So what do I really mean when I say “shifting priorities” and “refocusing my efforts”?
Well, I don’t mean I’m giving up writing or creative pursuits, that’s for sure. Too many stories I want to tell. But I’m certainly changing how much I’m pursuing and how fast. The ‘Hitlist’ contains several sublists for project ordering. But, as I said, I’m making some philosophical changes, and those necessitate a little rearranging of my online world, too.
I’ve let the renaissanceninja.com domain go, having decided there isn’t any point in the extra complexity of maintaining two personal blogs, even though I’ve mostly been trying to keep this one as a writing blog. But I’m more than just a writer and the writers whose blogs I tend to read post about more than just writing. They’re people beyond their writing. It makes sense to me that I should be one of those.
Here at my primary website, the ‘2013 Goals’ tab has been replaced by a ‘Project List’. It doesn’t contain everything on the full list, but it does show the current project and the next handful planned to give folks an idea where I’m headed in the next little while. It also contains a similar sized list of the things I plan to indie publish. “Thorvald’s Wyrd” and “Turn the World Around” are still high priority, but not at the very top. Small Realities figures prominently and I’m keeping a couple of secrets for the moment.
In keeping with the ‘focus’ mantra, there is now only one WIP indicator at the top right of this page.
An end to the monthly writing reports. I’ll announce exciting things as and when they happen. Otherwise, no one but me really cares exactly how many words I wrote on any particular thing last month.
I’ve secured two domain names for other significant projects: cyborgbunnies.com for the podcast with my oldest daughter, and daysofgeek.com for another project I’m going to hold close to the vest for a week or two.
I’m returning to the idea of scheduled office hours, i.e. introducing a little bit of time management skill into my free time, something more than just a ‘to do’ list to keep me targeted towards the current set of goals.
Consolidation, simplification, focus.
Be well everyone.by
I’m given to bouts of introspection and analysis, examining some bit of my life or how I’m doing something. Usually these last a few hours, or maybe a day or two. Occasionally, they go longer.
The day or two I took off of writing to recharge my batteries turned into almost three weeks worth of electronic vacation while I considered nearly every aspect of my life. Hope no one’s missed me.
In that three weeks, I’ve spent a fair bit of time with my kids, switched back to day shift, been late once for work, gotten a lot of stuff done around the house, and spent a great deal of time thinking about all of the activities that make up my life and what place they should be occupying.
No, I’m not selling all of my worldly possessions and moving to a commune or a Buddhist monastery (although though I think both would be interesting experiences, if in different ways), or contemplating any major life changes at the moment. I don’t need a midlife crisis, really. But I’ve made some decisions about how I pursue certain goals, and how many of them I’m pursuing at any given time in favour of as much time with my kids as I can possibly get in whatever activities they’re willing to participate in.
I like to think I’m a fairly involved dad, but at the same time I feel like it’s never enough. How often do you stop and say, “Why am I doing this right now? What would be a better way to spend my time?” I’ve been doing that a lot lately, and I find that while I profess to be all about family, there are times when mine is around and I’m doing something by myself that doesn’t involve any of them.
This is not what I want.
So, more geocaching, more karate, more anime, more audio work and podcasting, more video games, more movie making, more football, more paintball, and more of whatever other things I can drag them away from the computer with (that includes my trying to become a pro gamer son). Okay, more shared housework and chores, too—stuff’s gotta get done, after all.
But also probably less writing and related activities. I’ve written before that suffering for your art is not a bad thing, but making other people suffer for your art just makes you a jerk (or perhaps some other word that rhymes with grass mole). Things that are solely for me can now only be done when they aren’t around or are sleeping (because it’s my night off and I’m on nights).
Not as bad as you might think, though. I have breaks at work, days off when they’re in school, commuting time (I can dictate), and a few other odd moments here and there. I’ll still get things done in a creative vein, but I’m not going to be firing on all cylinders on everything at once. Writing goals wiped clean on a word count basis. The goal is now to finish whatever project is on the top of the list.
There is now a top secret list of the order of priorities for my own creative work. Gone are the days of working on five or six things at once. I’m going to try one at a time for a while, which is going to be really tough for me, but will probably be good for me too. Blog posts go on a separate list. Yup, more of those than there have been in the last month or so.
My new word: focus.
Focus, grasshopper, you need focus.
Be well everyone.by