What Would It Look Like…?

What would it look like if I got my shit together?

I have what seems like a relatively common problem – I care about too much.  I want to do too much. As a result of the overload in my life, I’m either working all the time on various projects, or wasting time and trying not to think about all the things I’m not doing.  The switch is on or off.

Periodically, I even finish things.  Over a year ago, I finished the final draft of Parsec, and we’re now working on getting it up on Kickstarter.  I finished what I think is an excellent resource on the issue of the ordination of sexual minorities.  Every week I finish a sermon and other stuff for worship, as well as the many other things that I do for work.  I finished editing the first five chapters of a friend’s novel as well as editing the system chapter of a friend’s roleplaying game.  I’m collaborating with two colleagues on a new website, including weekly video posts and building up a Twitter and Facebook audience.

Typing things like that makes me feel a little better about the whole situation, but I don’t even want to start listing the unfinished projects – even if I limited myself to only listing ones that I’d spent, say, a hundred hours or more working on.  There are – Way.  Too.  Many.

If I was inclined to triage well and to discipline myself, this wouldn’t be a lingering problem.  I have yet to figure it out.

I imagine that the answer is to say no, to say goodbye, to projects that I really care about, but which I don’t have the insight or time to bring to fruition.

I really don’t want that answer.  Which means it is probably the right one.

3 thoughts on “What Would It Look Like…?

  1. 1 is definitely a good point, and similar to my own experience. Yesterday for example I had a huge number of things to do, but I only actually did about 4 of them (recycling that accumulated over the winter, gardening, paying bills, laundry) aside from church of course.

    2 I have trouble with – I haven't figured out how best to use my time and energy, I suppose is the way I'd say it. I have multiple projects – too many – and make tiny increments of progress on each, round and round, such that precious few ever approach being done. Maybe a numerical limit – I've heard other writers talk about having 3 projects – one in planning, one in writing drafts, and one in editing/submitting.

    3 Definitely – though some fade, and I suppose that if they do fade, they may not have been all that compelling after all.

    Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

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  2. Advice I gave to a friend recently:

    Do not be the Man of Ten Thousand Awesomes. That person gets nothing done.

    Be the Man of Two Awesomes. When those finish, you'll still be the Man of Two Awesomes, because you'll find two more things your heart leaps at.

    Or as I said on twitter: Perfect is the Enemy of Done. Done gets you laid. Perfect is the Enemy of Getting Laid. QED.

    I wish you luck. What you're talking about is a long road, but it's a long road forward.

    – Ryan

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  3. Thanks Macklin. I also tell people “perfect is the enemy of done” all the time (though I don't take credit for the quote). The Man of Two Awesomes is possible – I think I might be the Man of Three Awesomes in the writing department. I've heard other writers say they have one project in brainstorming/outlining, are writing one project, and editing a third project. Right now, I'm actually in that position – finalizing a game design, writing the first full draft of a heavily playtested game design, and outlining a new book.

    Man of Three Awesomes. Beats Constant Sorrow.

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