Is it Time to Fire that Bad Boss?

I’m baaaaaaaccckkkk! Well, okay, for the three or four of you who noticed I haven’t posted anything but Sunday ROW80 updates for the past two weeks.

Stress--it's not pretty

Stress–it’s not pretty

I needed a blog break. I haven’t taken one in over a year, other than when I was in France. And let me tell you, it was great. I learned a lot–like how we need to ask ourselves the right questions in order to find the answers we need. For me, that was “Am I having fun?” My commenters had some great suggestions too, like “Is it worth it?” and “Why am I doing this?” and “Where can I find some inspiration?”

I was also reminded that when we’re feeling stressed, it’s because we feel we don’t have choices. But the fact is, when we look at our to-do list, we have more choices than we think. Psychologist-author Kassandra Lamb outlined this fantastically in her post “Whaddya Mean, Good Things are Still Stressful?” Absolutely worth the read! Go check it out, I’ll wait.

Back? OK. One of those things I had on my “have to” list was blogging. I know consistency is important to build up a readership and build up my store of content here, but it was getting so that I felt half of my weekend was being taken up by 1) writing the blogs, after 2) procrastinating writing the blogs and 3) researching for the blogs, especially the My Town Monday blogs. Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing things about my hometown that are cool, because that’s so not the image most people have about Dayton, but writing those blogs can be a lot of work. And it was starting to not be fun any more.

Same went for things like getting on Facebook and Twitter, and even outlining my next book! Yet the more I procrastinated, the guiltier I felt… yet the more all I wanted to do was sit at my computer and play more time management games. And then felt guiltier about that. I notice most of the blogs I follow don’t religiously post on the exact same topics, the exact same two or three days every week, and I don’t think any worse of these writers for it. So why do I expect this of myself?

So I took some time off all of the above, and I realized no one had a problem with it… except me. I was my own worst boss.

My boss at the day job does not act like this. He’s probably the most easy-going guy I have ever worked for. He gives me something to do, then leaves me alone to do it. When I present my work, he lets me know in a very matter-of-fact, non-judgmental way, what’s good, and what needs to be changed. As long as the work gets done, he really doesn’t care how I spend every minute of the day. He doesn’t care when I get to the office, or when I leave, as long as I put in the time I charge to my time sheet required by the company and our client. He doesn’t care if I spend time reading up on some technology that will help me to better do my job, as long as the work gets done. As far as scheduling goes, it’s up to me to set my schedule, and if it turns out something needs to change, I can change it. Everyone should have it so good! The only tricky part is that he has so much going on, he’s hard to track down when I need some direction or have a question, but I’ll take that with the good.

I decided it’s time my writing boss is like this. So here is a message for the outgoing one, because no one can say “You’re Fired!” like the WWE’s Vince McMahon:

And oh – as you might have guessed, my posting might not be as regular from here out – or it might! It depends on what else I have going on, and if I have something to say! I will definitely continue doing My Town Monday posts, because I enjoy them, just not as regularly. Same goes for WANA Wednesday! I do have some fun new releases to share this week, so see you in a couple of days!

What about you? Are you too hard on yourself, whether you’re a writer or not? Do you have a tyrant of a boss who needs to be fired? Feel free to show him or her this video! And please share – I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

9 Responses to \

  1. Oh Jennette, I can soooo relate to this post. I gave up and took much of last week to play and most of this week will be spent in deciding what project is next on the writing list.
    Oh yeah, Vince make it convincing all right. So you’re another wrestling fan? Hmmm, we do share a few guilty pleasures, don’t we? tee hee

  2. What a great perspective, Jennette! I like functioning within a schedule (twice a week blogging) because that works for me. But I have other stuff that I dread and beat myself up for that applies to your principle here. I need to lighten up and remember how much I enjoy WRITING.

    One of the struggles for me is the high-word-count-per-day pressure. I enjoy writing more when I pause and ponder what word to use next instead of throwing stuff down on the page. That doesn’t work for others, but it works for me. So I need to drop the stress to churn out a book draft in a month and let my own process work for me.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Oh I’m a bad boss too. Only a few days in after pub day, I said I wanted to quit. How’s that for morale? LOL. My husband wanted to video me because he thought it was so funny, but I was amped on adrenaline and just feeling WAY overexposed. Needed to climb back in my introvert cave! As for blogging, sometimes I dread it, sometimes I want to cut back even more than I have. I haven’t figured out a balance yet. 🙂
    Hope you have a good week, Jennette!

  4. You are so right about everything. Take a break and be kind to yourself. We’ll still be here when you get back.

    You’re fired but you’re welcome to come back any time as long as you promise to stay true to yourself.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  5. Frankly, Jennette, I’ve often wondered how you did it all anyway. Several blogs a week and the books keep coming. I”ll miss your interesting posts, but I do understand the amount of time it takes, especially now since both CD Hersh and Catherine Castle (Catherine’s solo pen name) have books coming out within months of each other this year. Sometimes I feel like we are drowning in marketing, blogging, and revisions, and then there are the next books we have to write. I sit back and think, Yikes! What did we get ourselves into? Writing and publishing is not for the faint of heart. Take that break and pat yourself on the back. Your writing fix will kick you back into the job soon enough.

  6. I took over a month off at the holidays, and no one really noticed. My self-expectations had gotten out-of-control. Personally, I now think all bloggers should go on hiatus over the holidays…there’s enough going on as is 🙂

    These days I’m trying to work on quality, not quantity, and yes, fire that unrealistic boss in my head! Great post, Jennette.

  7. Prudence, sometimes we need to take a break to play and decide what to do next, these past couple of weeks convinced me of that. Oh, and I do enjoy my wrestling, LOL! Action, comedy, and men in tight pants, oh yeah!

    Julie, great point in that we need to find the work style that works for US. There is so much emphasis on word count-word count-word count, but seldom does anyone talk about revising – or like you say, taking the time to get the right words down if that works for you. So you go!

    Coleen, I didn’t even do much of a launch, and it made me want to hide out! I think that’s part of why I needed a break, too. Congrats again on the release!

    Patricia, thanks so much – and thanks for being here for me!

    CD, part of why the books kept coming was because they were mostly already written! I was mostly revising, and that’s become my main comfort zone. But I have to force myself out of that and write new material, and it’s more stressful. So yes, I need to do less of the other stuff. Hope you find your groove quickly when the books come out!

    Debra, you make a great point about the holidays – who has time to read blogs, much less write them? I know I don’t, and yet I made myself still do it! Not this year! I did notice your absence, but totally understood! Whats up with that? It’s OK for others, but not me? No longer! 😀

  8. This is so timely because I’m just beggining to realize what a bad boss I’ve been to myself & committed to change. If I’m not having fun writing, who’s going to have fun reading my work! Time to get rid of the inner snark monster! : )