I have this tendency to overcommitt myself. Now, if I didn’t care about actually fulfilling my commitments, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. That is not the case, however.
When I say I’m going to do something, I do it and try to do it well.
That in itself is not a character flaw (as far as I know), but it does tend to wear me down over time. Take Scouts, for example. I love being a Scout leader, but about this time every year I start to get cranky. The craziness of the troop and the lost days and nights every month make me wonder if I really want to do it again next year and please, please, please can’t it just be over? But when I get to our meetings and see how much fun everyone is having, I remember why I do it and I’m okay for a little bit longer.
The same is true of my writing and podcasting projects. I have several on the go right now and they are draining me. Not of my will to live, at least not yet, but of my motivation. Some nights it is a real effort to sit down at the keyboard and do some editing or new writing. I have to remind myself of all the deadlines that are looming, evaluate the time I have left to complete the work and kickstart myself back into action.
It doesn’t hurt that the reward is on the horizon. In this case, the reward is the publication of my first book, scheduled for August 1, 2012. That particular reward is enough to get me going again. I just have to think about how long I’ve been working toward it and I get a new (if temporary) burst of energy and excitement.
The other thing that helps keep me going is my collaboration work. I simply cannot let my co-authors and co-editors down. That has always been a terrific motivator for me too.
I still have those moments when I wonder if my life would be simpler if I just threw it all aside and went back to watching television every night with the family. I know that while the demands on my time would be less, it would also be that much less satisfying. I also know that I would drive myself crazy trying to avoid the inevitable; the writing of new stories.
I guess that means this writing thing is no longer just a hobby for me, but a way of life. If that is true then I just need to accept the fact that not every day is going to be filled with vim and vigour. Some days I will have to fight through the malaise and be productive anyway, just like a real, professional writer.
Wait… did I just say “Professional Writer”? That has a really nice ring to it. Maybe I can go on after all…
I guess, maybe it’s time to sit down and get working again.