My life is a carefully choreographed series of to-do lists. My to-dos on any given day are long enough to give even the most stalwart of to-doers pause, and only gets done through a strict daily application of effort and productivity that I have… well, not exactly perfected. But cobbled together in a fashion that usually works for me.
But sometimes something (or somethings) come along to topple that intricate edifice, and everything goes to hell.
Welcome to 2020.
Although I have a better handle on my workload than I have in a long time there is, quite simply, too many things for one guy to do. I can be as efficient as I want, and yet it seems like I never really do more than chip away at the beast.
And then it regrows like some Staples Hydra, sprouting a new screen here and a new fax (yes, we still get those) there, and a bunch of new emails inside all those multiplying screens, each one needing my time and response. And don’t get me started on the sharp little weeds that are FB messages.
Which brings me to writing.
In theory, I give myself an hour and a half every day to sit down and write. But the combination of a new website with lots of bugs to fix, an auto accident (thankfully without injury) that is sucking up tons of time for paperwork and fighting with the insurance company over the value and planning to buy a new car and all the rest.
And so… no writing, basically for four months.
I wanna write. I really do. I need to get back into the flow. But until things stabilize, it just doesn’t feel like it’s in the cards.
If I’m totally honest, maybe there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to write, at least not right now.
It’s been a rough few months on the writing side too, with pitching on twitter and in pitch wars, and then being rejected time and time again.
Maybe it’s easier to retreat into the mundane work stuff. Maybe my inner critic is getting the best of me:
I suck. People only tell me I’m good because they are my friends. I am too old. I don’t know enough about the market tow rite what they want. I suck.
I just gave a friend shit for calling themselves stupid when they most definitely are not. But still, the inner critic is a seducer, and he knows just what buttons to push to make me doubt myself.
So what can I do?
First off, I am seeking expert outside opinions on my suckitude, or lack thereof. I have my new manuscript, Dropnauts, with a friend who has read most of my works and who I trust implicitly.
I am also working to reduce my workload, and to push through what I have.
And I am trying to remember to cut myself some slack. I work my ass off, and it ain’t easy. The world has rained a shitstorm down on my head this last year, and yet somehow I am still standing. That’s something.
So I don’t have an easy answer to the “writing time” thing right now. All I can do is what I’m doing, and hope I finally push through to the other side.
To my writing friends – what do you do when you can’t find the time to write, or the will?