Posted by: Jenny | January 3, 2009

Getting started is the hardest part

I’m going to dedicate this blog, my first, to my husband Matt. He has been after me since we met  to start writing again. He’s also a creative type – making films is his passion – and he understands that it’s not just a job, it’s not just a hobby, it is the essence of who I am. Thanks, Matt, for leading me back to what I love.

And since I’ve been home recovering from back surgery, and he and the kids got me a laptop for Christmas so I wouldn’t have to sit at a desk to write, this is my go at getting back into the groove.

I’m sitting in my bed, watching the Colts go into half time down 4 points. Matt’s at his friend’s house, watching the game. Kids are coming in and out – the boys are home from their dad’s house, and are making plans with their friends.

I used to write, for money. First as a stringer for a business journal, and then as a full-time staff writer at a daily paper. And while I loved being a reporter, it took too much time away from my boys.

So I made the decision to leave the newspaper business, to go work for local government. It was like going to work for the enemy. I used to cover this municipality, and now I was on the inside. My newspaper buddies were ok with it, although I think they hoped I’d pass along insider information.

A regular job, with regular hours and no on-call, no night meetings, no 7 a.m. deadlines after getting home at midnight from covering a meeting or event. And it was only 35 hours a week. It felt like being on vacation.

Commercial for Cialis is on. Why??? It bugs the crap out of Matt when they show the couple in the bathtubs on the deck – so illogical, he says, because there are no water lines that he can see. Who thinks these things up? I  have an advertising minor but if I were on an account like that, I’d have to put a damper on such stupid ideas. Really, don’t the products sell themselves? Do we really need to pervert a classic Elvis tune to get folks on board? Questions like these are what prevent me from working at an ad agency.

Ok, back to my riveting account of why I am now a blogger. So I go to work for the government, and as anyone who works in the public sector can attest, it sucks you in with awesome benefits and crazy days off (like Columbus Day, primary and November election days). Next thing you know, eight years have gone by, and you’re a lifer.  I like the fact that a) I can visibly see the fruits of my labor, working for a town; b) most of us do our jobs and can go home at the end of the day without taking work home; c) while the citizens of our fair town might let us know what we’re doing wrong, we aren’t the most hated profession.

In the newsroom, we used to say that it was a toss-up between reporters and lawyers as to who was the most reviled, but at least lawyers  made a lot of money. Which might explain why so many writers end up as lawyers. We decided that the most admired profession would have to be fire fighter. This was pre-Sept. 11. When do you ever hear someone slamming fire fighters? Never. It’s hard to hate a group of people who can so effectively overcome the natural human response to run far, far away from fire.

This Colts game is pretty good. We’re up 17-14, fourth quarter now. I’m losing my grip on the pain, so I guess I’m done writing for now. Hmm, over 600 words, not bad first time out. In case you’re wondering about my site name, Out of My Head, it’s more a nod to transporting ideas from brain to blog than being actually crazy…although today has been a rough one, as the percocet prescription ran out yesterday so I’m winging it on Tylenol. Not good, so yeah, I guess I do feel a little out of my head.

Yikes, it’s tied 17-17 with mere seconds left to play. I’ll have to sign off without announcing that we are advancing in the playoffs. Keep in mind that I’m still rusty, not untalented, so if you check back in you may read a blog that actually says something.

Or not.


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