I suppose, as I am writing this on the day of the spring equinox, I should maybe say something about balance. My work (at my day job) and life are in perfect balance, theoretically at least, now that I have 3.5 days at work and 3.5 at home. But that really depends on whether I consider my writing as work or not. Sometimes it does seem like work, but no more so than some of the other things that have cluttered up my spare time over the years. I have been forced by circumstance to whittle away at these recently. For instance I am no longer fit to dart around behind the scenes at the theatre, rushing down the rather hazardous stairs to retrieve forgotten props from the dressing-room, or even carrying a Labrador down the stairs on a few memorable occasions. Again this is a question of balance: what sort of ratio is there between the pleasure I get out of things like this and the effort I put into them? Of course it isn’t quite as ruthless a calculation as that.
Anyway, I am happy to say that the result of cutting back my hours of work at my day job has been almost exactly what I wanted, which is to give me more time for writing. This hasn’t necessarily resulted in the writing of more words. It has, however, given me more time and space to think, and has made the whole writing experience very much more pleasurable than it has sometimes been when I’ve ploughed relentlessly through NaNoWriMo in some dark November. And I don’t suppose I would have reached 30,000 words in my work in progress by now without this extra time.
Being at home for half the week has not, however, resulted in the dramatic increase in the time I spend on improving my surroundings that I vaguely hoped for. I think the best I can claim is that things haven’t got much worse than they were before! Although even that is slightly in doubt. Someone has threatened / promised to help with it, so watch this space for an update.
By the way, the flowers in the picture are from a bunch presented to me by a slightly harassed manager at Tesco’s as an apology for something that wasn’t really his fault. Oh well, you’ve got to take the bouquets where you can!