Writing on Company Time

June 15, 2015

DeskJobDo you write on company time? When the boss is out do you pull up the file with your novel and type away the day? Do you use online novel writing apps that you can easily sneak onto during the workday when things are slow? Do you compose your blog entries at your work desk? Am I the only one? No? Good.

It seems using spare company time is a great way to add pages to your work in progress and/or your blog. Some authors have been known to write their novels on commuter buses & trains. But have you finished or written a major portion of your story while actually on the clock at work?

Join the club.

Not all writers can get away with using company time. Most blue collar jobs do not offer the flexibility in front of a computer station. But if you are a writer with the fortune of having a desk job with autonomy, high cubicle walls or even a fully enclosed office (good on ya) you may have ample time to spend on your writing projects.

I can be a sneaky writer. While I don’t have my own office, I share an office with 1-1/2 others (one works part time). My boss is the other inhabitant. When the boss is out, or even off to a meeting, I can easily pull up my word processor and type away (I hereby enter this blog entry as example 1). But even when she is on the other side of the divider concentrating hard on reconciling bank accounts, I can pull up my novel and type quickly and quietly. I’m clocked at 80 wpm so having that skill comes in handy.

If you are also quick on the computer keyboard, use my super-sneaky trick. Open an important-looking Excel spreadsheet up on one window while you type on Word or an internet app. When the boss or someone walks by, simply use the ALT-TAB keystroke to quickly and stealthily switch from your secret project to the important spreadsheet numbers. You avoid the hand-in-the-cookie-jar look of guilt by avoiding the superfast mouse click from one screen to another. And if they glance at your monitor, well, you’ve obviously been working hard at crunching those numbers. Good job, bean counter!

But here’s my disclaimer: if you get caught, don’t tell ‘em I told ya to do it!

All this is to say WRITE WHENEVER! Your novel won’t write itself. Even a few spare moments at work offers an opportunity to add those words. There’s no excuse to use the excuse of <whine>“I just don’t have time to write.”</whine> Get at that keyboard and do what writers do: WRITE AWAY!

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