March 16, 2010

Finding Time

I've been kind of bad about posting lately. Probably because, in the past two weeks, I've
A) Started a new, challenging and lovely job, B) Gotten my first 'big girl' car, C) Have had to learn how to drive said car on the left-hand side of the road (while sitting on the left-hand side of the car... is this blowing your mind? D) Umm... I've started a new job. I know I said that already. But really, for me, it's kind of huge.

I'm an Assistant Editor at a publishing company that produces maps and travel guides, which couldn't really be more up my alley. I could bore you with the number of interesting things I've learned in my first two weeks on the job, but I figure I'll stick to the most vital stats.

1. There is a tree in the Kimberley called the shitwood tree. This was mentioned in a guide because apparently, not only does this tree make your campsite stink if you throw a log of it on your fire, but it makes your food taste like... well, you know.

2. There is a website called 'toilet map of Australia' through which you can locate every public toilet that this great nation has to offer. "Add your favorite toilet!" and "Bookmark toilets for future use" were both used in the site's description. I shit you not (pun intended). ((Yes, these are the things that light up my existence.))

Over the past two weeks, my head has been filled with new names and new knowledge. When I'm not working, I'm eating or sleeping (sometimes dreaming about screwing up at work, just for fun). Which brings me to the ultimate writer's dilemma: when the hell am I going to write?!?

I know I'm maybe the zillionth writer who has had to face this problem. There are people who have lots of babies AND full time jobs and still manage to do write (freaks... just kidding?). Who am I to complain, right? I've tried writing before work, but I'm not much of a morning person. My brain (and my creativity) refuse to function before 8AM. Plus that's when I call friends and family and do pre-work things like straighten my hair and make sure I smell fresh. Then there's nighttime, when I'm tired from the day and don't always feel like going to the zone. Writing at night makes my brain come to life, so it becomes kind of difficult to shut it up again. Trying to sleep with my brain running full speed has proven to be a treacherous undertaking. You know when you go into a sort of half-sleep, only to come to and find yourself yelling out nonsense at your confused partner about theses and deadlines and his having FORGOTTEN TO FOLD my laundry?!? (Even when he didn't?) Yeah. Not cute.

So, that leaves me with lunchtime (not ideal), the afternoon (also not ideal), and the beginnings of insomnia.

So how about it, intrepid worker bees? How do you find time for your passions? What have you had to give up or change to make space in your routine for the things you really care about?

Enquiring minds need to know.


  1. You're just getting into the new schedule and job. Give yourself some time. You'll get into a groove and you'll figure out a way that works for you so that it all gets fit in. Your new job sounds so awesome! The potty map is funny, but I know people who would NEED this info. And I'll be sure to avoid the shitwood tree, ick. I love your little car!

  2. I agree with Eve! Love the little car! I think you need to post of you posing on it like you guys posed on that yellow sportscar at Aliya's wedding... Haha.
    And again, agreeing with Eve (smart lady!) - you'll get into a groove. Writing is in your soul, there's no way that it won't find a way to eek it's way out to the surface. You'll find time once you've settled into the new routine!
    Glad you're loving the new job m'lady...yay!! :-)

  3. Hmm . . . I worry I may have abandoned what once were my passions. How's that for a troublesome thought?

    I think it's all about understanding what sort of balance your body can manage. I can be a big superstar with about one major task at a time. I have opted for a job I really like. And, as such, all my useful energy goes towards that. (Fortunately, that job that takes up every ounce of my energy, creativity, and (all-too-often) time comes equipped with summer breaks, during which, I can explore other avenues.)

    But yeah, I've had to admit to myself that, during the academic year, there simply aren't enough hours in the day for me to do much more than do a good job with my work and enjoy the lovely people in my life.

    Perhaps your lot will be different, as it would seem your work is "done" at the end of the day. (That is to say, I very much hope you won't have to spend a lot of nights up until 2 am doing work, only to return to work at 8 am the next morning . . . ) You could impose a schedule upon yourself? That is to say, "I will be done with my job-job at 16:30 and then I will write until 18:30 before commencing to eat and make merry with my lovely man-friend." I've heard mixed things about how well such schedules work for people. Some writers claim you'll never accomplish anything if you don't impose such a schedule upon yourself. Others claim such a schedule stifles creativity. (In fact, I'm reading a psychology book at the moment that has a lot to say about the extent to which creativity is squashed as soon as your creative acts start to feel like more of a job.)

    Sum total: you should probably go on a cocaine binge and churn out a book in a matter of days, a la Robert Louis Stevenson.