I made a roster for the week in my last post, outside of the shifts I have at crappy night job. While a demoralising experience in many ways, the upside is that I have a path to follow to get the work done that I want to do.
They say that a battle plan is only good until the first engagement, and this was true for my roster. The plan is to do two hours of writing each day that I’m working 6.5 hour shifts, and 7 hours of writing (and admin work), on my days off. Also, I have a day where I work a 9.5 hour shift, so I planned to do bugger all on that day. I got through Monday and Tuesday doing the shift at crappy night job and the two hours of writing, but by the Wednesday, I was tired. I did a couple of hours of work, but I could feel the burnout.
If my roster is the ideal, I can’t expect that I’ll hit it right away. Creative work is like a muscle in that you can do more with practice. But I was still berating myself for not hitting perfection straight away. The next week I got my first Pfizer jab, so I specifically tried not to overdo it, and I definitely didn’t because I did nothing at all. And last week, I picked up extra shifts at crappy night job, which cuts down how much writing I can do.
As a slight aside, I really need to be hitting my writing targets when I can because it is financially better for me to pick up a shift a crappy night job to keep my bank balance greased than it is to spend the time writing. Part of this is because of the lag in payment for stories (typically, if someone buys a story, it takes two months before I see the money). I need to spend the time bringing in money two months from now, so that I don’t have to work extra shifts at crappy night job when offered. But, a shift at crappy night job pays into my bank account weekly. If I can hit my targets and start to build up my writing income, I won’t have to take those shifts when they come up.
Building a career as a side gig while still having to work to pay the bills is a difficult thing to do, but many have done it before me. I need to work hard when I can and not berate myself for things outside my control. When I do have time, I have the power to make good choices for the future. So long as I consistently keep making steps forward, I will eventually get to where I’m going.