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Minor Frustrations

4 March 2013

I’m gearing up to record another exciting episode of the award-winning podcast Men in Gorilla Suits later today (OK, so the award it won was one I made with a Sharpie and some spare printer paper). But before I do that, I have to finish the back half of my day job, which is basically clicking a bunch of things and typing some more things.


When I decided to quit working a while back and devote myself to writing full time, I considered having to get up and drive to an office a huge stumbling block in my life. Just think of all the writing I could get done if I had the time, I probably thought (and said out loud to anyone who would listen). Obviously, as I’m writing this from my iPhone on a lunch break from my day job, that “quit working for THE MAN and go write for a living” plan was a bit premature.

But now that I’ve been back in an office for a few months, I’ve made a discovery. While I might write less when 8-10 hours of my day is spent at the day job, I tend to write better stuff when I work a 9-to-5 (OK, 7-4, really).

Why is that? My guess is that I have to go out in the world — experience things like traffic, or my work PC packing up in the middle of a Flare project, or forgetting my lunch and surviving off Sonic for the back half of the day. I think I need these minor annoyances to help me write — because, without them, my characters feel a little flatter. My scenes more mundane.

How about you, folks? How do you find that you do your best work? With minor distractions, or with complete and total focus on the task?

One Comment leave one →
  1. 4 March 2013 1048

    As a coder (who does things on my own) I do find that if I didn’t do things here (and deal with things here – like horrific code designs, code that has had a non-existent code review done, etc.) I do MUCH better coding on my own stuff. I don’t want to make the same amateur mistakes I deal with here.

    Yes, I’ll make mistakes but having been coding for almost 25 years (professionally – 32 years in total) I generally don’t make the same mistakes over and over. The current crop of programmers seem to do the same things repeatedly (and god forbid you take away their IDEs they’d not be able to program “” !)

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