Tuesday, January 26, 2016

time and money

In general, you can have either time or money -- but usually not both at the same time.

I like my job -- it affords me great flexibility most of the year, which really helps when I am pursuing writing for publication. But I also do some freelance writing on the side to fund various projects (house remodeling goals) and pursuits (vacations, writing retreats, and self-publishing goals), and that eats up some of my flexibility.

The more freelance projects I take, the less time I have to spend on the kind of writing I really want to work on, which is fiction. And yet, it is so hard to consider giving up a relatively easy and consistent source of income when my brain keeps telling me, You could keep doing both if you were just better at managing your time. And on top of that, my dad's voice in my head, reminding me of what his parents always told him: You get ahead by doing more than everyone else. 

(My grandparents were the O.G. Hustlers.)

A few weeks ago I wrote about how you have to give yourself the benefit of your own time, and I still firmly believe that. And the fact is, I am pretty good at managing my time. I'm not the best, but certainly not the worst. I manage to perform all the duties at my real job (quite well, if you ask me), spend quality time with my husband, keep my house (sorta) clean, my dog healthy and sufficiently snuggled, etc.

It's just that there are only so many hours in the day. More importantly, there is only so much mental capacity before I start hitting what Nick calls my psychological "allostatic load."

This weekend, I sat down to hit my 1,000 words goal for the week. And before I knew it, I had opened up my freelance writing projects and begun agonizing over them. I've tried to build up a few pieces so I don't have to work during my busy season at the Day Job, and I haven't finished quite as many as I would have liked, and ...

The excuses mounted and before I knew it I had spent two hours writing the sort of stuff that pays me -- and found myself without the mental energy I needed to work on the sort of stuff that fulfills me.

(By the way -- I know this post is the very definition of first world problems. "Ohh, someone can't follow her bliss, boo hoo!" Just had to acknowledge that I also know I am very privileged and being somewhat ridiculous about my circumstances.)

I don't know what I am going to do about this at the moment. I know what I should do (give up the freelance work and tighten my financial belt) but it is so very hard. 

If you have any recommendations on how I find more hours in the day and more mental fuel in my tank, believe me. I am all ears.


  1. I am still trying to figure out how to get myself to spend ANY time doing the things I really want to do, so I am no help in this one. Sorry!

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