So this week’s topic might seem obvious, but it’s also so important that I can’t possibly let this blog go any longer without talking about it. That’s because I’ve found that sorting creative time into the right place on your schedule can make all the difference between fist-clenching frustration and sweet sweet productivity.
Here’s a few things to consider when thinking about your ideal creative work schedule:
The other day I was talking to some friends about finances (yeah, these are the kinds of conversations you start having after age 25…) and one of my friends whose debt was spread out over a lot of different loans started talking about his strategy:
FRIEND: So basically I’ve got these two student loans and I usually pay an extra hundred bucks on one of ‘em and an extra fifty on the other, and then I’m also trying to pay off my car so sometimes I pay some extra there, Continue reading
No joke—last week I worked 65 hours, dealt with a nasty flat tire on my trusty Volvo, and still managed to see the New Pornographers concert that I’d been looking forward to for months.
How did all this happen, you ask? And furthermore, why did I submit myself to such an exhausting schedule??? Continue reading
I met James Crews at the University of Nebraska where he worked as a mentor for my first-year teaching class while finishing his poetry PhD. We kept in touch, and when we both found ourselves in the northeast I drove out to southern Vermont to the farmhouse he shares with his partner in Shaftsbury (which, coincidentally, is just up the road from Bennington College, where I did my undergrad). Continue reading
I have a friend who’s working on a novel in her spare time. It’s an ongoing project that she devotes an hour to every so often in the evening or on a weekend, and she has a lot of fun working on it when she can.
Sometimes the two of us discuss writing and she talks about her novel in a passionate, excited way that makes me excited too. Other times she’ll talk about problems Continue reading
Jack Hill is hands-down one of the most productive people I’ve ever met and a Day Job veteran who’s worked a bigger variety of jobs than even I have. The two of us spent a lot of time in grad school trying to make sense of how the writing life worked in the 21st century. Check out his website or follow him on Twitter @xjackhill. Continue reading
I’m an introvert, which means I gain energy from being alone and I exert energy whenever I’m around people, especially large groups. This doesn’t mean that I hate being around people—in fact, a lot of people who know me will tell you that I’m at my most boisterous when I’m at parties or giving speeches.
This relates to work (specifically Day Job work) in that Continue reading
Josh and I met through a local reading series, and I was struck by how completely he was able to change his entire life to better focus on his creative work. He’s written one novel already and working on a second, and you can find him on Twitter @Josh_Bresslin or at his website, joshbresslin.com.
Six months ago, I was working a county government job as a corrections officer, making about $40,000 a year, and was three years into a 25-year retirement plan.
And I gave it all up. Continue reading
I used to check my e-mail once, sometimes twice a day, usually after work or at the very end of the night. (I know this is starting out all lame and nostalgic, but bear with me….) I’d respond to anything that was important, then wait a few days for things that weren’t. My back and forth conversations were usually separated by a day or longer, Continue reading
So this is the end of my three-part series spelling out my entire work history. In Part 1 I covered my early years learning about work, and in Part 2 I moved on to post-college struggles to both scrounge up some money and get out of New Hampshire. Continue reading
This week I’m continuing my list of every job I’ve ever worked with my first four years after college. If you missed the high school and undergrad years, check out Part I here. Continue reading
I blatantly stole the idea for this post from one J. Money did a few years ago, since laying out people’s actual job histories shows how work doesn’t always form some straightforward linear path. We tend to think of careers as a track that goes from College, to a Job, then to a Better Job, and then to Even Better Jobs that steadily pay more Continue reading