Thursday, October 4, 2012

Time, time, time

Who has enough time?  Nobody.  The truth is that often, there really is enough time every day, but one does need to sleep.  And to be honest, I spend most evenings responding to e-mails, looking at Facebook, and watching movies.  But I also feel that winding down is an important part of my day - it's downtime, and without it, I don't function well and I certainly don't sleep well.

What I need more of is morning time.  I am so productive first thing in the morning, when the air is cool and the birds are singing.  I feel refreshed after a night's sleep, the phone doesn't ring, and my creative juices flow.  Sure, sometimes I do write at night, but when I do that, I often find that the quality of my writing is poor, so most of the time, it's not worth it.

Recently, I accepted an invitation to write three articles for a book that is being put together for (new) expats in Germany.  The articles were on raising multilingual children, raising multicultural children, and trailing spouses.  In order to do the topics justice rather than simply writing up articles based solely on my personal experience and knowledge, I did a lot of research for the articles, and also conducted two surveys.  I read as much as I could, made sure I included references from the most well-known and important books and websites on the subject, and tried to write great articles.  It had been a long time since I'd written anything non-fiction (other than a blog), and I had to use a part of my brain that, unfortunately, had some cobwebs on it.

Great exercise, glad I took it on, but also glad it's over!  I only had a couple of weeks to turn in the articles, and having a deadline imposed by someone other than myself was rather difficult.  In those two weeks, I also had to organize my son's first day of school (quite a lot of preparation here in Germany), attend two parent-teacher conferences, two women's group meetings (they always take the entire day), book club (needless to say, I didn't finish reading the book!), and to top it all off, I had three days of debilitating migraine right smack in the middle.  How I got those articles written, I do not know.

I had been toying with the idea of exploring more freelance writing as a side-job, but I think this latest experience has extinguished that possibility.  I really loved the experience, but between regular commitments, such as laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc... and other commitments that one makes, it is very unlikely that I'd find enough morning time to do good writing.  And my second book?  That collected dust while I was working on the articles.  I also lost the momentum I had, and am struggling to find it again.

Now, I'm back to writing my book on my own schedule, as slow as that has to be sometimes.  I've got a self-imposed deadline of a completed first draft by the end of October, but it doesn't make me feel stressed, because if it's not finished by my deadline, nobody will be disappointed but myself.  If a great freelancing project falls into my lap again, I may take it, but I won't be seeking out any projects, at least not for now.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post! I had been thinking of trying out some freelance work, so your thoughts here gave me some good things to think about. I must say that I agree with you that it's nice to follow one's own writing schedule, without deadlines from another person.