A to Z Challenge 2013

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blog Chain - Where's Your Priorities?

Today's topic comes from the talented Amanda, who poses this question:

How do you prioritize? How do you balance paying attention to your writing, critiquing for friends, spending time with your family and earning a living?

This is a very timely topic for me, because (thanks to NaNo) I've been feeling the pressure lately. Let me give you an idea of how many things I'm working on so you can get a feel for my world. First off, I'm a Dad. My younger son has decided to start writing stories (ain't it awesome when they follow Dad's example?), so that means I have to be supportive and help him develop this interest. My older son is in high school wrestling, and since I got him started in it, I'm all about supporting him as well. That means back and forth to practice every day, wrestling meets every weekend (coming up soon anyway), fund raising events, working the concession stands at things, etc.

My wife has been ill for a while now, so she's not able to do as much as she used to. Just in case you're reading hon, I'm not complaining. I love her, and I firmly believe in the whole "in sickness and in health" part. But yeah, housework does have to get done so I do as much of it as I can.

I'm studying for the very last test I ever have to take in college. It doesn't help that it's one of the most difficult exams Microsoft ever devised for network admins. Yeah, plenty of brain damage going on there as I attempt to absorb it all.

Then I have my job. Yes, I list it last, because quite frankly it is last in my priorities. As far as I'm concerned, I will always do a good job at work, but the job comes in second to the rest of my life. I have a second job as an editor for a website, but I have taken a temporary break so I can concentrate on things like my test. Graduating is more important at this point.

Oh, and there's the fact that I am a gamer. Yep, almost 40 and still playing video games. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

"Hi, my name is Eric and I'm a gamer."

"Hi Eric"

Where does my writing fit in with all of this? Well, prior to doing NaNo, it really didn't. Oh, I would have a spurt here and there where I would write, but it definitely wasn't consistent. I also used to write alot more on here, and yes I'm aware I haven't been as active lately.

The good thing NaNo has done for me (aside from getting a rough draft done) is forcing me to set a writing time. I begin writing at 7 p.m. and I work until I get at least one chapter done. Have I broken that rule from time to time? Sure. But I have stuck to it more often than not. I won't go so far as to say writing has become primary in my life, but at least it is a part of it rather than a distraction from the "normal" aspects of my life. My wife is very understanding, and I'm sure it took a bit for her to become so. It's new, and it's time away from all of them. But she supports me in everything, a fact I'm very happy about.

So there ya go. That's how I manage things. If you haven't read my predecessor Sandra's take on the subject, you can check it out here. And Kat will be following me up tomorrow.


christine said...

Yep - we writers are busy busy people!!! Great post Eric.

lotusgirl said...

Wow, Eric. Life does seem to be keeping you busy. The funny thing with most writers is that we live a full life and then write on top of it all. It keeps us hopping.

Lost Wanderer said...

It is fabulous that NaNo has helped you make writing a regular part of your life. Hopefully you can keep it going even after November.

Mr. Knucklehead said...

Two words: Alcohol. Wait, that's one word. Well, what do I know, I'm drunk.

B.J. Anderson said...

That's so awesome that you're able to balance all that stuff and still get in time to write. I salute you!!

Sarah Bromley said...

Busy life! I'm sorry to hear your wife hasn't been well--it's rough, but you're a great guy for helping out around the house. :)

Shaun Hutchinson said...

Good job making writing a habit. I treat it like a job. Even when I'm not in the mood I do it. Luckily I love it, so it's rare that I'm not into it.

Hope your wife gets better :)

Kat Harris said...

Aaaw... I love this blog even more now. :-)

BTW: You're never too old to be a gamer.

Mandy said...

Great post Eric! My blog is definitely last on my list of priorities and it's something I'd really like to pay more attention to. Hopefully some day I can make time... :D

Michelle McLean said...

awesome post, Eric. Frankly, I'm amazed you manage to get any writing done at all :) But you are right, if you want to do it, you just need to make time for it :) I hope your wife gets well soon and good luck with your writing! (and that is sooo awesome your son is writing too! My 6 yr old likes to come up with stories as well. He'll tell me what to write and then he'll draw pictures to go with everything :) It is so fun to see them enjoying what we love, isn't it!?) :)

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