A Kick in the Ass

In the last month, on three separate occasions, people have told me that I’m too hard on myself.  It’s starting to turn into one of those “if I had a nickel for every time someone said that to me” kind of deals.

I managed to get a tiny bit of writing done today.  It wasn’t even on the day’s agenda, but rather work I had to catch up on from yesterday.  I still got today’s work to get through, and chances are I’m not going to be able to get to it; not tonight, not with other work that I’ve got piling on my plate.

And I can’t help but hate myself for it.  On the one hand, I’m taking in as much work as I can trying to keep busy.  On the other hand, I’m getting bombarded to the point where others are telling me that they don’t want to bombard me.  But not wanting anyone to be disappointed, I take on the work anyways.  Because I’m a dumb-shit.

I love it each morning when I got for a walk or a job.  It helps me think, and today I focused on the question: “How do I manage everything on my plate for efficiently?”

I got three things on my plate right now: the novel (1 hour of work), a short story (half an hour), and the new installment of the Andrew Ursler series (another half-hour).  Two hours altogether that could be messed up because I absentmindedly decide to sleep in or I’ve got internship work that simply can’t be put off.  I could catch up in the evening, but I could also get more internship work, cave in, and spend what free time I had set aside on that rather than writing.

I like to take at least one day a week to veg out and try to get my brain to reset.  Saturdays work pretty well for me.  As much as it pains me to say this, I think the best thing to do is keep track of my writing hours and use that day off as a catch-up day.  In a given week, I have twelve hours of writing to do.  This week, I did four and a half hours so far, so if I get no writing done tomorrow, I’ll have several hours to get caught up on Saturday.

That’s several hours that could be spent reading, hanging out with friends, or, hell, just eating a shitload of pancakes.  So this isn’t a method of punishment.  If I wanted to punish myself, I’d force myself to twice twice as many hours as the ones I missed.  Instead, it’s another incentive to get my work done on time so I don’t have as much to make up over the weekend.

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