Work/Life Balance

"Damn dildo warehouse mixed up the dildo orders!"

So I’m now over two months into my new full-time job. If you’re unaware, I’m back in the LASIK saddle, albeit at a different clinic. After having been unemployed for over a year, the fact that I’m making (more than) decent money again is fantastic. Never will I have to choose either soup OR salad; I can afford both now. I can also buy new shoes instead of those bread bags I’ve been using.

Reminder: I actually need to buy new shoes.

But one thing has been lacking lately, and it came up during Justin’s birthday party. People were mentioning to me that I was publishing way fewer Moments of Seyfried, and so forth. Now, no one was angrily confronting me about this (the night was still young, though), but I told them it was due to the simple fact that I was working and just had less time to find new pictures of m’lady and post them.

Now, this is not simply about pictures of Amanda Seyfried. Those are certainly important, but there is a further problem I have yet to conquer now that I’m employed, and that is the problem of latent creativity.

Something like he does.

Now, I didn’t blow myself away with the amount of creative stuff I did(n’t) do while I was jobless. Looking back, I could have written a script or three, read more, made a short film about our cat. But, what I did do, I was happy with. And I had the time to expound on subjects; this is why my review of It’s Complicated ran over 1600 words. What else was I doing? And that’s not even factoring in working on “The Room Responds.”

I’d love to continue doing that, but I’m just so friggin’ exhausted. And even if not physically, I certainly am mentally. I get home after nine or ten hours away, and I can barely think of a concept good enough to write about. Also, I’m not following current events as well as during that time, so topics don’t jump out at me as often as they used to.

I want to write more, and even read more (I just bought a Kindle, so let’s see if that helps), but many days I don’t even feel like it. So I pose this question to all of you reading: how do you do it? How CAN you do it? How do you slot in a full-time, often busy job, family responsibilities, and still carve out enough time to make a dent in your creative wish list?

Of course, I could just write about hot chicks killing robot samurai. Worked for Zack Snyder (except it kinda didn’t).

"The end." DONE.

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3 Responses to Work/Life Balance

  1. Andrew says:

    You know, the funny thing is I’m blogging every day. I made a new year’s resolution to do a post every day to sort of force myself into the habit of writing. 95 days later, I’ve successfully done a post every day. Some are really good. A few are really lame. I’ve done it while working a full time job during the day and a part time job doing taxes. That’s almost over for the year.
    I’m not saying this to brag. If you were to ask me how I do it, I’d have to say that I don’t really know, except that I spend a lot of time each day trying to decide what I want to write about and what I want to say. And, I know that after I get home from the tax office, I need to write something. That’s actually good accountability. Sometimes, I just start writing and something forms. Once I started one poem and ended up dividing it into three. But that daily deadline works for me, and it keeps me from procrastinating.
    The other thing that I’ve found is that I’ve laid off of the really heavy analytical stuff and fallen back on the personal and emotional. It’s easier to touch those places when I’m tired. (I know, Clint and Justin just rammed their fists into their mouths at that phrasing.) Until you adjust and find a new rhythm that writing fits into, try giving yourself license to branch out and write about what your mind lets you write about. See what happens, and good luck.

  2. Clint says:

    To an extent, you might say I cheat. I have Internet access at work and a fairly generous lunch allotment that I can use to write, or at least find topics I might want to write about.

    Having a “deadline” can focus me, even if there’s no tangible penalty for missing it. As a boy named Calvin once said, the proper mood for creativity is last-minute panic. I don’t force myself to write every day because I’m pretty sure that would lead to burnout… I’d rather do a big entry once a week than a bunch of little ones (which frankly, isn’t that much different than the twitter or facebook I already indulge in). Then it also helps that I have one blog I tend to restrict to certain topics, while the other is a catch-all– variation helps.

    Finally, if you really don’t feel like writing or reading? Well, unless people are depending on you (especially for a paid gig) then my thought is… don’t force yourself. That’s not universal advice though, since a great many people actually do benefit from forcing themselves. I just happen to not be one of them. Maybe have a couple nights a week where you just say “fuck it” and veg out, then write on others. Write on a weekend where you don’t have an accumulated 9 hours of workplace stress on your shoulders.

    Now, how do you balance all that with an active social life? Dunno, son, I’ve never really had to worry about that…

  3. DavidJD82 says:

    I do benefit from a job that is pretty flexible–for instance, I’m still in my pajamas as I write this, though I’ve also sold some wine, set up some work meetings and jotted down some notes for a future blog post. So the plus side is I can make time to write pretty easily but the down side is I have to make the time since I’m always bombarded by distractions, both legitimate and otherwise.

    What works for me is 1: forcing myself to write (I’m one of those) and 2: taking time off. Generally speaking I try to write every weekday for at least 90 relatively uninterrupted minutes. I don’t write on the weekends unless I have a deadline or missed a weekday writing session. I also don’t write when I’m out of town unless, again, I have a deadline. I used to write every weeknight from 8-10PM but work got weirder and busier and Charlie’s work schedule changed so now I do a mix of night time writing and mid-morning writing. I like mid-morning writing better theoretically, but I’m called away on work business way more often.

    Taking time off is important because it makes writing feel like less of a chore and if I commit to writing at other times I don’t feel guilty about taking time off. The fact is creativity of any kind is taxing and an hour of good writing can leave you mentally and emotionally drained. Creativity disobeys the laws of thermodynamics–you’re creating something out of nothing.

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