How many times have I heard that? As mentioned last year, my spouse defines a 'real job' which brings a paycheck. Okay; in 2008 my alter-ego received four or five royalty checks. I received my first one the other day. Not to mention the cash sales from the past couple of years, plus being #3 on the Best Seller List.
Royalty Check/Sales money= Paycheck.
Contrast that with my 'other' job. I put in sometimes as many as eighteen hours a day, and sometimes it extends into the wee hours of the morning if a child gets sick, or I have to wake up the spouse because he didn't hear the alarm. I am, in no particular order:
I also spend at least 4-6 hours a day wearing my writer's hat. This means I'm online, blogging, chatting, updating FaceBook, and promoting my work. I also shut off the internet and create documents which may or may not see publication one day. Once a week, I'm spending three hours with my crit group as we network, commiserate, and bounce ideas off one another. When I'm 'on tour', my weekends are tied up slightly for 2-6 hours a day as I meet potential readers and other writers.
Which one is more important? Both are equally important. But as my kids get older, the less I need to monitor their every move. Balance is the key, and admittedly, I've dropped the ball sometimes. But my kids know what I do for a living, even if they don't totally understand why I call my email accounts/blog 'The Office'. My SU, on the other hand, only understands when he sees results. I get a check, he's proud of me. I get a good review; he's proud of me. When I've had a good day at a festival, he's proud of me. When we're out in public and someone recognizes me, he's proud of me. But when he's not working and I don't pay attention to him for several hours while I'm online, he threatens to shut off the internet if I don't get off in a 'timely fashion'. If the kids are complaining about me needing to check my email, or arguing about whose turn it is to USE the computer, he threatens to toss it out the window.
Proof that a) we need a wireless router and b) I need my own laptop!
And I've been doing better about staying online for hours on end. I typically get offline when the teens come home, unless an important chat is taking place. And I try not to demand my 'after hours' time too much.
So yes, I have a Real Job!