Overly Ambitious Writer Is Overly Ambitious

wired man

Photo: Mike Licht, used under Creative Commons

Ever feel like you’re pulled in too many directions?

I get that a lot. Today’s post was supposed to be the final Space Stuff! post. Well, not only is Dick’s SF novel still in progress, but the characters decided to throw in a plot twist I did not plan.

I hate when they start feeling their oats and writing their own stories. Well, no I don’t. I just don’t like it when I can’t turn over my fingers to them. Why?

I’m multitasking. Big time. What am I up to?

  • Fitness – The plan is to do the Pig at 50, literally running the Flying Pig Marathon the week of my fiftieth birthday. At the moment, that means devoting three nights/afternoons a week to running. So far, a mile and a half is a challenge and will continue to be for the next week or so. Even tonight’s later winter snow will not stop my run to the local park. This only looks to take up more time as I go to two miles, then three, then five. Next year’s goal is a half marathon (13 miles). That will require almost daily running, with at least three days of 15 miles.
  • Education – I am working on the bachelor’s degree I should have had when the first George Bush took office after finishing the associates I originally abandoned in the 1990’s. This semester is a math-intensive one. I’m taking the summer off, but I plan to graduate next spring. And then…?
  • Freelance development – Which means I need to learn how to program in more than just C# over ASPX. (Say what?) I want to write mobile apps. I want to do interactive web sites for businesses who don’t want to pay people in-house to build them. I want build them for authors. (They will be cheaper sites, but there will be more clients. Win-win!) So I need to block out time after homework to study… Well, right now, it’s MVC, Photoshop, and WordPress. Speaking of which…
  • Freelance covers – I don’t post much here on that because I’m mostly grabbing images off the Internet and importing them into GIMP. But I’ve hit GIMP’s limitations, so, thanks to AJ’s student discount, I have a Photoshop install. Now I’m going back to the beginning and learning that app from scratch. At least now, I understand why so many Photoshopped images look so bad. When this is done, I’ve already found one or two clients who are willing to trade editing for cover art.
  • The blog – Notice I’ve cut back to three days a week? Even that’s a challenge when you don’t know what the next day’s topic is. Plus Dick (The Dick Bachman to my Stephen King) will have his own blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and even a page on Pinterest. Blogs are necessary, except when they aren’t. Then you shouldn’t have one.
  • The day job – 8 hours plus commute. ‘Nuff said.
  • Family – All this is pointless without Nita and AJ. I’ve moved most of the work down to my office so Nita doesn’t have to listen to me chatter endlessly about whatever’s on the Internet while I’m boning up on Java or creating JimWintersDick.com (Watch the price of that domain skyrocket now.)  But I need to spend time with them. Otherwise, I burn out. I mean I married Nita for a reason.

I know that looks like a lot, and right now, it is. But at the same time, once I start doing more, I can start earning more. Somewhere in there, I always find time to write, even if it’s a scene I’ll write in about fifteen minutes (This is Tuesday night.) that I have no clue about.

And at some point, I’m going to have to learn a new skill: How to do nothing.

Not as easy as you think.

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