Imagine a computer with seven internet windows open. Each browser window has around twenty-seven tabs open. You know where everything is, you have a system. You keep your email accounts—four of them—in more or less the same window, along with tabs that pertain to them. One window is entirely made of tabs of internships and jobs you need to get around to applying to one of these days. One of them is homework, with a few tabs for games and social media, for when you get bored. Certain tabs are scattered around the windows, but you’ve got a handle on it. And then you are bouncing between windows, trying to figure out which window is the one you need today.
These seven windows slow down your computer like a motherfucker. You try and use your word processor, and your fingers fly. They type the words faster than the words can appear on the screen. So if you get stuck, you will still see the words, slowly being born, while that hourglass or that rainbow wheel of death is alerting you that your computer is mad at you.
Imagine having those tabs open every day. Every day. And you rarely let your computer die. You never shut it down yourself, and if you do, it's only in case of emergency. You’ve lost count of the programs you’ve needed to force quit out of.
You’re dealing with it all, though, because you need all those tabs. You need them. For some reason. You need to have them open, because you will go back to them. Because you will forget. You know your habits; you bookmark pages and never think to go back to them. You have to keep a tab open because you’ll want to look something up later. You know you will.
Imagine all of this going on—not on a computer, but in your head. Imagine those tabs running, non-stop, keeping you up at night, keeping you awake during the day until you need to force quit yourself and give yourself a reboot. Which happens more often than you’d like.
This seems like a pain in the ass. And who would ever want this clusterfuck in their head?
You are a writer. This is the job description.
One (1) window for social obligations and responsibilities. Tabs* may include, but are not limited to; hygiene, etiquette, social norms, work, familial responsibilities, passwords and passcodes, eating, drinking, exercise, schoolwork (if applicable), etcetera.
One (1) window for self esteem and self worth. One tab* maximum.
One (1) window for the useless things in life. Tabs may include, but are not limited to; historical facts, television jingles, to-the-letter plot descriptions of tv shows, the lyrics to the Animaniacs Nations of the World song, the entire script of The Princess Bride, the nutrition facts of an avocado from when your mom was on a health kick, etcetera.
Two or more (2+) windows for music. Tabs will play music at random intervals. (as an alternative, or an addition, iTunes is always open.)
Two or more (2+) windows for your writing. Tabs are plot research, character development, writing advice, agent query sites, success stories, etcetera. Each window is recommended to be for a single story, but this is just a guideline.
Five or more (5+) tabs for social media. These tabs* are to be spread around your windows, cropping up in often unexpected places. These tabs are also allowed—and encouraged—to be repeated in different windows. Social media includes, but is not limited to; emails, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram. YouTube falls under the 'music' category.
* These tabs are optional.
A word processor—Word, Pages, etcetera—must be open at all times. No exceptions.
Your desk must be littered with papers and post-its, reminding you of all you have in your mind, just in case it gets lost amongst the tabs. You must know where everything is.
Your bedroom/workspace must be cluttered and hard to navigate. You must know where everything is.
Your bed must nearly-never be made.
You must have at least one (1) bookshelf. You must break every book buying ban you set for yourself. You must not know how to organize all of your books.
Write. You must be productive and turn out something good every day of your life. If you do not, you have failed. And you must live with that, however you can.
GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION
And there is no quitting.
You are hired.