Posted by: steveonfilm | October 26, 2010

Time

For the first time since I’ve been out working in the real world I feel stressed by my job. I’ve been lucky this far. I’ve had stable work since graduating college. While the money wasn’t always great, it was adequate, and the work/life balance was always in favor of the life part. But now things have swung hard in the other direction.

Part of the issue is I’m a competitor. I always have been. I’m results oriented. I don’t want to get caught up on discussions on how to get stuff done. I just want it done. If you know how to do it, and are confident it’s the right thing to do, I’ll support your decision and we can address it if it doesn’t work out. Nothing drives me crazy more than someone scared to make a decision. But part of my work style gets me wrapped up in a project, determined to make it “fucking awesome.” And when there is the added incentive of a bonus, I’m going to work that much harder.

The downside is that “much harder” includes taking on new responsibilities. Working weekends. Checking e-mail when I’m on vacation. Making evening status calls to our client. For the first time in my professional career I’m at a place that will reward hard work, and provides opportunity for growth. I’ve got a shot at a legit promotion, and I want it badly. But all of this is taking it’s toll, and that’s on my free time.

When I get home, I just want to see my wife. Eat the dinner she cooked for me, but is now cold. Get to the gym to work out some frustration. And when I get home, I’ve got very little time for farting around. Video games are out of the question. I used to have an hour or two to blow on those. That’s gone. With the extra work I’m doing in the evenings from home, I don’t have a two hours block to watch a movie too. Basically, all I have time to do is write for an hour or so.

And that’s what I do. I write as much as I can, and for as long as I can.

Sometimes that’s half a page. Sometimes it’s three pages. But I take what I can get. And I have to be satisfied with that. Because as much as my goal is to be even more successful at my career, and move forward with that… my goal is to also be the best screenwriter I can be. And I know if I get out of the rhythm now, I may not get back in.

For me, things will ease up and return to normal by Thanksgiving. But for people with kids, two jobs, or other things I can’t even imagine or comprehend that take their time away, not having time is normal.

You don’t always have three hours to write. Maybe you just have 30 minutes during lunch. Maybe a hour on Fridays. Two hours on Sunday. The important thing is you keep that routine. And you write whatever you can write. Extra time you find is a bonus. But you just keep moving, until you finish. And then you start again.

Until next time, keep writing!
-Steven

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