Writing Wednesday: A Day in the Life

Taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in April ...

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Yesterday, I completed my first interview, by which I mean my first interview in which I was the interviewee and not the interviewer.  Despite the relative anonymity of the correspondent in question (a friend of a friend who’s writing a blog about writing), the experience was rather surreal.  I found myself saying things like, “I can squeeze you in at 12:30 before my date at 1:00,” and “I’m going to have to put you on hold for just a sec while I order my drink.”  (It was a phone interview, I was at Starbucks and thanks to my late-night date night on Monday, I was in desperate need of caffeine).

When did I become that person?

The entire experience got me thinking: what advice would I give to would-be writers?  And what does a typical day look like for a freelancer?

“I’m extremely blessed,” I explained.  “I teach part time and I write part time and I make just enough to make ends meet.  Most people don’t have that luxury!”

And it is luxurious… sometimes.  But then there are days when I can’t help but envy those women who blitz through Rittenhouse Square on their lunch breaks without worrying about how they’re going to tell the guy they went out with last night that they’re going out with someone else for lunch, or how to tell the guy they’re meeting for lunch that they will eventually need him to sign a release form.

To make matters worse, I received an email from Expedia Travel Services earlier this week reminding me of my upcoming flight.  To Florida.  Tomorrow.  I’m giving a paper at the Congress on Research and Dance Special Topics Conference at FSU and although the paper’s written (technically speaking, seeing as I’m presenting on the subject of my MA Dissertation) my Powerpoint is non-existent and I can’t exactly read my 20,000 word dissertation in twenty minutes so even though I have a paper written, it’s not the right paper.

My column is due in just a few hours, I’ve got choreography to clean up in response to the judge’s comments this past weekend, I still need to pack for Florida and figure out what the heck I’m going to say, how I’m getting from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the conference (and, even more importantly, what I’m going to wear) and as if that’s not bad enough, now I’ve got the Bovary-loving bachelor asking me “Am I just an editorial assignment, Kat?”

What’s a girl to do?  And don’t even get me started on the unread emails piling up in my inbox or the fact that I am coming down with a cold again.

I feel like I haven’t slept in days (perhaps because I’ve developed a rather unfortunate habit of waking up at 5:00am and trying to figure out how to reconcile writing about dating with, you know, actually dating).  I haven’t even written about my date to Fork (the flowers were just the tip of iceberg) or my date with He-whom-is-not-taller-than-me-in-heels, which occurred over lunch yesterday, and I feel like I’m one broken nail away from a complete meltdown.

So yes, on days like these, I envy those of you reading this blog from the relative comfort of a  desk job, one say that doesn’t involve 86 different students and eight different supervisors.  I’ve never worked 9-5 and I don’t think I ever could, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I did.

9 Responses to “Writing Wednesday: A Day in the Life”

  1. shreejacob

    Wow! And there I was thinking how *cool* it is to be a dance teacher ( I love dance, I love to dance but since a hippopotamus and I share the same figure and due to bummed knees and smokers lungs and all that I now just “love dance”) , someone with her own column and someone with a blog with really well written posts ( are you going to tell Bovary- looker he’s sort of a half and half??).

    All the best in Florida and for everything else you just listed out! 🙂

  2. Laurie Block Spigel

    A bold, direct question like “Am I just an editorial assignment, Kat?” deserves a poetic, romantic answer. Would it be too corny or too aggressive to say: “Right now my life is an editorial assignment, and, if I’m lucky, you are a part of my life.”?

    Being a writer can be dangerous. Everyone is potential fodder for your blog, but that doesn’t mean that’s all they are.

    You are busy! Write that paper on the plane! And take some airborne with you! (When did you become that person?) You go, girl!

  3. Your Landlord

    “that Friend speaks my mind” (@ Laurie) Wow, that is exactly what I told her yesterday! (at least about the paper and the airborne) I love your response to the question as well. Cleaning up the choreography can wait, so just take it one stress at a time 😉

    You neglected to mention the clothing/fashion used in a 9-5 gig, you really ARE off your game 🙂

  4. Jill

    Try Coldcalm by Boiron; it’s homeopathic and Lilia (nursery caregiver extraordinaire) swears by it. Possibly swap a caffeine for a water, but that’s the mama in me talking….break a leg at your conference. You’ll be great. Living the imagined life is exhilarating AND exhausting.

  5. kbomb78

    I have worked independent and your 8-5, while I miss getting to do what I want sometimes for someone like me I need Cross that out Strive on the structure so you are right to each their own! Good Luck Today! From mu Desk 😉

  6. The prof

    Landlord and Laurie have given the advise I would have given! One can achieve a lot on a plane journey!

  7. Katie

    Well, I could tell you what happens to people who try to force their square selves into round 9-5 jobs, or you could just trust me when I say, it ain’t pretty. And yes, while sometimes it would be nice to slow down and uncomplicate things, you’d probably be bored out of your mind in about 4.8 seconds if that was your reality.

    Good luck in Florida!

  8. Rachel

    Best of luck, Kat! Just drink a few more expressos and your perspective will change! 🙂

  9. uforicfood

    Take it from a girl sitting at a desk – you’d do it for one day and then wish you had your life back!!
    Have a safe trip!!


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