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Friday, March 04, 2011

When life interferes with living

As some of you on Facebook and Twitter already know, I've undergone not one but two unexpected job changes in the past two months. The first job had me working all sorts of long, crazy hours which left me unable to do much other than occasionally work out, sleep, and feed my cats. 


I know a lot of you have families, more than one job, and are often the caretakers of at least one generation. Given how full my own life is, I give my blessings every day that the only people in the world I have to worry about are my two adorable kitties and whether or not they are fed, cuddled, and have their litter boxes cleaned.


But when do you do when you know you've hit the wall, and it's either you change your life or you start to fall apart? At what point do you say, "I've had it, I NEED more time in my life for the things that matter." This question is especially directed at fellow writers and anyone who has a primary career which is NOT writing. Have you ever hit this point and if so, what did you do about it? And how did you know when you had gotten there, what were the warning signs and how did you cope?




Love & Magic,
Adrianne
www.adriannebrennan.com

9 comments:

Valerie Douglas aka V. J. Devereaux said...

Oh, I definitely hit a wall there. I was on yet another business trip and in the middle of this amazing epic fantasy novel. I was writing scenes on the plane. The worst part was that I hadn't realized how much I hated my job until I started throwing up in the motel room.
I finished the job, went home and told my husband I was quitting. *laughing* Ten years later, I'm remarried and writing again. My current and much beloved husband supported my decision to quit the job I'd taken to support myself and concentrate on my writing, bless his heart.
True story...

Adrianne Brennan said...

Yeah, I'd say puking in the motel room is a dead giveaway. XD I'm sure you look back and laugh now, but I doubt you were laughing then.

I was coming home regularly at 10, 10:30 at night. At first it was okay but by the third week, I was getting burnt out and just stopped caring about my job altogether. While it was stressful to get laid off, I'm actually glad it happened or I never would've moved on!

Good for you, making the right decision for yourself! And I'm glad it worked out. :)

JFedele said...

I battle this all too often; and my writing--the dedication of time to it--is what suffers. I work at a university and student writers, and I tell them that the only writers I know who don't beat themselves up about the time they spend NOT writing are those who schedule writing time and stick to the schedule. I wish I was better at keeping my advice, lol!

Back to your question, though--I'd examine which activities are occupying your time--for a week, or a couple of weeks--and them prioritize those activities. Obviously, entertainment is the easiest place to cut, but I caution not to totally eliminate entertainment, especially mindless, frivolous pasttimes...your brain needs some down time to remain fresh and creative.

Now, if I could find someone to hide my Madden NFL game disks until I finish my re-write ;)

Adrianne Brennan said...

Balancing that time for oneself versus "wasting time" is difficult, if not painful. You NEED that downtime, but also need to recognize when it's taking away from more important things. I struggle with this often, as I'm sure most do!

mshatch said...

A little over a year ago I changed my work schedule to a longer tue/thurs and off on wednesday. It's less hours and thus less $ but time is worth more to me than money these days. My sanity is worth more. I need to write; it isn't just want anymore.

Adrianne Brennan said...

Being at a job where they don't mind my working home every once in a while goes a long, long way. I wish I could do one day from home on a regular basis; it would help me so much! The weekends are never enough to do everything I need to do besides.

What you did sounds awesome! I've been at jobs where I've been able to do similar.

Livingsword said...

My wall is called carpel tunnel syndrome, a speed bump from the computer (and writing of course), texting, hand writing and holding the phone…but like all speed bumps after you go over it you tend to speed up again…however pain is a good attention getter.

Adrianne Brennan said...

Ouch, carpal tunnel definitely isn't fun! I still have no idea how I've managed to escape having it, given I've been in front of computers a good twenty-five years of my life. But yeah, that's a bit of a speed bump I'd say! At the very least, forces you to pay attention to your body and treat it better. We often don't....

Livingsword said...

You may be fortunate…Carpel tunnel is a congenital problem…still life is an opportunity…



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