I’m a little late getting this week’s submission written. I’m so late that I’m writing last week’s column this week. This week’s copy may have to wait till next week.
If it’s any consolation to you, this is not the only chore that has had to wait while I raced the clock to finish my first edition of the Lebanon Advertiser. The laundry is piled up and the house is more of a wreck than it normally is.
Now that I’m self-employed, or, in some ways, self-unemployed, my world has changed in ways I never imagined. For one thing, I no longer have a bedtime. When you don’t have to be at work at a certain time, clocks and calendars lose their relevance.
I’m more organized than I look, but self-discipline is lacking. There have been several times this past week when I’ve looked up from the computer to notice that it’s 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. I actually get a lot more done in the wee hours because the phone isn’t ringing.
The rest of the world is still adhering to corporate time, but I’m on me time.
On the flip side, I no longer have days off including weekends. Unfortunately, my boss, which is me, doesn’t pay time and a half for overtime. I’ve been working so many hours that it has even cut into my time spent playing Words With Friends on Facebook.
I’m circulating a petition to add more hours to the day – at least to Mondays. There are only 24 hours in a day, and I used them all Monday. I didn’t get everything done the way I wanted it, and I found a few mistakes when the paper came out in print. Next week is another opportunity to get it right.
I’m getting a lot of help at the coffee shop, where I don’t get to spend nearly as much time as I used to. I’m writing this there now. The only way I can justify spending any time there is to take my work with me.
Everybody has an idea of what ought to be in a newspaper. As I listened to the range of ideas, it occurred to me that I was the only one in the room who has ever actually put out a newspaper. If I let the guys at the shop have a go at it, you’d see a newspaper filled with girlie pictures and sex advice columns. Thanks, guys, but I think I got this.
People are passionate about their newspapers, though. Moreso than I imagined. A lot of newspapers have struggled in recent years, but the thirst for information remains as strong as ever. Maybe stronger. It’s a challenge trying to give people what they want in a fair and thorough manner. But I’m having fun.
I will say that this newspapering business is a lot more work than I expected. I’ve been in the business a long time, so I knew it would be work, but when you have no staff to which to delegate, time management becomes more important. And a clean house becomes a pipe dream.
• David Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.