Thursday, February 11, 2010

Just Don't

People ask me how I do it - how do I have a full time job and write stuff on the side?

Well, I just do it. I make the time, I fricking sit down when I'm tired and want to watch "The Good Wife" and I type stuff until I can't see straight.

And then sometimes I don't.

The truth is that it's really really really hard. Yes, that's three "reallys." So you have to want it really x 4 bad. And some days I don't want it bad enough.

Like last night. Work is heinously busy. In the long run, this is a good thing, and I'm grateful for my job and it's interesting and I learn things and... I could go on, but why? But all day I multi-task. From 9am - 7 or 8pm, I'm doing three to eight things at once. It's a tad insane.

So when I got home last night, my brain just shut off. I tried to do some yoga, and I kept bumping into stuff. Probably because I was doing laundry, fending off cats, and solving work problems in my head at the same time. Multi tasking again.

So after the fourth whack, bruising some bony spot on my body, I decided to just sit the hell down and do one thing at a time. And since I needed to do laundry, eat, and shower more than I needed to write, I did those things. I didn't write a word.

I got all frustrated about it at first. I raged about how there isn't enough time to do everything I need to do (like, uh, clean my apartment. Just ignore the dust hippos in the corners, thanks.) I'm really impatient with myself sometimes. I want to just finish this fricking book and be published and HURRY UP AND MAKE MY DREAMS COME TRUE!

Generally I'm a patient, non-angry type. Then it burbles up. Whatareyagonnado? I'm human. After a bit I calmed down, did laundry, showered, and ate, in sequence, not all at once, and felt at least slightly sane. And went to bed.

Earning money, eating, sleeping, these things do have to come first. And if you can't do them AND write, then give yourself a break and write tomorrow. Yeah yeah, you're supposed to write every single day to stay in practice, and Butt In Chair = A Real Writer, and all that crap. But it's not worth losing your sanity over. Sometimes you just have to sit still and do one thing at a time. Eventually you'll find the time to write.

For me, this three-day weekend is a huge blessing. I'll have time to chill, write, and see friends. All are necessary to feel halfway okay in life. But it doesn't have to happen all at once every day. One thing at a time.


Baley Petersen said...

Thank you for this. What a relief to hear someone tell me that sometimes, it's okay to skip a day of writing.

Nina Berry said...

The pressure's intense, isn't it? Like we're not really writers or something. But our sanity is more important, by gum!