This morning I have had a shower, dressed in real clothes (not writers’ uniform of old slobby clothes), put on makeup and done hair. It’s quite usual for me to do none of these things on a writing day, I work at home, why waste the time needed for the dressing up thing when it’s just me, the cat (and the wife, equally writerly attired) to see it? So that’s an hour and half gone. I did this because some tv journalism students are coming to interview me about PLR and libraries. These things matter, of course they do, that’s why I agreed to the interview. But it isn’t just the time it takes to get gussied up, or the time it’s taken waiting for them (they’re now half an hour late and have called twice to explain why!), it’s the fact that I just can’t get on with my edit while I’m waiting for them. It takes thinking time, it takes sitting at desk time, it takes concentrated time. Sure, bits and pieces of work can be done while waiting and thinking about other stuff, but not the big edit I’m trying to manage right now. I also downloaded a bunch of PLR and library facts and thoughts for this interview yesterday. Did my reading, marshalled some opinions. I did that when I could have been working on my own book.
And I’m really happy to do this for something like the libraries campaign or PLR or to sell my own work (as any writer is!), but I wish there was also a way to make people understand that it’s NEVER just 15 or 25 or 60 minutes of our time. I wish they realised that when they ask for a chat or a quick interview or whatever, that more often than not it’s half a day’s work gone.
And now I’m waiting for them, while I could be working on my own book.
Still, got a grumpy blog out of it.

(They’ve been and gone now. They were very nice, and smart, and I hope the piece works out well for them, it’s about important stuff and even though it’s only going to be seen by their tutors, it’s an issue that matters. And it still took all my morning.)