If there’s one thing that unemployment is really good for, it’s productivity. (I am, of course, ignoring the bad things it causes — like stress, the shutting down of one’s brain, money woes, an urge to drink heavily, and so on.) Since my lay-off from my previous employer nearly two months ago, I have spent a great deal of time actually getting back into my writing — both from an actual emotional investment in the process and the actual creation of work. Granted, there’s been a bit of a dent in my productivity since I brought the new TV home, but I anticipated that.
At first, I dreaded going back to work. Specifically, I dreaded the lost time. In contemplating this, though, I spend maybe two hours a day working on writing-related stuff — be it brainstorming, actually writing, or scribbling notes. I’m actually at my most productive since I left college. This won’t really be impacted by the new job, as I’ll be able to do some of it during my lunch breaks, and I’ll still have time in the evenings.
There’s been talk on a lot of writers’ blogs lately about the necessity of a job. I’m all for it — I don’t believe in the need to be a starving artist anymore than I believe that substance abuse makes an artist’s work more real. So I’ll be starting my new gig next week, and I’m going to be eating lunch at my desk with a notepad and pen in front of me, so that I can scribble as I go.
Productivity isn’t about having huge blocks of free time, it’s about habit.