It’s early morning and I would rather be sleeping.
That aside, I wanted to touch a little on priorities. Yesterday, I was up until nearly 3am, dealing with ‘pays-the-bills’ work. As I was finally moving away from the computer and trying to get into bed, this thought hit me: ‘I haven’t been up at this time for quite a while working on my own stories’. What I experienced next wasn’t sadness or anger, it was more like a void opened up as I realised the irony of it all. You see, about a week or so ago, I proclaimed quite loudly to a friend – “I’m not making work a priority anymore! Work isn’t the thing that’s going to get me where I want to go!” etc, etc, etc. Don’t misunderstand me, as I said in that same conversation, I understand the importance of my job right now and I will continue to do it well. What I was highlighting, were instances like yesterday’s. Up until that time working for someone else, when I couldn’t remember when last I was up at that time working for me.
I’m not trying to imply that if you’re not up at those kinds of times working on your personal projects you should pack up and go home. There are days when I get loads of work done and it’s not even tea time yet. I just need to find a way to change the way I approach my paying job, so if I want to be awake at times like that, it’s all about what I want to do, not what I have to do for work. In short – I don’t like it. It no longer feels good devoting that kind of off-the-clock time to something other than my characters, who get very annoyed when I stay away from them for too long.
Next I want to respond to a question I think I’ve answered before in a much earlier post, but as I don’t remember . . .
Why do you want to do so much by August?
For about six years, my world was all over the place. For a few of those, my focus was on a band I was in and the most writing I did was when I penned lyrics. I forgot who I was, not realising that all the while I was slowly finding out who I was. With the band finished, my energies went into relationships and even though I started back writing, I still wasn’t quite there yet. Those ‘bad years’ (loosely labelled because they weren’t completely awful), passed and feeling drained after the onslaught, I did nothing really with my writing for about another year and a half. Then early last year (I think it was – or late the year before), I decided I was going to retrace my steps and return to the thing that has never failed me. That I’ve loved from the time I was a little kid, that helped me as I moved into double-digits and soothed me in the worst times. It wasn’t easy at first to readjust, not because I didn’t want to, but because I remembered a time when I could write for hours and hours without pause and I felt like I’d lost that and it made me very sad. However, by continuing and getting back on the horse every time I fell off, I’m getting back to that place and it feels good.
You haven’t answered the question J.R!
Fair enough, but I felt the background was necessary to say this: I want to finish as much work as I can, because I feel like I’ve already lost lots of time. No, I don’t mean with regard to age. Sometimes when I think about the competitions I could have entered, the work I could already have submitted, the manuscripts that could be catching dust in a corner, I feel something akin to regret. I push it aside because I believe those kinds of things aren’t worth dwelling on, but being human (sometimes unfortunately) means that every now and then it tries to seep in. My lovely mother though, has the best words for those kinds of moments: ‘This is your time, don’t worry about what you haven’t done, do it now. This is when you are supposed to do it’.’ While I truly believe we are the ones that often hinder our progress, I realise that if I was a bestseller six years ago, I have no idea the kind of person I’d be. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to handle it, maybe I’d be surrounded by people that didn’t care about me at all and I’d be okay with it. Now I see life differently and I’m more open to success in a positive way. So, I’m going to write as much as I can, to catch up so to speak and make sure that when my time comes, I’m ready.