Sooo...*glances around office innocently, while whistling* Do any of you attempt to get any writing done at work? If so, do you have any sneaky writing-on-the-job tricks? ie, writing on a small notepad that you can ditch into your drawer quickly?
don't get caught?
I write in word, which is hardly a unique program to have open, but I also have an office. I loathe writing on paper, but a notepad is an option...although you trying to quick cram it in your desk like you got caught holding meth isn't gonna exactly be "below the radar."
anyway, I just write in Word, and write away. You could minimize likelihood of being seen by doing it during lunch, or first thing in the AM when folks are busiest, or late in the afternoon when they're leaving, or in fifteen-minute bursts so they don't wonder why your keyboard is going bonkers for an hour straight.
Three words that convey the meaning of six will always look better than twelve...
Help a (Koch) brother out: Scotty for President!
--August, anytime: probably Houston
I have a tiny moleskin notebook that I keep in my purse, but I only write when I am on breaks. I'm stocking shelves or otherwise maintaining the sales floor when I'm not on register, so I can't really get away with scribbling on the clock, unless it's a snippet of a sentence that I need to write down before I forget. Although, in my experience, the stuff I "needed" to put down right that instant ended up being junk later. Even with my awful memory, I always remember the genuinely good stuff.
Psht. I am a MASTER at writing at work. Hell, I'm at work right now, being the most being the most terrible employee ever. But I've been working here for 6 years. As long as I get my work done, no prob.
It's a very difficult thing to do because you constantly have coworkers milling about. It's also difficult because it's hard to concentrate... on writing. So I do most copy editing at work, not REAL writing. Only at certain times when the office empties out.
Doing it at an office is quite easy especially if you have Dropbox where you can access your ms from any computer. THis eliminates the hazards of leaving memory sticks at work by accident and losing your work. Writing while on your feet like a nurse or department store is a little harder. Sneak a notebook into your pocket and write if something important comes to mind.
Is it really worth the risk of losing your job?
And not to be the uptight hard-ass (which I guess I am, alas), but aren't they paying you to work?
I know it's tempting to use some of the long, long workday, but it seems like a bad idea on multiple levels to do more than a quick jot on company time. During lunch and breaks, knock yourself out.
Where Mr. Maryn works, one discovery of writing on the job would probably get you major negative points on your employee evaluation. A second one, I doubt they'd keep you.
Maryn, honest day's work for pay
Several times a year I find myself at all day faculty meetings. We are expected to take notes so I do --only I am really drafting stories, in Spanish! More productive than day dreaming and it hones my Spanish skills. By the way- I am a Spanish teacher. If anything important comes up I have my pen and paper in hand and can switch to actual notes without switching language. --s6 PS--maybe being a Gemini helps.
My issue is more that my writing is personal and I really don't want anyone at work reading it, (unless it's all pretty and polished and on a bookshelf in Barnes and Nobel) which is why I was thinking of writing in a notebook, but then I get paranoid about someone reading over my shoulder and thinking I'm a freak for some of the stuff I write. lol
I take my laptop to work and write while on my lunch break.
That way, I don't use any corporate assets for my personal projects and I write off-the-clock, as it were.
Stories n' Stuff:
Close Quarter and Slow Waltz (M/M paranormal romance)
Missing Persons (fantasy short) in Trust and Treachery
Takeover (M/M contemporary romance)
CTRL Me in Rules to Live By (M/M contemporary romance)
Latest Release: Just Business (M/M contemporary romance)
I have a Website! My Pen Name has a Website! I also Tweet!
I used to wait tables and it was perfect, because I always had a pad of paper in my hand.
If you're already typing at work and have access to standard email, just type it that way. You can even shape it to look like a standard email so if people glance at your screen, they won't suspect anything. Plus, you can ditch it at any second by hitting the send button.
We have kind of a loose "take breaks when you need to" policy here at work, because so much of what we do is repetitive. Most people spend that time doing schoolwork (a lot of grad students here), or on Facebook or texting, so I can definitely pull up a Google Doc and get to work. I do 90% of my work on Google Drive anyway; never have to keep track of which file is the newest or whatever.
I also have a Galaxy Note 2, so I can do some re-reading, editing, and swype-ing on my phone during breaks or even at my desk. Or *coff* in the loo. *shifty eyes*
My partner takes one of those ASUS tablets with the keyboard to work so he can do his writing/editing during his lunch and breaks.
ETA: This is not to say I'm always successful at work. It's often difficult for me to change gears from what I do all day, back to my characters.
Last edited by electroweakstar; 02-06-2013 at 01:42 AM.
I minimize my Word doc as small as it'll go and leave it hanging out in the background. When I have a thought I type a few sentences & the window's so small no one can see it.
*Glances over to see if Maryn is listening*
I write in a notebook on breaks or when there's downtime. And really, how do they know I'm not taking notes or working On a project? But I don't because that would be wrong! *nods at Maryn*
Our IT is very tight. There's no way I could access Dropbox or google docs. If they aren't outright blocked, which I haven't checked, then they'd be heavily monitored. Same as email. So I couldn't write in Word then send it home. And we're not allowed to use flash drives.
I just write. I take any opportunity I get. Some days it is ten minutes. Some days it is a couple hours. I stop when there is something I need to do. Once it is done, I resume my writing.
It is more productive than lurking the internet, like I am doing now. I have some editing to do. Off I go!
ETA: Everyone at work knows that I write. They are okay with it as long as I am getting my work done. Which I do. In fact, they often ask how things are going. But I work at a small company. It really depends on your work environment and the company's culture and rules.
If I'm at a place where downtime is "do whatever to pass the time", I have a paper notebook to write in. If I'm at a place where work time is work time, I'm with Maryn. At those places, you're not being paid to write, you're being paid to work, even if you have to GASP! find something productive to do. (Speaking as someone who's watched other workers fiddle away their time while I'm picking up their slack, I have little sympathy for 'cheating'.)
Je suis Charlie
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny
Passion is easy; commitment is hard.
At the risk of being a party-pooper, I concur with Maryn. Unless your boss specifically says, "do whatever you want to kill some time," you're being paid to work for them. If empty time opens up, you fill it in by taking on an additional chore, innovating, something that benefits the firm that pays your wage. If you're on break, lunch, etc., it's a different matter, but when on the clock it's their clock. Guess I'm old fashioned!
Having said that, how dedicated would IT people be to keyloggers, etc. anyway? In my old workplace a guy got busted for porn but he was streaming videos, which took up a fair amount of server space or whatever, which is what made IT notice to begin with.
So long as all your work is done, it's your manager's problem if they aren't giving you enough to do, not yours. (And yes, I know all about 'managing up', but workload beyond what you're assigned is not your job to take care of unless you're keen to climb the ranks).
I used to write on my lunch breaks. I always emailed myself...I could write in the open email and I could send it to myself when I needed to. Then I could copy and paste it over into my email inbox.
That said, unless you're certain that this won't get you in trouble, stick to your lunch breaks and whatever. Your job is important. Maryn's right, they're paying you to do their stuff. As a former office manager myself, I can safely say, there's always something extra you can be doing. And that, my friend, might earn you and raise or a promotion that might enable you to take off time to write...
I use my smartphone in my free time.
I’ll either use Google docs, make a draft post on my super-secret personal blog (which is full of nothing but drafts ), or use something else like email/onenote/etc.
Basically, anything that slows me to save it over the internet.
Currently working on: Radiant (I seriously need a better title for this)
I write on my lunchtime ... That's about it.
The artist formally known as "Ne".
If you've got the green light to do your own stuff, that's a different matter. I used to know a guy who was in chat rooms for hours a day at work. He was a fireman. They didn't care what he was doing, so long as he dropped everything when the alarm sounded.
So, are you worried about your colleagues reading what you're writing, or about IT people accessing it, or both?
If it's the passerby reading over your shoulder that's got you cringing, consider rearranging your work space to face the opening rather than have your back to it. Not possible? Yeah, I was afraid of that. Then do what you can to make it difficult to read at a casual glance, and have a one-keystroke way to minimize it when you realize you've got a gawker. Consider tiny font size, or something with lots of swirls and loops, both damned near impossible to make out at a glance.
If it's IT, well, I would presume that if you're on their system, they have the means to see what you've been up to. If it's really personal or not appropriate, then you should be writing it by hand or on your own computer or other device.
Maryn, who wrote hard-core erotica with school-age kids hovering--it can be done
I'll work on a notebook. I'd work on my MS Surface, but it's too much trouble to put it away every time I leave my desk, which is often. It's easier to toss a notebook into a drawer.
Thanks for all of the ideas and feedback. Just struggling to find a way to get some writing in, with my busy schedule. I'm usually either at work, at the gym, commuting, or hanging out with the BF. May have to talk with him about us both working on our writing when we hang out, instead of watching TV. Gotta get this trilogy done, dangit!
You're better off discussing the matter with the employer and agree on the time period where such personal work is allowed and make sure this work is all yours (all the IP rights) and not your employer's.