Setting Boundaries (or, “The Line Must Be Drawn Here!”)

Remember that classic Picard speech from Star Trek: First Contact? Lately, I’ve found myself quoting its most famous line:

Except it’s supposed to be “farther.” That was the actual line and proper usage. (Yes, I’m a grammar Nazi). Silly meme. 😛

Why? Because I’ve realized I need to set boundaries for myself. No, I’m not talking about ways to keep people from touching me or whatnot. This has to do with time management, something I’ve written about here in many past blogs.
The problem I have is I tend to take on as many projects as possible. Some of them, like my YouTube show, are self-imposed. Others I volunteer for impulsively. For example, my editor at GigaGeek Magazine said she got an advance copy for a hardback book collecting reprints of early Superman comics and wanted someone to write a review. I jumped at it despite 1) already trying to make a video with a fellow Giga writer (which still isn’t done); 2) attempting to write at least two reviews a week for (which I’ve been lax on); 3) writing a new novella for Children of the Wells (which I wanted to do as a mini-NaNoWriMo); 4) writing the sequel to Pandora’s Box (which I haven’t touched in months); 5) going to book signings (which I’m thankfully done with for the rest of 2015); 6) working a part-time day job that feels like a full-time job; and 7) trying to spend time with family and friends. Among other things.

I think I might be something of a workaholic overachiever—except I’ve let my attention get so divided, I haven’t made much progress on many of my projects. Heck, I haven’t blogged in nearly a month despite the fact that I promised myself I’d post one each Tuesday and/or Thursday each week. I used to be crazy-good (for the most part) at time management back in college. I had set routines and rituals. I knew how long each assignment would take me. But I was just concerned with getting good grades, not making a living. On the other hand, not everything I do to make money I enjoy, so I look for avenues through which to be creative and/or promote myself (hence my YouTube channel).

The worst part of being an independent author is most, if not all, of the promotion I have to do myself. I can’t just sit down and write all day while a marketing department makes me famous. I really, really wish I could most days. Then I could feel like what I do in my free time—i.e. my social life, etc.—didn’t have to compete with everything else I do. At least, that’s what I’d like to think would happen.

Being that I have a very practical/pragmatic father and graduated college shortly before the “Great Recession,” I picked up this habit of taking whatever opportunity I could get and not wasting it. Subsequently, I developed a desire to try new things to get myself out of a subpar situation (again, hence my YouTube channel) because it seemed like traditional methods weren’t working. It’s a weird combination of what seems like diametrically opposed mentalities. (Have I ever mentioned that human beings are weird, and I tend to be weirder than most?) 😛

With 2016 approaching, it’s time to make some changes. I’m not sure what all of those will be, but I do know that it’ll involve saying, “No,” to some things I’ve been saying, “Yes,” to, and vise versa.

More on that as it develops.

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