This month we're talking about Horrible Bosses. I don't think I've ever had a horrible boss - lazy, yes; ineffectual, certainly - but not horrible. To me horrible implies mean, arbitrary, or unethical. I was lucky enough never to have to work for someone like that.
Over the years, I had a couple of wonderful bosses, mentors who taught me more than they will ever know. When my turn came to be in charge, I knew that's the kind of boss I wanted to be. I spent the last eighteen years of my business career as the V.P. of Underwriting and New Business at a large insurance brokerage, where I managed a support staff of 15-20 clerks and specialists. My favorite part of the job was training and mentoring, and I hope I made a difference in several young lives. My greatest professional satisfaction upon retirement was turning over the reins to a woman I had hired right out of college and "raised" in the business for fifteen years, knowing she was fully prepared to meet the challenges she would face.
But now that I'm a full-time writer, I'm my own boss. So what kind of boss am I? Too lenient, I think. I know I could be much more prolific if I made myself stick to a strict writing schedule, if I created business plans and specific goals and worked toward them with the steady tenacity I applied to my first four books. But I haven't done that, and I have to ask myself why.
One reason is burnout. The last year of my business career was difficult and left me exhausted and traumatized. I needed to give myself time to recover. Then we moved across the country and undertook a huge renovation project. More stress. My husband's health suffered and mine along with it. We've been in the house for a month now, and I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For me, that light is a rekindled interest in starting a new writing project. I may not be a tough enough boss to crack the whip and set myself deadlines, but I'm happy to feel the spark of creative energy again. It's been too long.