Creating Time or Creating?

11 Mar

Last Friday I woke up to – shall we say – almost a feeling of sand in my throat, gasping and a runny nose that gave Niagara Falls a run for its money.  I was sick.

The frustrating thing about it all was I hardly ever get sick.  I take pretty decent care of myself, but yeah, somehow I caught this vicious, nasty thing that had control of my life for the following three days.

Fever, cold-sweats and all.Head Cold copy

I felt like death warmed over a pressure cooker.

At any rate, I’m feeling better.  Sure, I still have the persistent little cough that comes with these type of things, but no – I’m doing well.  Even ran for 45 minutes today on the treadmill and ventured out in the beautiful Dayton, Ohio countryside downtown amongst the mills, construction and brown Miami River.

So, okay.  What does this have to do with anything?

Due to being sick, I have felt massively behind with my work.  I’m nowhere near financially where I want to be and getting that virus or whatever it was really took its toll on what was supposed to be a productive three days.  Yes, I’m behind.

And that’s where time comes into play.

How to catch-up.  And with that, how to spend the few hours in a day that I have to get caught-up.

Do I be creative?  That includes writing, drawing, etc.  The whole artistic work that keeps this well-oiled machine churning out material.

Or, do I work on pitching ideas, finding clients – marketing?

How about coming up with new solutions to my money issues I’m having this month?  Maybe invent a new platform for cartoons?

Or I could quite simply order a pizza and take time picking out toppings?  (Okay, not a great idea considering I’m on the mend – but a tasty option, indeed.)

It’s a struggle for me to figure out where to devote time.  Especially when I’m behind and not quite sure what parts of my work to neglect and what parts to nurture.  (Maybe this is why I don’t have children.)

I always have a constant battle of what is more important to do with my energy, hours and what is humanly possible without going insane.

Obviously, without the actual content (cartoons/illustrations), everything is meaningless.  So, I tend to always give that first priority.  But with that, the prerequisite is typically writing.

Writing can be scary.

If you write, you know that.

I spent over two hours today staring at a wall.  Not one idea came out of it.

Usually when that happens, a few days later, I’ll do the same thing and get a week’s worth of material.

But you see, there is two hours out of my day.  I could’ve been drawing, coloring, marketing, etc.  Was that two hours wasted?  No.  Trust me, it’s part of the process.

Now though, I must make-up those two hours since I’m behind already.

Maybe I could try to fish for new clients?  But, that takes awhile….

And cue the cold-sweat.  It’s not from my fever anymore, but the anxiety about what to do with myself.

Okay, I’m not going to go on-and-on, but you get the whole picture.

It’s can be tough to figure out.  And since I’m bad at math, the proper equation never usually comes to me.

You’re probably wondering to yourself, “Well, Nate, if you’re so far behind, what are you doing writing a blog post?”

Things like writing blog posts (which is totally different than writing a premise for cartoons staring at a blank wall) are important as well to clear my head.  It will help me figure out how to catch-up and what all I need to do.  So, this whole 45 minutes or however long it takes to write this is pretty helpful in the long-run.  I get to sit, relax and, when complete, let you – as the poor reader – soak it all in.  Some people take walks, others watch Super Soul Sunday on the ‘OWN‘ network and others read.  I write (badly, sometimes, at that).

Whether I got sick or not, I have this struggle of how to devote my time.  At one point (in fact, very recently) I had a schedule basically made out.  It was done by day, by hour and quite specific.  It works good until life happens.  Or you get a client that you need to spend gobs more energy or time on than first anticipated.  So, that schedule went into the trash.

The important thing is that it DOES all come together at some point in time.

I always feel behind.

There are sometimes brief glimpses in my imagination where I envision myself completely caught up with my duties as an artist and then…..then I wake up and realize it was just a devastating dream.  Probably from the NyQuil.

I could actually work 24/7 and still have more to do if this were possible.  I have books I want to complete, clients I want to pitch, ideas I want to write and a whole circus of thoughts in my tiny little head.

Also, I’m fully aware that life is short.  Time is limited.  Use it wisely.  Me?  I’m trying to fit it ALL in.  Unfortunately, I have probably over a century of things that I’m trying to accomplish.  With all this to, there is that personal time with family, friends and doing random things.  I do fit that in.

Again, though, it usually all works out in the end.  I guess I’m devoting my time right, right?

So, getting sick doesn’t stop me.  Now that I’m feeling better, stuff is getting done.  And (cough) as long as it doesn’t come back to haunt me, I should be okay.

As nasty as I got it and felt bad, thinking too hard about where to spend your hours can be just as sickening.

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