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What You Want to Not Do

I've posted before about the weird pitfalls of being at home theoretically working on the things I want to work on. Recently one gelled for me a few nights ago when I asked laurie_robey, "I left my day job with the plan of doing all these things I didn't have the time to do before... so why am I still spending so much time not doing them?"

It's kind of a tricky thing to quantify, because it's not like I'm doing none of the stuff I intended to do. Rough Housing is coming out on a regular (if painfully slow) schedule, and I've made progress on other projects as well, but I expected to start writing/drawing daily around 8:30-9:00 and knock off around 4:30-5:00. I was all excited about having the occasional night or weekend to watch TV, play computer games, or whatever else I wanted to do to relax, guilt-free, instead of them being things I only did when I was too exhausted to do anything else.

It hasn't quite worked out that way, which probably shouldn't surprise me at all, but still does. Days when I do workouts, that obliterates the whole morning, meaning I don't get to work until after lunch. Days when I don't do workouts are more likely to get in a full day as long as I don't let myself get sucked into the abyss of Tumblr/Pinterest/Twitter, which was a real problem at first. For a while I used a browser plugin called "StayFocusd" to completely block those sites during my "you should be working" hours, although it was a bit of a sledgehammer solution.

I knew, when I left the day job, that it would have an impact on my online time. The sad truth of the matter was that I could spend so much time doing Twitter RP and reading all sorts of online articles because most of my day job at the time was spent doing things that pretty much required little or no brain power. I was keenly aware that actually wanting to work was going to put a big dent in the time I spent pfutzing around... but I wasn't prepared for the reality of it.

Taking a hard look at how I was actually spending my time, part of the whole 2015 Is the Year of Going Big thing, forced me to really decide what I wanted from my online interactions. I culled a lot of my feeds, unfollowed a lot of people and things that weren't really making my life better, and I have started finding new homes for some of my online RP characters. I'm keeping a few (Soarin will always be my guy!), but most of them are either going to new players or simply going quiet. (Although to be honest, many of them have been quiet for some time already, I'm just now making it official instead of de facto, and pulling their info out of my Twitter clients so I'll stop seeing them there and feeling guilty about it.)

As for why I have spent so much of my time still doing things I didn't really want to do, I don't have a clear answer. I'm sure a lot was habit– it takes a while for your mind to catch up when your life changes around you. Self-awareness has never been one of my strong points (which is peculiar, given how much introspection I always think of myself as doing), and it's one of those things I'll probably take up with my counselor in due time. But in the meantime, I'm gonna keep tweaking things to fix it.

-The Gneech

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
rowyn
Feb. 11th, 2015 01:14 am (UTC)
I have to admit, I relate to this. Granted, I've had a full time day job for 17+ years now, but I've always felt that even if I quit it, I wouldn't spend a lot more time on creative projects. I might get an extra hour or two a day in, but I can't see myself writing for 8 hours a day even without the day job sucking the life out of me. I think this is more intrinsic laziness on my part than anything else, which is not your issue. But still. The whole "not having a day job helps less than one would hope" rings very true to me. :/
the_gneech
Feb. 11th, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
Well, it's a truism that tasks expand to fill the time allotted to them, which is something that must be addressed in planning. Hence the idea that art is never "finished," just "released."

-TG
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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