the stuff you never expect or properly plan for because it comes out of nowhere – family illnesses, author flu, house problems and computer implosions.

But here’s the good part. If you write for a living, you’re the boss. Yes, you have pressures, some of them extreme and conflicting, but you can figure out how to move your schedule around – I generally cut out sleeping – to make it all work. You also get to handle all of this from the privacy of your happy house rather than in an office cubicle somewhere. And then there’s the part where very few crisis situations require pantyhose. So, still, despite being tested by my laptop and its disloyalty and bad timing, this is still the best work gig around.