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."
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.