Archive for September, 2010

Sigh/Cry: “I Don’t Have Any Time to Write Anymore!” And How I Got There

Wah. Progress on my novel has slowed to a crawl, and I’ve reached the point where I’m lucky to get in even one paragraph a day on it. I miss my teenager skater werewolves so much, and yet it’s become so hard to find the time to write them into existence. “Finding the time” is such a bane in a writer’s existence, especially writers who are trying to cram in their work amidst a million other things like, oh, earning money to live. My complaint is not in any way new or original.

The thing is, it’s entirely my fault my life is structured in such a way as to make it hard to write. Time management is an active process that’s much more than setting priorities and finding the time to do them–you have to look at your life and take some responsibility for how crazy your schedule has become, and then find ways to keep the problem from happening in the first place. When I take a hard look at my schedule and ask myself “How did this happen to me?”, this is really the answer:

I always have way too many projects happening. Part of this is the nature of the film business, where you keep a lot of things juggling till something catches fire. Between my style/pop culture blog, the web series (should start editing it now), the novel, my new freelance “professional blogging” gig, my own little film experiments, the websites I design, my web consulting–I’m just spread too thin. I need to learn the value of focus, or else nothing in my life is going to get done.

To everything! To projects (see above), going out, last-minute road trips, secret sample sales, concerts, free movies, impromptu drinks! Part of it is joie de vivre and living life and NYC, but I need to say more “NO”!

Outside of having to blog for a gig in the morning, there isn’t much else structure in my week or day. In some ways, I love this freedom, but in other ways, I find myself accommodating to other schedules too often, simply because I can. I need to carve out some hard-and-fast inviolable time for myself, where my energy and attention are optimal, instead fitting things around priorities that others set for me.

Right now I’m looking at getting up earlier to write (before I have to buckle down and get to my freelance writing gig, which is very time-sensitive). It’s the only alternative, because by the time I get to the end of the day, I’m too fried to write very well. Wish me luck!