February 20, 2017

Inching at a snail's pace in five different directions

I'm feeling tired and discouraged tonight, not because anything in particular has happened, but because working on several translations at a snail's pace, whilst finding time for housework, grappling with a load of important correspondence over the past week, and trying valiantly to stick to my New Year's resolutions (write or blog every day, read every day, exercise every day) is NOT my preferred mode of fuctioning. I like to finish things. I like to see RESULTS. (And most of all, I'd love to just toss everything else out of the window and lose myself in writing for a week.) 

I've never been in debt, but I think the way I manage my time resembles juggling a number of credit card debts, making only the minimum payments on each, while the interest accrues. Doing stuff in small increments is draining and you don't see any nice, gratifying, concrete results for a long time. Switching from project to project means I get more work done overall (I'm prone to boredom when focusing on just one thing, and start wasting time), but individually, each of those parallel tasks gets completed s-l-o-w-l-y. And that, in turn, makes my impatient nature rebel.

I'm so frustrated right now, I'm tempted to forget that "really good" novel I've been wanting to write for the past 2 years (since finishing the final draft of Olga i osty in November 2014, I've started work on 10 or more different novel outlines, and scrapped each one after a couple of weeks because I never felt that spark of inner joy that means you really, truly enjoy a project and believe in it), and start writing something simple set in the Darkgleam universe - just another typical sword & sorcery story full of magic spells, fireballs and demons. The Darkgleam stories have always been something of an escapist pleasure for me.

As regards time management, I'm not actually as disorganized as I sound. I have a to-do list for every day and complete most of the listed tasks. I just keep spreading myself too thin, and setting priorities is a challenge (all too often, housework ends up in a priority position because it's a bad idea to let things slide too much). Most of the time, I'm working on stuff from my endless to-do lists and I feel bad because focusing on one thing means x others stay unfinished. It's like shoveling sand from a pile while a machine is dumping more and more sand at the other end. If anyone else feels the same, or has been in the same place and learned to function differently, I'd appreciate any tips, or words of support, or whatever.

Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. I can relate to your frustration. Even though I don't mind longer tasks, I like to see results too, at least once in a while. Without it, all the work feels like "I haven't really accomplished anything".
    What helps me, are small things. Doing something that will give me an equivalent of "instant gratification". Things I know I can finish quickly while I work on bigger stuff.
    Another thing is the constant reminding myself of the progress I'm making on the big tasks and watching that I don't go the "yeah, but it's not much really" route.

    1. Oh yes, I know what you mean by "instant gratification"! That's how I end up writing short stories instead of working on novels! :D

    2. Yup. Last year I wrote quite a few shorts because it felt more rewarding than tediously working on editing my novel(s).

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