• Writers at Work at Work: Jake Gallant

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing at Work     Comments No comments
    Jun
    12

    Bored at WorkWe’re getting a lot of great feedback on our Writers at Work at Work series, particularly in light of Raymundo’s interesting experiences stealing time from an unnamed state agency to write short stories and book reviews in his corner office.

    This series sprang from a conversation I had with a friend who told me that he works on his novel when his boss isn’t buzzing around. I asked for some brave volunteers to share their experiences with us of writing at work, and the responses have been flooding in. Though we’re still taking more! If you’re interested in sharing with us, drop me a line and I’ll get you started.

    Today we want to introduce you to Jake Gallant, an eighteen-year-old who works around modern technology but spends his down time lost in his narrative of Victorian England.

     

    Jake Gallant

    Please describe your work setting: do you have privacy in which to write, or are you out in the open? An inspiring view of nature, or cubicle walls? Computer or longhand?

    I work as a personal care aid in a mental health facility (an environment rife with story inspiration). A part of my job requires my being present in the Nursing Station should the facility’s resident’s require assistance. The majority of my shifts are nights and while working night I have no boss or manager to supervise my productivity. I do have a coworker but her nights are spent largely in the laundry room.

    After the majority of the residents go to bed (around midnight) I try to sneak about a solid hour of uninterrupted writing in. I use a blank Word document on the staff computer each night, and email the writing to myself at the end of each shift.

     

    Have you ever been caught writing at work?

    One time I had been so tired and eager to sleep that I forgot to close the Word document on the staff computer. Upon returning to work the following night, the day shift all took delight in the reddening of my cheeks whilst they quoted to me lines written my previous shift. Despite the light hazing, they all assured me they genuinely thought the page or so they read (although out of context) to be compelling.

     

    What would your boss say if he/she knew?

    My boss is a multimillionaire who maintains his wealth through efficient management of his time and assets; if he knew the specific amount of hours he has paid me to write thus far, he would likely be a bit upset. (If you ever read this, I promise to include you in the acknowledgments of my first novel! *fingers crossed*)

    [Tweet “”If my boss knew the amount of hours he has paid me to write, he would be a bit upset.””]

     

    Do you ever feel guilty for writing on company time?

    Not at all. I am an eighteen-year-old guy and slackerism is coded naturally into my DNA. In fact the entire “company time” aspect of it works as something of an incentive for me to write. Something about knowing I am technically being paid for the words produced over my stolen hour motivates me to write them.

     

    Does your job involve any writing? How do your personal writing and your work writing impact each other?

    The current project I am working on is adult fiction set in the Victorian era. My work often requires me to fill out “incident reports” regarding resident happenings. More often than I would like to admit, I have noticed myself slipping into the voice of my novel’s protagonist while filling out those reports. No one has said anything to me about it yet, but I am sure a few have noticed.

    The manuscript is in many ways a collection of various passions and fears of mine crafted into a story. I began work on it a few years ago, but a few less than fortunate events in my life saw me giving up writing for a long period of time. Thoughts of this story enticed me from the back of my mind, and are personally responsible for causing me to write again.

    [Tweet “”I am an eighteen-year-old guy and slackerism is coded naturally into my DNA.””]

     

    Do you have any advice to pass along to anyone who wants to start writing at work but doesn’t know how, or is scared to try?

    Writing on company time is truly an enjoyable feeling. I cannot be the only one who is specifically motivated by the amount of words I can get my boss to pay me for. If you are confident you can write undetected, or sure your boss would not be unforgivingly angry should he find out, I strongly suggest you at least attempt sneaking a few words in during company time.

     

    Many thanks to Jake for sharing his story. If you want to tell us yours, email me at david[at]writebynight.net, or leave a comment below.

    Now get back to writing at work!

     

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