I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard at my writing job for the past several days. This is partly because I’ve had a little spike of focus thanks to resuming my 3x weekly megadose of Vitamin D and a big spike in energy thanks to cycling neurochemistry (it sounds fun but it actually mostly isn’t) and partly because I’m seeing the positive outcomes of my budgeting efforts over the past couple months. The end of 2013 was a real financial low point for me and wiped out what little savings I had put together; Pantheacon was another financial weight that I had to recover from so I got a little more serious about budgeting. It’s helped a lot but with rent increases, various medical woes, a chronic illness cat of my very own, and now the actual legitimate need for a tablet computer to save for, it’s been a tight few months. My writing job is piecework, so the more I do, the more I earn; getting lots done when I’m feeling good is my protection against lost earnings when I can’t focus.
(I’ve also been quite busy getting the hand bound Odin devotional books out the door. Let’s not forget that. There’s another 4 on my table now!)
I had planned on giving a little attention to each of my personal writing projects on a rotating daily schedule. That worked fine for a couple days but I couldn’t keep it up. I’ll give it a try again this week but it might be that this schedule is not a good fit for the way I work. That said, I’ve gotten a few more hundred words done on a book that I’m very slowly putting together and I’ve developed a structure for my MGW presentation and I’ve gotten a few pages of notes written to go along with it.
I’ve also got another idea for a book that I’d love to work on but – well, just look at all that stuff I’ve complained about up there. I’m only making appreciable progress on *one* of my writing projects right now, never mind that I have a few thousand words promised to an editor like 2 months ago.
I know I’m not alone in these frustrations. I hate feeling so far behind on the things that I really care about, all the things I really want to accomplish. I also don’t like how slowly I work when I do manage to get moving. I’ve really only got 2 hours of good writing time in me in one session and I typically have only manage one writing session a day; there’s just too much else that needs done.
So I’m frustrated. I’m grumpy that my energy and focus is so entirely eaten up by my writing job – don’t get me wrong, I actually really like earning a living like this but the drawback is less attention spent on my own work. I don’t really make a lot of money off my personal writing; I never have. (How much do I make? In a month I might have earned enough to buy something from a fast food dollar menu. MIGHT.)
I like writing. I like it quite a bit, actually. I like working by myself, I’m a good self-starter, I can even occasionally follow a project through to completion. It’s work I happen to actually be reasonably good at and I feel that, with practice, I can get even better. It’s still work, though. I still have to show up for it every day and put in the effort. When I see just a few hundred more words on the page and I’m out of ideas I feel like my progress is not equivalent to my effort. Shouldn’t I have a book by now? I’ve been working on Heartroad 2 for something like 5 years. I’ve got maybe 8,000 words. I don’t need another book idea; I need to finish one of the ideas I’ve already been cooking.
Ah well. Others have managed to produce under considerably more pressing circumstances than myself. I’ll finish some of these projects eventually but I’m sure to leave this life with many, many things unsaid.