Having reached the one year point, I’ve decided to spend this week reflecting on what I’ve learned from blogging over the past 12 months, firmly keeping in mind I still have a lot to learn.
“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”
I don’t know how many times I’ve been told that and what makes it more frustrating is it is absolutely correct. We get 24 hours in a day, no more and no less. It is the same 24 hours everyone has. The only thing that changes is how we use them. I know that some people in the real world consider a lot of what I do wasting time. Hours of my life poured into watching movies, TV series, anime, playing computer games, reading blogs and articles online, and now writing my own blog. Though I don’t see that time as wasted. That is what I do to relax, to take a break from the clutter of everything else. It isn’t an escape from reality. It is my version of kicking a football or going out for a drink. It is just what I like to do.
And because I like to do it, I make the time for it. My work schedule is hectic, I actually do have family, friends and a life off line (even if sometimes I find it tiring), and I don’t neglect that in favour of my blog and other hobbies. Rather I ensure that I prioritize and timetable so that work gets done, human interaction occurs and people in the real world don’t wonder if I’m passed out at my computer, and I still have time for relaxing. Admittedly, I get a few extra hours on most people due to my terrible sleeping patterns (though this only holds up for so long before I crash for a day or two to catch up and reset).
What is important is I don’t feel I have to defend my time watching anime or blogging. I’m very open with telling people when I go home I plan to binge half a season of whatever and then write a couple of posts. They tell me they are going to the gym or to the pub or wherever and I see no real difference.
So here’s a better quote for you that applies regardless of your hobby:
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
Essentially, do what makes you happy and don’t waste time feeling guilty over it. That doesn’t mean you can shirk all human interactions and responsibilities. But it does mean that once you’ve taken care of those, the rest of the time is yours to do with what you will.
Of course this leads me to my two main issues with finding time: writing tired and writing wired.
Writing tired is self-explanatory. When I’ve worked 60+ hours that week (not the usual but happens more often than I would like – because let’s face it, no one actually likes working a 60 hour week) and when I’m travelling and staying with family or friends and getting in some of that human interaction, sometimes I am extremely tired but posts don’t write themselves. I try to deal with a lot of this through careful scheduling but that only gets you so far before you are in a position of being tired and still having to write (or pass for the day on new content which hasn’t yet happened though there were one or two posts over the last year that I probably should have scrapped due to quality issues).
My other issue is writing wired. Nervous energy and excitement, adrenaline going, and unable to sit still for whatever reason. Usually because I’m over tired or over caffeinated. It doesn’t lead to good writing and some of my ramblier posts are probably a direct result of my being really wound up and needing to get up and move and instead I insisted on trying to write.
In both of these cases, I do have time to write, but not the disposition. Scheduled posts help overcome this but basically when tired I try to motivate myself and when wired, well I make a note to carefully edit the post later because I’ve had some really interesting rants typed up that have later been hacked to pieces into something that is kind of publishable.
Over to all you bloggers out there: how do you work with finding time?
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