How to write while the boss is watching.

How to write while the boss is watching.

My boss just stopped by while I was writing this. “How is the new report coming?” he asked. I told him it was coming along great. I never stopped typing and he moved on to bother the guy in the next cubicle. I would get to his report in due time. In the meantime, I had some writing to do.

I do most of my writing at work while getting paid to do other things. I work fast and get one hour out of eight writing, and I finish my work in the other seven hours. No one suspects that I am not working on company projects during that hour.

Some tips and tricks:

  1. Use google documents so that you don’t leave any files on your work computer. Your work computer is not private.
  2. Name your documents things like the “Smith-Atkins Report Research”. The title on the web browser is larger and can be read over your shoulder.
  3. Reduce the font size to the smallest that you can read so that myopic bosses can not make out what you are writing.
  4. Do the graphics work at home. There is no way that you can pretend that an illustration is work related.
  5. Use online email like gmail or yahoo mail for writing correspondence. Don’t use your company email account. It is not private.
  6. Be careful with your Linkedin, Twitter or FaceBook feeds. Don’t post your writing progress, especially during working hours. Your bosses may be monitoring your public profiles and you might provide evidence of what you are doing.
  7. Be careful with researching your articles or stories. It is not a good thing if the boss sees a web page with ancient Egyptian mummies on the screen. It is hard to explain.
  8. Your browsing history is not private. Routinely clear your cache and delete cookies.
  9. Go on eBay and buy a computer rear view mirror to put on your monitor. Any movement behind you will catch your eye and might give you a seconds notice when the boss sneaks up on you.
  10. Print out a good Dilbert cartoon and place it to the side of your monitor. Your boss’s eyes will be drawn to the cartoon, rather than the boring stuff on the screen, giving you an extra moment to hide your project.
  11. Always have your job work window open. Your job work should be maximized to full screen with large that the boss’s eye will automatically be drawn to it. One click on your work will bring the window to the front, covering your personal work.
  12. You writing window should be short. You don’t need more than a few lines on the screen at a time. You can minimize it or click on your job work window to hide it.
  13. Don’t share this information with your fellow employees. They are sneaks and snitches. They will tell the boss what you are doing.


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I started reading Science Fiction in the 1950s. I started Writing SF in the 1960s. Then, I had a life. Now I am retired, raising chickens and keeping bees. I am still an avid reader and I have sold about 70 stories in the last 20 years.
I have been collecting information about writing Science Fiction for many years now. Social media has replaced the Blog and large dedicated websites, so the pages here are mostly static. I update them from time to time.


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