Sabbatical Day Ten

So, all of that resolve I had on day one? It’s sort of been eluding me the past couple of days. I spent last week finishing up edits for book 3–diligently, desperately. I worked on it every chance I could and when I finished I wanted to punch someone in the face. Because even though I met my goal, even though I did what I had to do, the truth is I could have done more.

This was not what I’d had planned. This sitting around, trying to free write on an IPad while I wait for a chance to use the laptop. I’m supposed to be moving at lightening speed here. I’m supposed to be knocking this shit out and moving onto the next thing and the next thing and starting my life. But instead, I’m sitting here, typing this post one letter, one finger at a time, trying not to think about all of the things I should be doing right now.

But I can’t. Because of…circumstances. Otherwise known as things that are out of my control and let me tell you I’m learning that I do not like things that are out of my control. I guess I’m not much of the spontaneous type. In fact, I’ve realized that maybe that routine of a 9-5 job that I hated so much, was really the thing keeping me on track. I think I need the routine, to sit in the same chair at the same desk at the same time every day. It helps me focus and it lets my brain know that it’s time to get to work. I’m missing that right now. Because right now I’m so distracted. All of those expectations have been wiped from my psyche and I feel like I’m starting over. Because I kind of am. And it sucks.

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6 thoughts on “Sabbatical Day Ten

  1. Aubrey Cann says:

    I only just looked back on your blog and realized that you, too, do not have a day job and are just trying to write. I feel for you. I left my job in March so my husband is the only one earning money right now. Of course, he is a screenwriter, so it’s not any kind of regular paycheck. Scary.

    Just like you, I’ve been wondering lately if I need the 9-5 job for structure. I thought my writing productivity would go up at least threefold with no job. Not so. I write more than before, but not THAT much more. Often, I feel lazy because of this. This is my chance, right? If I waste this time, I’ll eventually have to go back to a day job and then…what? I don’t know.

    Why, oh why, are we cursed (or blessed, depending on how you look at it) with this need to write?

    • I can absolutely relate! Since I’ve been getting ready to move I’ve kind of given myself a pass. But once we get settled I’ll be curious to see if my productivity increases as well. I was lucky to work in a cubicle and was able to sneak in a bit of writing here and there. I think breaking it up into chunks like that was the key for me because I was clocking in 5K-8K a week. Now that I’m home I’d like to bump that up to 10K-12K but we’ll see.

      I’m curious what sort of time frame you’ve given yourself. I’m planning on just taking the next three months–probably through the end of October–to write as much as I possibly can and get at least one more project out. By then I’ll have three books out and *fingers crossed* I can start earning enough to supplement my income. But if that doesn’t happen I’ll start looking for something part time. Knowing that possibility is sort of looming there, I definitely feel lazy when I don’t get as much done as I’d hoped.

      That’s nice though that your husband works in a creative field as well and understands what that’s like. I would say the same about my boyfriend–he has a BA in Recording Arts–but he’s terribly practical for a musician and thinks paying back his student loans is more important than me never having to work again haha.

      • Aubrey Cann says:

        Well your boyfriend had better get his priorities straight! =P

        I don’t have a specific timeline I guess. I worked for a year and a half while my husband worked on his writing, and then another year after he sold something. I’d love to have a year and a half to write like he did, but that probably isn’t practical. I guess I’d say, it depends on how much more he can sell. As long as he makes enough to support us, I’ll keep chugging away at the writing. Is that lazy? I just can’t think of anything I’d like to do besides write, so a day job sounds miserable. (I worked in food service before. Bleh.)

        I’m not looking into self publishing at all at this point, so basically I can’t earn a cent writing until some publisher wants a book I wrote. One day…

        • Haha he’s supportive, don’t get me wrong. He just doesn’t share my philosophy that Plan Bs are detrimental to success. Although if either one of us were to strike it rich, the other would absolutely quit his/her day job and focus solely on our art.

          But I agree, I can’t imagine doing anything other than writing and I don’t see the point of trying to “fake it” with a desk job. I wouldn’t be contributing wholeheartedly in a job like that, plus I’d be absolutely miserable. This past year and a half that I spent working in data analysis was pure torture and there were many dark days when I was so unhappy I could barely force myself to go. So no, you’re absolutely not lazy. In fact I sort of have this philosophy that if everyone in the world were to follow their passion, the global community would reach this stellar harmony and we’d all be functioning at the peak of perfection. As you can see I’m hopelessly optimistic.

          Do you have anything currently out on submission? I tried the traditional route when I was in college. I took an independent study course in which I wrote my first novel and the professor overseeing me helped walk me through the process. After two years of revisions and re-submissions I didn’t get any bites so I decided to self-publish.

  2. Totally normal feelings! Don’t despair!! Consider this new venture like a “break-up” – you broke up with your day job, you miss the comfortable routine of the familiar, and are still wondering if you will ever have another “relationship” again. Everyday is not great, but if you look back over a period of time you see progress.

    When I was struggling with life, I found that it was easier to make a checklist of things I wanted to accomplish that week. It might have been simple, like email at least 10 companies with my portfolio, actually wash and put away my laundry, etc. but finishing my “list” gave me that sense of accomplishment. Try setting up a 9-5 routine on your own, maybe find somewhere other than your own home where you can work to simulate the going-into-the-office feeling. I find that helps with productivity too. Good luck!! 🙂

    • Lists…yes, I think you’re on to something there. I actually have this totally insane color-coded writing calendar, so I’m all about organization. I’ve definitely set goals for this little sabbatical and I have deadlines for everything I’d like to accomplish but I haven’t written down what I’d like to accomplish just in my day-to-day routine. Maybe you’re right and this is where I’m messing up. I tend to just do things as they come, especially housework, and it’s eating into my writing time. It also acts as a convenient distraction when I’m just not in the mood. Terrible, I know. But once I get settled after our move, I definitely plan to start waking up at the same time every day and establishing a new routine. I realize now how crucial that is and I really don’t have anymore time to waste! Thanks so much for the advice!!!

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