I’ve joined Peter M. Ball’s Sunday Circle to help keep my writing on track. Follow along here or join in the fun over at Peter’s blog, Man Versus Bear.

What am I working on this week?

I’ve just submitted my entry to the Ampersand Prize – yay! Seven weeks ago I read through an old manuscript I thought would never see the light of day again. Today, totally transformed, it’s winging its way to Hardie Grant Egmont’s inbox. It’s as polished as I can make it and no matter what happens to it from here, I’m happy with the work I’ve done.

Which means it’s full swing into the major rewrite for my next project. I’ll be chipping away at that over the next 3 or 4 months and hopefully fitting in a bit of time to work on short stories as well. There are a couple I need to revise and another 2 or 3 not quite finished that I need to get into submit-able shape. But the young adult novel will be my main focus.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I’m veering a bit  left of centre this week because I’m not so much being inspired but utterly confused by Marcel Proust. I’m attempting his novel Finding Time Again and quickly finding I don’t have the time to read it. I’ll be honest. I have no idea what this novel is on about. I’m at somewhat of a disadvantage because he talks about characters that he has introduced in earlier novels but even so, why do his sentences have to be so long?  I lose myself between the start and the end. Then there’s the subject matter. It basically seems to be one long bitch session about people. I think I’ve made it to around page 90 but can’t bring myself to read any more. I am happy to be criticised for my lack of literary depth but I think my time with Proust is done.

What action do you really need to take?

I’m in a bit of a dilemma re time management. Currently I work part-time – 4 days a week  – at a reasonably well paid day job. I’m able to manage my day-job/writing work balance really well but I do spend anywhere from 90 – 120 minutes commuting on each of those 4 days. There is a possibility that I may be able to get a job that is literally 400 metres from my house. But, the job is full-time. This is not negotiable (although the occasional day off every 3 or 4 weeks might be feasible).

Considering the time I would save on commuting I think the pay off going from part-time to full-time would be worth it. But I have a fear that if I did make the switch, the full-time job would encroach on my writing life too much. The job is in a similar field but with greater responsibility. It also comes with a much bigger salary but I’m trying to leave money out of the equation.

So I’m asking for your input. In terms of balancing your need to earn money to live with your creative life (which is what you live for) what would you prefer:

  • a 4 day a week job (29 hours) plus on average 7 hours a week commute, or
  • a 5 day a week job (36 hours) with 0 commute (and no public transport germs)