Like many librarians out there, I’m interested in much more than my job. I like my job, it keeps me engaged and busy. And, like many library jobs, there are times when it is a little slow and I feel like I have no work to do. That’s when I start working on my hobbies outside of my work, mainly writing. In addition to this blog I write for an online music website, doing short blog posts, reviews, and interviews. It’s really fun, I get to listen to lots of interesting music, and I get to sharpen my writing skills in the process.
This, also, if fun, engaging, and satisfying work; however, I do not get paid for my writing. It is all done voluntarily. Like the library world, sometimes you have to work for free to get your name out there and gain experience. There are times where I think it would be really great to write as a full-time job. When you look at high profile blogs that provide decent incomes, you can’t help but romanticize the writer’s life: work from home (or anywhere), set your own hours, be creative for a living, and have a sizable, devoted following.
But the problem with that is, how often should I focus my time at work, time I’m being paid for, on an out of work project? I’m not saying that I’ll spend an entire day on a piece, but if I have twenty minutes here, or a few minutes before the end of the day, I’ll put the finishing touches on something and submit it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Hell, I’m writing this post while I’m on the clock! I work on something at work because that’s when I’m in “work mode,” and I see some of my music assignments as actual work, despite the lack of compensation. I don’t hide it, nor do I put actual library tasks on hold; rather, I work on my writing projects so that I don’t waste time on other internet distractions. In a way, I think that’s better than mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. In another way, it’s using someone else’s time to work on a project not related to that work.
I would guess that I have more time for out of work hobbies right now because I’m so new at my job. My boss probably wants to do a slow roll out of new tasks for me to work on throughout the day. There’s a good chance that in a few month’s time I’ll have less time during the workday for writing. In a way that’s good, because it will allow me to prioritize my time, so that I can devote meaningful time to the hobbies I enjoy so much.