43 Folders

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Vox Populi: Reasons to Quit

I have a lot of trouble keeping track of what I'm supposed to be doing. It's not that I necessarily have trouble prioritizing my tasks or scheduling things - I mean I do, but that's not the main problem.

The main problem is that I've got too many things I really need (want) to do - too many long-term projects with potential - and I'm never exactly sure when they're a few weeks away from a grand payoff and when they're just wasting my time.

I suppose this is a crisis of faith.

Here's the thing: I'm creative for a living, which means I always have two or three (or 20 or 30) things going on at once, none of which are guaranteed to actually create anything, but all of which could - provided I can focus enough attention to them. You know the kind of thing I'm talking about. Finishing that screenplay. Practicing with the band. Re-editing that short story. Spending the weekend on a film shoot. Learning Photoshop. These are all things that have that point in the middle - the "desperate hour," a creative journalist friend of mine called it - when you're absolutely not sure why you're even there.

And sometimes, the sad truth is, that doubting voice is absolutely right - sometimes, this thing you're sweating over really is just wasting your time.

So here's my question:

How do you know when it's time to move on? What makes you make up your mind?

Because I really need to know.

fdremock's picture

zen0ing it

Maybe not the best advice, but-- Life as we know it now requires all hands [sic] ready to catch anything falling your way. Time was a job lasted. Careers seemed linear and possibly lucrative over the decades. Now, well, tomorrow if I'm lucky I could be on a picket line.

I tend to view the work and interests as tag clouds: Where does my energy want to go, but also how much money do I need now? Learning Photoshop tricks means nothing if I don't need it Tuesday. Does the script focus me? Or do I want to write about the loose crocodiles in Vietnam? Or loose aliens on Broadway?

The actual workflow? It's nothing but a river: A lot of detritus gets left on the bank. I might come back for it; I might not. But I didn't "bank" it myself.

It's a zen thing--

Worry less about what to leave behind, and just, forgive the expression, do it -- by which I mean launch yourself into the next gd-awful thing you can't get out of your soul.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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