My lovely wife sent me a blog post today from Alyson B. Stanfield. Ms. Stanfield writes a blog about the Art Business providing insight and assistance about the business of being an artist.
This entry was particularly timely and thought provoking: Would you fire yourself? As an artist, writer, blogger or whatever it is you are doing, would you be accepting of your work efforts? If you were the boss, would you allow someone who works as hard as you do to stay in your employ?
I read the article and determined that I would NOT be happy with my performance. That was a trifle depressing. And then my wise wife said,“You need to make an appointment with yourself and like a grandfatherly boss, say something to yourself as an employee.”
So I did. Sat myself down and had a little talk. And what did he (I) say?
“Robin, you show up for work whenever you feel like it, your desk is a cluttered mess, you surf the net, check Facebook and read email all the time,while you’re working you take breaks whenever you want, play games sometimes when you are supposed to be working, and you quit whenever you want to, even if the work isn’t finished. On the plus side, you are always thinking about your writing and the work you have planned, you are ready to start at a moment’s notice and you work pretty hard once you actually start writing.”
“Robin, I think you do great work, you’re just not very reliable, and I need someone dependable for this position. I really like you and your writing, and would like to keep you on, help you learn the ropes and what it takes to be successful, so I’m going to give you another chance. Consider this your first disciplinary warning.”
Man that was scary. My boss is a real hard ass. So I need to get my butt in gear and work hard every day and get the stories written. Or he is going to fire me. And where will I get another writing gig as good as this one?
Nowhere, that’s where. Because if I quit, or get fired by my muse, I am out of business forever. That is something to think about. I need to work as hard at what pays the IOUs of my soul as I do at the job that pays the bills. Harder really, since those payments to myself are smaller, rarer, harder to produce, and much more valuable than the pay-cheques I get from my day job.
As David Chilton says in The Wealthy Barber, “Pay yourself first. After all, who are you working for, REALLY?
Inspiring Quote: “A successful, published writer can sit at a computer all day long, but if he’s not writing, he’s just crushing his laurels.”
– L.F. Young, Pastel Artist, Writer, Muse. See her work at Heart and Soul, An Artist’s Journey