Living the Dream Part 16 (Work-Life Balance)

It finally happened. After a long, long time of waiting, I recently started my new job. It’s great to finally be back in work after my longest ever stint of unemployment. Having to watch the pennies like a hawk had become somewhat tedious. I’m just over a week into the job and it’s just been a bunch of training essentially. The real work won’t begin for another few weeks yet.

This naturally is going to have an impact on my writing. Up to starting this job I’d been doing very little of it thanks to over-the-top procrastination. Now I’m doing very little of it for a more genuine reason. The pity is that I can’t exploit lunchbreaks because they’re not long enough. By the time I’ve eaten I’m left with insufficient time to do any writing, making it pretty much pointless even bringing my laptop. I was crestfallen to realise that lunch breaks were so short for that one reason.

As you can imagine, that means writing time is now limited to after work and weekends. The problem there is that I also need to pack in everything else in my life too. I can’t sit at my laptop all weekend.

So now I’m left with a dilemma. What do I do? How can I squeeze in more writing? The answer is eluding me so far. I can’t see a way in which I can create more time to do it. That essentially means that the rate of posts on this blog is going to reduce dramatically. What other choice do I have?

It isn’t all doom and gloom though. Since starting this job I’ve been afforded the opportunity to read an actual book for the first time in I don’t know how long. I finally read the Jean-Paul Sartre play Crime Passionnel. I had it for a couple of years and never got round to it. I’ve now started on another JP Sartre book, Existentialism & Humanism, and have a couple more books lined up, including Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, a book I’ve been dying to read for a long time. There are books in my closet from Clive Cussler, Dan Brown, and John Grisham that are still unread, as well as a couple by Stephen Hawking. I’m not wanting for reading material and there’s a nice variation of books.

JP Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre is presently keeping me entertained on my breaks.

I’m also in the position where I’ll be able to take notes and scribble down ideas without a manager breathing over my shoulder and berating me for not doing my job. As long as I get the work done then I’ll be fine to keep my creative juices flowing. After all, it’s not like I’m suddenly going to stop writing altogether. I’ll still have time to write, just a lot less of it.

I have a few things in the pipeline at present: a piece of flash fiction should be ready to go soon; I’ve written a real-life story that just needs a read through; the second instalment of A Survivor’s Apocalypse Story is well underway. There’s plenty to come, it’s just a case of getting the time to finish and post them. As it’s almost Christmas, I’ll try and get something with a festive theme done at some point too. No promises about that though.

There is no real work-life balance as things currently stand. I’m still getting used to the hours I work and how best to utilise the free time I have so that I’m doing all I need to do and enough of what I want to do. There’s the fact that my working hours will change after a while too, which will mean getting used to that pattern instead. It’ll take some time for me to find a rhythm. Once I do though you can be sure that my posts will be more regular and in a proper sequence rather than infrequent and all over the show like they are now. Once I get the balance right, I’m sure that everything will be fine.

The plan is to get a few more things done for the blog. I’m putting that ahead of Revenge on the Spanish Main for a little while. The reason for that is I’m still a bit peeved that my read through has turned into another edit. I just need to get my head around that first and I’ll be back on it. I feel that getting a few pieces for my blog under my belt will help me find my groove again. I need to get over the disappointment that I’ve failed in my aim to send Revenge to publishers by the end of this year and instead look at re-evaluating everything. The story is still much too long so perhaps it really is a good thing that this latest edit is taking place. Something in my mind keeps telling me that 210,000 is the word count figure I need to get down to. This edit gives me a further chance to try and accomplish that feat.

I’m quite excited to get A Survivor’s Apocalypse Story on the go again as well. At the time of writing this, I’m on chapter eight so things are bouncing along nicely. I’m not entirely sure yet where I want to take this second instalment, but I can assure you that we’re going to see yet more underhanded actions from the conceited main character, Ryan. Whose heads will he step on to ensure his survival this time around?

The writers spark is still very much shining brightly inside me and you’ll see that glow in the weeks to come. I hope the light it emanates meets with your approval and you’re all impressed with what you see. I do this for me; that I make no secret of. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish for everyone to enjoy what I do and I really do appreciate those people who take the time out of their day to read what I post here. Without my handful of readers, there wouldn’t be any point in me doing this at all.

Hold onto your seats and get ready for what’s to come. Though it may not be as thick and fast as in the past, the quality will definitely not have dropped.

Catch up with all previous additions to this series by clicking here.

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