Mid-life crisis or Self-Destruction?

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Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night crippled in terror that there are just not enough hours in the day, or days in the week?

I’ve been feeling like this for a few weeks now. Just wishing there were more hours in the day, and also wishing the things that I’m doing now in my life which are really giving me a lot of fulfillment – well I wish I had done them ten years ago when I was younger, in better health and had more energy,

This feeling co-incides with deadlines that are looming. And I mean really important deadlines to me.

I’m interested to know how other writers who also hold down full-time jobs manage their time.

Any hints of tips would be gratefully received, because I have to tell you that I don’t like the feeling of being overwhelmed all the time.

It manifests itself with the knowledge that I have deadlines looming. If I have a particularly stressful day in the day job and I come home feeling exhausted, then I end up doing nothing except feeling guilty.

If I decide to sit on the sofa and unwind, or listen to a radio show then I then have a feeling of guilt that I should be writing.
I’ll be functioning normally for a couple of weeks but will then start to feel so exhausted mentally that by the time I get home in the evening I can barely string two sentences together, never mind write a script.

How do other writers manage their time between working, writing and general life. Please tell me!

The last time this happened was three weeks ago. I’d been feeling increasingly annoyed at myself that my evening writing had become practically none existent due to feeling tired every night. This then sent me on a downer as the realisation that I’d wasted four nights of valuable writing time hit home.

My current writing schedule is that I have two 45 minute episodes to write to second draft by the end of March (approx. 15,000 words). These pieces are for my final major project for my Masters degree. They are passed to my supervisor for notes at the end of the month and the clock is indeed ticking.

On top of that though I am conscious that I really want to try and write for the blog at least once a week, even if its utter nonsense from my head like this post is.

I’m still reviewing theatre shows and did I mention that I have my own weekly radio show now which I am trying to get off the ground?

This is what I seem to do. I take on way too much than I should, and then have a hissy-fit when I run myself down to the last drop of energy.

I’m sure there is some psychological reason why I constantly push myself with challenges. Who knows? Mid-life crisis or just pure self-destruction?

Last night when I got home from work, I sat and had my dinner with my family. We talked, we laughed and then we watched some television together. Perfect. It actually was perfect, I can’t remember the last time I led on the sofa cuddling my son.

I was really enjoying the evening, until the demon in my head told me that I was wasting valuable hours enjoying myself when I should have been on the laptop editing draft two because that deadline is creeping towards me.

5 thoughts on “Mid-life crisis or Self-Destruction?

    Pat Pope said:
    March 14, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I am truly in awe of u , I think u are an amazing person, clever and talented and it is a privelege to have u as my friend. You work incredibly hard and I know that all your hard work will pay off in the end. Don’t beat yourself up for enjoying time with your family they are the most important people in your life. Take each day as it comes and u can always get an extension for your final project 🙂


      northernscribbler responded:
      March 14, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks for the lovely comment Pat.
      Yes I know I shouldn’t feel bad about enjoying the time with the family, just need to tell my head that!! Ha ha


    trashtaylor said:
    March 14, 2014 at 8:40 am

    I can totally relate to this. I struggled with writing on the side when I had a very stressful full time job. Now, I balance my writing work part time with another part time job, and I’ve found that suits me better.

    One of the best pieces of advice I got about doing work I had do concerned changing my attitude towards it. I know this sounds corny, but instead of saying, “I should write this” get into the habit of saying, “I need to write this” or “I want to write this” or “I wish to write this”.

    This doesn’t sound like much, but it really helped me to focus and do what needed to be done.

    Just remember, every writer has a bad day, or a day when they just don’t feel like writing for some reason. It doesn’t make you less of a writer, it makes you human!


      northernscribbler responded:
      March 14, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Hi Amy,
      Thanks for the comment. I may try using those phrases to get me through.
      Unfortunately going part-time at work is not an option at the moment.
      I think I need to just lighten up on myself. I’ve already thought about allocating weeks as “must-write” and “don’t have to write” weeks. The next two weeks are must-write weeks, but then I plan on taking a couple of weeks off.
      Once my project is handed in I think I’ll take the rest of May off to just chill out, watch lots of theatre and cinema.


        trashtaylor said:
        March 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm

        Yes, don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember to take those weeks off so you can relax!


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