Spring clearning...fall style

I realize now that I might be stating the obvious, but it seems I might be biting off more than I can chew. I have joined several different groups and organizations all vying for a piece of my time and can’t seem to be able to find a balance. I realized yesterday that I haven’t logged onto my Harry Potter group in weeks. I missed two impromptu get-togethers and a meeting (huddle as we call them, but that was intentional). And I haven’t been very helpful at planning upcoming events either, like the Halloween party or the GOF opening.

Then there are my writing groups, which oddly enough are competing with my personal writing time. That’s not really how it is supposed to work. I like all three groups for various reasons. It helps to have a different set of eyes that can review something…and I can get more immediate feedback on writings by participating in more groups. I don’t have to wait a month for another meeting to come around. But again, somehow I still have not managed to revise my short story from last month’s Writeshop meeting. And today is the deadline to post anything that will be critiqued in Sunday’s meeting. I doubt that I will have something ready by this evening.

Then there’s the consulting. I love doing consulting work. And even when I am not working on a specific project I am putting together some articles and developing curriculum to teach at grant writing and fundraising workshops. I would like to maybe self-publish a book which I can use as part of the class, but there goes another chunk of my life. My goal was always to be able to write fiction fulltime, preferably novels, but I guess I always thought I would get there by writing part-time and consulting part-time. One can bring in a much better chunk of change consulting than they can writing short stories.

Then there are other personal hobbies that seem to become more and more of an interest when I am avoiding writing, such as scrapbooking, and stamping and other various crafts. I started out making them for fun, and now a friend and my mother are trying to convince me to sell some of them at the local craft shows. As if I have time for that! But the extra income is nice, and unlike the writing I can do these projects with only half my brain in tact. Click on the TV through in a DVD and tada! I can have a smallville marathon in my living room while making tile coasters and Halloween magnets. Multitasking is the secret to success.

But maybe my life is one big multitasking blob. And I can’t help but feel like I am failing. I am juggling so many different balls in the air and two or three of them are bound to smack me in the head. Instead of being on top of everything I have yet to find my stride. So I wind of working on whatever project is the most crucial at the given time. I’m always working towards a deadline and the things that don’t have deadlines, well the just automatically become a lower priority. Unfortunately those things aren’t less important, the novel, my family and friends…sometimes I can’t squeeze them in. I feel a little guilty because I promise to visit friends or return calls and never seem to get around to it. I’ve got family mad because sometimes they only get to see me at holidays and even then, it’s just a maybe. On the other hand…it’s kind of like…I’m in my 20’s trying to make a career before I wind up married with a family of my own and even more balls to juggle….and they love me so they will be supportive and understand. Some do. Some don’t.

So my goal for the next few months is to reorganize in an attempt to manage everything that is going on. Can you tell I am a true Virgo? I didn’t used to be this way! I’m not sure how, and when I figure it out I will let you know. But right now it seems to be a matter of setting concrete goals. I just hope I don’t end up one of those women who have to pencil in everything in order to be sane including…well let’s not go there! I have some vacation saved up maybe I need to take a week off, lock myself away in some secluded, remote place and crank out some serious writing I haven’t touched my novel in over three months, and I don’t have the time or the energy to devote 100% to it. Of course then here’s me going, sure I want to work overtime hours over the holidays! Sign me up! But I need to save money…and that stuff doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t stay long. But I’m willing to work hard now. As long as I don’t have a heart attack! People have survived worse. And I’m nothing if not persistent.