July 14, 2013

Completion - and guilt (warning: honesty rush)

I have great news! On 28th June, I finished the second volume of Successors of Time! I'm very happy and have resumed revision of the 1st volume, though it's been on and off since then.
When I get home from work, I usually feel exhausted and the last thing I want to do is to pick up the red pen and read through all that I've written 2,5 years ago and fix it. But when I do get to do it, somehow, I feel better. I guess it's one of those obligations that you try to avoid, but can't, and end up enjoying it in the end. Like training.

I think I should try to concentrate on editing and writing every day, at least a little bit. Maybe I can train for November this way? Plus, there're so many stories I've left half-finished and still want to finish and I just don't know how to juggle them. I didn't know how to juggle all those when I was out of job for 1,5 years and now that I've a full-time job, I'm at a loss as how to balance everything. And I feel guilty.
Today, I remembered to log in to a particular google account of mine which I haven't used in... gosh, well, after swimming through endless e-mails, I realised it's been almost 6 months. This is an e-mail address I used to check every couple of hours 'back in the day'. I moved on from those days, but some things -which are still dear to me- remain and... well, if you log in... say, every week to an unused account, you probably get an e-mail or two in a month maybe a review of one of your stories every couple of months and it's nice, but when you remember when you had several of these in only a day 'back then', you can't help feeling sad. Then you also remember that 'back then' you updated these stories several times a week. So, of course you'd get that much feedback after awhile.
And now you feel guilt. And if you get to continue those old stories and update them, you wait in nervous anticipation, an unpleasant feel in the pit of your stomach - would they still like it? Would they leave a short message? Will those be happy that I've updated or angry that I've abandoned them for so long?

I need a plan. Actually, I need several plans and try which one of them works, so I can concentrate on my original stories (their revision and writing), and on finishing my old pieces of fanfics (writing and then I think they'd need at least a mild editing before I'm OK with them - of course I edit before I publish them, but there're usually nasty mistakes that go unnoticed by me, the writer, because, you know, I've written it and know what I wanted to write and sometimes read what I wanted to write, not what I wrote).
And I need a new notebook so that I can keep track of these plans of mine.

So, you see. I want to concentrate on my writing career - which means focusing on my original pieces rather than old fanfics. But I don't like disappointing people, I don't like abandoning projects halfway - I like finishing things I started. Plus, I imagine my old readers want to read my stories. That's why I still get those messages every Blue Moon. Maybe they'd be even interested in the new (original) ones? They certainly deserve to know how my stories will end.

But how the heck do I juggle full-time day job with my originals and fanfics? Or even with just writing? It took me 8 months to write a fragment of what I wrote for NaNoWriMo in a month. 8. frickin'. months.

How do you juggle all these things? It's very hard to find the balance...
(Don't suggest coffee, please, I can't drink it.)


Ben Dash said...

Indeed, it is hard! Work-life balance has always been a problem for me, and I suppose for countless other souls as well, because -let's admit it- to consciously focus all your remaining time on what you want to do after the oftentimes more than 8-hour work - that's impossible. So I understand your frustration, Tika.

What I've found is that it's very hard to focus on all your want-to-do activities at once - or at least that's the case with me. So I've opened up a springpad account (A note-taking website similar to Evernote) and now I'm using it to collect all my want-to-do things as well as ideas that I intend to work on sometime in the future.

Whenever I have some free time now, I just open it up and choose one that I want to work on at that moment. I also have a Moleskine notebook with me at all times in order to jot down those spur-of-the-moment ideas I so often have.

Finally, I recommend you to check out Quora, a forum-like website which contains ample amount of advice (from writers as well) on how to develop and focus on your writing skills - among other things. Quora is the grown-up version of Yahoo Answers with lots of interesting topics and people with intriguing answers to puzzling questions. Warning: Don't spend all your free time reading them! :)

Just my two cents,

Tika said...

Thank you for the grat advice, Ben! I'll check out those services/softwares :)
I mean, when I have the time/energy :'D

On to November!