• Writers at Work at Work: Melissa

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing at Work     Comments 8 comments

    NEWBack in July, our Writers at Work at Work series hit a bit of a… well, let’s call it a work stoppage. I’ll assume it’s because you’re way too busy writing at work (and at home) to answer any questions about your writing lifestyle. But! This series has reopened for business, because earlier this week we heard from another courageous writer at work at work. Below is a Q&A with this brave and funny writer/worker bee, who is probably high right now.

    You may recall that this series was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend who writes his novel while on the clock. I asked for volunteers to share their experiences of writing at work, and so far we’ve heard from: RaymundoJake, Dana and Ivan Glonstein. Today we’re talking to:


    Do you want us to use a pseudonym for you?

    Yes! For reasons that will become obvious.


    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 have some privacy; it’s a cubicle setup, but I have my own. (Yes, my own cubicle! Look at me, Ma!) No view of nature, except for the 2014 landscape calendar stuck to my corkboard. I’m in June 2014, which depicts a mill on a creek in what is clearly autumn.


    Have you ever been caught writing at work? Please describe the incident.

    Never have. Some close calls, though. And I assume there are cameras in the ceiling, documenting our every move. Just because you’re paranoid …


    Do your co-workers know you write at work? What would your boss say if he/she knew?

    My coworkers know nothing. If my boss found out that I write at work, she would probably poo on my desk, but she’d get over it.

    If she found out that I write and work and she discovered the content of what I write? Pink slip. Because it’s a novel about this ridiculous office. Which I’ll get to later, where you ask about it.

    [Tweet “”If my boss found out that I write at work, she would probably poo on my desk.””]


    Do you ever feel guilty for writing on company time?

    Only when … let’s see …

    Only when never. Never ever.


    Does your writing style/process at work differ from your style/process at home?

    At work I have to look over my shoulder more often than I do at home. Also, when I write at home I sometimes smoke weed. At work that’s frowned upon. Which is weird, because I work for a marijuana distributor. It’s like entrapment or something.

    (Just kidding … I smoke all the time at work.)


    What are you presently writing at work? Plug your project!

    It’s a lightly fictionalized novel about workplace politics and how employees are almost always fucked over. (Can I say fuck?) It draws from my experiences at this place. I change names and sometimes gender, but pretty much every character has a twin in real life. So when I publish it I will have to quit this job and move to another city, maybe even another state or country. I’m looking forward to it.


    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?

    What’s the worst that could happen? You’d get fired? News flash: you’re going to get fired anyway.

    [Tweet “”What’s the worst that could happen? You’d get fired? … You’re going to get fired anyway.””]


    Many thanks to Melissa for sharing her story. Is her experience similar to yours? Tell us about it in the comment below.

    If you want to be featured in your very own writing at work interview, email me at david[at]writebynight.net.

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    A. Jax

    These are great, thank you. Especially this one and Ivan’s.
    I wish Ivan wasn’t a pseudonym because I want to find that
    guy and have a beer with him. Too bad I work from home,
    otherwise I’d love to play this game. Kudos to all these
    people for taking some time away from The Man to keep
    their creativity flowing.

    Betty G.

    I SO hope your boss catches you writing at work.

    Good luck with your novel. Thank you for the funny post.


    B. Holloway

    If my boss caught me writing at work, he’d crumple up the paper and force-feed it to me. In front of everyone, as like a group lesson. THEN he’d poop on my desk. Or in my mouth. But like Melissa says, you’ll get fired anyway. I assume that every single is the day I’ll be fored. That way, I’ll be ready when it happens.

    Ken Harris

    Hmm, boss pooped on worker bee’s desk. There’s a gripping narrative right there. The logistics alone would riveting.

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