Lately I’ve been experiencing a creative conundrum.
You see, I have it made. I’m one of the lucky ones. And no, I’m not talking about my hair. It’s amazing, to be sure, and the world is generally very jealous of my thick and gorgeous mane, but I am talking about my lifestyle.
It’s amazing that I get to write for a living. It’s amazing that I get to work from home. During school hours. And that I don’t have ongoing expensive day care costs. This luxury is not lost on me, and from a working parent’s perspective, this is a perfect arrangement.
But it also means I work alone, which can be lonely. And uninspiring. And depressing. And did I mention lonely?
Amazing things happen when I’m in the same room as my creative team. The creative process is sometimes internal, but most of our best ideas happen in collaboration, and most of the time that collaboration is ambient, meaning it happens organically as we’re crossing paths in the hallway and not necessarily during a scheduled brainstorming session.
The watercooler conversations, if you will.
Anyway, back to the conundrum.
I like that I’m in control of my schedule, that I can be highly productive in my pajamas and use my laundry cycles as an excuse to stretch my legs and take a break (it’s better than smoking!). I like that I can be a “working mom” without compromising my affinity for being a “stay at home” mom.
But I hate that it sucks the creative life out of me to work alone.
I’m certain there’s at least a handful of solutions to my conundrum, but I can’t think of one that doesn’t involve compromise – either by me, my family, or my team.
Really, I just want to have it all. Even more all than I already have, apparently.
2 thoughts on “On Working Alone.”
I really liked this post. You are really lucky to have found your niche, but I guess everything has its downside. I’m sure over time you’ll find a way to get some creative stimulation as well as the positives of your job now.
Loved this. Totally sympathize. It’s hard to complain about it, though, when I realize we’re so blessed. Yet, there are certainly some challenges, as with any job.
One of my main challenges is with that creative aspect as well, but it’s with scheduling time well around it and making sure that others understand that time is necessary (family, friends, ministry, even other coworkers). A lot of the creative jobs take place in the head, at odd times, such as on a walk or while sorting laundry. And some of the best creative fuel involves doing rejuvenating things that sound a lot to others like playing around (many of my best ideas come in the shower, and long showers are luxuries for any busy mom).
And these moments are hard to plan in advance. Sometimes, it’s creating margin in the day to allow for these helpful moments of quiet and inspiration.