Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Slowin' My Roll

I tend to get a little excited about things and take on more than I can handle. I remember doing this in high school and the first part of college. I'd fill my schedule then realize that I'd probably made a mistake in not scheduling a break here and there. Eventually I got lazy and stopped doing stuff, and now anyone who knows me knows I tend to be a homebody and don't always accept every invitation that comes my way. (I also call it laziness, but that's just semantics).

When it comes to hobbies, I've always been one to throw myself head first into them and gluttonize on whatever happens to hold my interest at that moment. I've gone through weekends where I'll do nothing but read for two days straight. Not long ago, I was having knitting marathons that left my hands swollen and sore at the end of the day. Back in college, I would do nothing but write, so much so that I'd be up all night long working on some story or another that I was feeling passionate about at the time.

The problem with turning writing into a part time job is that I can't immerse myself as completely all at one time. Because I burnout fast, I need to learn to pace myself or risk screwing up my chance to turn this into something lucrative. Take this past weekend for instance. I wrote all day Saturday, which I enjoyed. I got to sit at Hastings, drink coffee and write at my own pace. However, after submitting three articles, instead of holding off until I'd done my rewrites and knew I'd have to write the next weekend,  I started claiming titles like a madwoman.

Two days later, I realized there was no way I was going to do nine articles in a week while working a full time day job, visiting with friends at least one night, and keeping my sanity with an off night or at least some down time in the evenings.

The phrase "slow my roll" occurred to me in actual context, rather than the snarky way Jon and I use it most of the time. Luckily, both of my writing platforms allow me to release assignments, so that was the first thing I did. This made the dreaded re-writes about ten times easier and they went easier than I'd anticipated. With that under my belt, I took a break and played a video game...without feeling guilty.

While extra income is nice, it's not really worth losing my sanity or my love of writing. I've used the excuse for years that I haven't tried to make writing a job because I don't want to end up hating it. Now that I've taken that step, I need to also take steps to keep enjoying it. Article writing may not be the big rollercoaster at the local amusement park, but I want to be able to do it with a certain amount of motivation and enjoyment for the work I produce.

Plus, it would be nice to keep up the momentum for longer than two weeks.

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