This Is What I Accomplished with All The Time in the World
For an extended stretch of time two years ago, I had A LOT of time to write.
It’s called “unemployed.”
I had finished a Production Coordinator job. I wasn’t great at being a Production Coordinator — you in fact, need to know things about Production in order to Coordinate — which I did not.
Nor did I possess a passion for physical production.
So no surprise THERE when I wasn’t asked to join the next project.
(The indignation of some interns and temps, when they’re not asked to stay on for full employment, baffles me. If they didn’t try to keep you on, or help secure your next gig — ask yourself: “Was I any good?”)
To make money, I took a gig to independently cast a vanity reel — which required hunching over the 10-inch display on my Acer netbook and using Actor’s Access for 6 hours a day.
That paid $300. So at least I covered my rent for the month (yeah, I was living light).
Afterwards, I interned at a Youtube channel network, where I filled the hours by watching Pokemon battles and MineCraft.
That lasted three days, when I realized that I was happier waiting tables. I’d rather bring over plates of Pad See Ew and refills of Diet Cokes with lemons for a 12% tip than watch another Pokemon Platinum video of a Noctowl using “Tackle” against a Vulcan.
That’s what I did. I quit the internship, and went down the street and got my old job back.
All the while, I took most of the morning to write scripts and blog posts. Much of that writing didn’t go anywhere, but I was putting in my time.
The depression I had settled into (hours on the Planet Poke Channel, then regressing back to asking people if they’d like their curry “mild” or “spicy”) made for some really uninspiring stuff.
This may not be true for other creatives. Some bask in that angst to fuel their creativity sensibilities.
That’s just not me.
For me… Happiness good.
That was two years ago. I’m in a better place now, so my writing temperament is good. (Some claim they bleed on the page every time they write. I prefer ink.)
But now there’s a lack of time.
I’m committed to different relationships (one requiring a standard of living above$300 a month, and meals consisting of more than pasta-bought-in-bulk 5-days a week).
I’ve committed to a few too many projects.
So I still hold the mornings for my creative time — starting at 5:30 a.m. on the weekdays, 8 on the weekends — but it definitely bumps heads with other commitments.
That’s the eternal battle, isn’t it? Good versus evil? The Force versus The Dark Side? Ash Ketchum vs. Gary?
I think whatever side you happen to be on at your particular juncture, the process looks the same.
If you have all the time in the world.
Or you’re struggling to squeeze off an hour of production.
Make the decision that developing your platform is important.
Find a routine. Stick to it – don’t move it for anyone.
Pick your work for the day — bird by bird, as the Lamott-expression goes.
And keep in mind building takes time.
Photo Credit: Klaus De Buysser