I’ve been going a little nuts at my job lately. I just have a lot to do, and need to be in control of getting it all done. I guess I’m also the kind of person who (unfairly?) ascribes the end of the world to day-to-day shortcomings. Oh, that galley is going to be a week late? Oh my god, it’s the end of the world!

(And listen, I’m not being alarmist! I can delineate the intermediate steps between the late galley and the end of the world, if you like. If you don’t like, skip to the next paragraph. Otherwise, welcome to my neuroses: The galley is late, so I won’t be able to send out the manuscript for endorsements to famous people with enough lead time, so when the BNN reps (et al) go to sell this book in they won’t be armed with enticing enough information, so the accounts won’t purchase as much stock and the store presence will be relatively low on this title when it pubs, so even if we get good publicity on it consumers won’t have it front-of-mind because they’ll have to go digging, which means the title will never break out into a nicely-modeled frequently-reprinted backlist classic, which means it will eventually go out of print, which means the author will be sad and the company won’t make as much long-term revenue and I won’t have a strong seller to my name, which means my bid for taking over the free world will be supremely hampered, and the sun will supernova and destroy human civilization and no one will remember the book I tried to publish because the galley was late.)

I guess I’ve been carrying over the work anxiety to home. This has been driving F nuts, too, I have been brought to realize. In fact his words to me were “You’ve been a little nuts lately.” Poor F.

My marketing director says I am getting too caught up in work. She says she loves me, but I have to realize I’m a little crazy. She suggests I get some kind of hobby.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I called my dad and told him.

“Tell her you have a hobby already,” he said. “Tell her you’re a book editor.”

This made me happy, because at least I know where I got this streak.

I’m thinking about going into work this afternoon. After Indian buffet.

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12 Responses to obsession

  1. jen_alluisi says:

    I have a solution for you. Get a second “job” that’s really your hobby. I have a full-time job in nonprofit association management. I started a freelance copyediting business about 2 years ago that I pay attention to at nights and on weekends, thereby not obsessing about my day job and driving those people crazy 7 days a week. Of course, you might drive YOURSELF crazy, but you’re already doing that. Might as well start a weekend dogsitting business or something 😉

  2. Karissa says:

    i think eating between editing is your hobby.

  3. Maybe planning what you’ll do with the taken-over free world could be your hobby? Designing uniforms for your future minions sounds like it could be fun and relaxing. Especially your elite guard! They should look distinctive. I’m thinking feather boas.

  4. Simon Hay says:

    Coolest dad ever. I’d start designing dad’s chalet, with an iron chef kitchen, and a library. Once you take over the world dad’s going to need a safe house, in case someone kidnaps him. Rent a dad? Invite me to the chalet, I’ll go fishing with F and dad, while you stand in the kitchen and smile.

  5. Ooh I feel for you!!! I obsess too but I think you far surpass me in this field. In fact, after talking to you on the phone last week I went into a tailspin wherein I began worrying that I was not worrying/ working hard enough. I only tell you this in the hopes of providing a neurotic comparison. At least you’re crazy and getting stuff done. I like to waste time worrying about worrying.

    You could sign up for a 10k or a half marathon. That’s a hobby that lends itself well to type A people and always sounds impressive at parties. People respect that you have to train and all that. And it allows for more guilt-free eating. Plus, endorphins.

    Hang in there. So many authors appreciate the work and passion you devote to their projects but I’m sure they would feel very guilty if they gave you an ulcer or something.

    • Mary says:

      I second the “sign up for something you have to train for” recommendation. If you’re going to obsess about the end of the world, at least diversify what that looks like. As an editor, I’d routinely kill myself to get the job done. When I’m tri-training, I think “I had one of the slowest times last time, and they were following me around, picking up cones behind me and I felt like a real loser. I have to wrap up at work so I can spare myself the humiliation.” or “Open water swimming is basically a really slow form of drowning, given my level of swim skills. If I’m going to actually finish, I need to get some laps in basically every day which means leaving work in time to get those in before the pool/park closes.”

  6. WendycinNYC says:

    Your hobby can be walking my dog in this horrible cold snowy crappy weather. Does that sound enticing? I’d do that for you.

    I’m a giver.

  7. Tulsa says:

    Ehem…this is something I have been wondering about myself. My career in radio was totally my hobby because I got to listen to LOTS of music, read books and watch movies and call all of it “research” for writing radio scripts and planning shows.

    Now, I work in another industry that I am thrilled to be a part of but the work is hard on the back and feet and can crush my self esteem in a matter of seconds…(I sell stuff).
    I used to be able to work 24/7 and still party and be happy with HUGE bags under my eyes. Now, I just have HUGE bags under my eyes. It might be an age thing too.


    I have decided that it is ok to check e-mails and reply occasionally if it is an urgent request etc. from a client after work hours. BUT, I need time to do “research” for my job too…and that “research” can be tied in with my work: reading books that my clients have recommended or may like, watching movies that may become conversation ice-breakers with clients and colleagues from different offices and departments etc…

    Sorry if all this isn’t making sense…I just wanna say, you are not alone and “kanpai” to the both of us and our new jobs! Thank you for checking out my bog, by the way…I was suspicious at first but have (finally! yes, I am a tad bit slow) figured out “who you are” and am mighty grateful to be able to read your whaddya blog!

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