I’ve been working on my next Journal Sentinel column for almost two weeks now. It’s the toughest and most controvertial issue I’ve dealt with yet. I took it on as a challenge when the editor asked for two of us to volunteer for a point-counterpoint, and it is an issue I care about on a very philosophical level.
Nevertheless, it’s really hard to say everything I want about it in 600 words. It’s forcing me to really pare down all the personal stuff I wanted to use as background and revert to a more basic argument.
However, writing it has made me realize I could form a pretty good longer article on the issue and perhaps submit it to more some edgy Christian publishers like Relevant Magazine or Burnside Writer’s Collective.
By this point you have probably realized I’m not revealing my topic. That’s partly because I know it might not only be surprising, but troubling for a few people. And rather than start a dialogue about it here when I am in the middle of the writing process, I would rather wait until it’s published and then prepare for the fire. =)
As I write more lately and receive praise, criticism and general feedback, I am remembering why I love writing. I am currently two weeks into a class on starting a career as a freelance writer. I’m not really starting a career as freelance writer, and the class is different than what I expected, but it has been helpful to think about writing as a business, something one does to make money, not just a very abstract, artsy concept most people imagine when they think of a writer’s life.
Last night I closed the Qdoba in Oak Creek and got to catch up with one of my former supervisors who I don’t get to see very often. As I listened to him share local Qdoba happenings and gossip I had to admit part of me misses the excitement, the pace, the chaos of the restaurant world. I was usually stressed out, but I also felt accomplished after a good shift, seeing a new employee catch on, impressing my boss with a good week in sales, etc.
There are many days I do not feel productive in my current job, and it’s rarely for laziness, but more because our territories are all built to be grown, and none of us are really occupied all day long with customers. I work in the same department with three really great people right now, which is amazing, but I do miss the constant face-to-face interaction with people.
At the same time, were I still at Qdoba, I probably wouldn’t have taken/had the time to produce articles to submit to the Journal Sentinel and would not be a community columnist. I wouldn’t have taken classes this fall because every semester for the past 3.5 years I have said I wanted to take classes, but I could never reign in my schedule in or commit to anything. I wouldn’t have weekends off or have time at night to actually cook something for dinner when the urge strikes.
So life, like it is, is a balance. I guess that’s why I am still working ten hours per week at Qdoba even though I don’t really have to, and why I can tolerate the slow days at my job even though I am typically someone who wants to be busy all day long.
And when I go home after work, I never have to worry about a pipe bursting in the back room during cold weather, or employees who can’t keep their schedules straight, or a false alarm in the middle of the night or a surprise restaurant inspection. Instead, I can focus on other things I love, like writing, taking pictures, reading novels. I And these things, really, make it all worth it.