Fits and Starts

It seems like that’s the way everything’s coming these days.

In the fitness routine, my weight’s been stable for a month or so. Suddenly I’m seeing a drop again, and I finally lost another five pounds to meet last month’s goal (missed it by a day). It’s gone the same way since May: I’d shed a few pounds, then float, then lose a few more pounds, then float again. In the long run that’s a good thing, because it appears the slow weight loss — the stuff you work for — tends to stay off more than a diet that you start and stop when you feel like it.

Money definitely has its ups and downs. I’d be getting ready to tighten my belt when a contract or check shows up. I just did a small job for a friend and have a royalty check showing up any time, but then I got the news about the insurance rate increase at work.

Speaking of, the same goes on at work. I got caught up from a few straggling tasks from the start of the school year and had some time to work on some projects, then a teacher discovered some major crisis. I resolve that, skate a bit, and learn about a state database issue that has a deadline in two days.

Last but not least is the writing. I’ll go a month or so with no real news, then hear from an editor. For example, this weekend a mock cover for the German edition of Deadliest of the Species showed up in the inbox. I’ll tap away on To Rise from the Ashes one weekend, then not touch it for a while. I’ve got several other things I should be working on, too, but I’m letting To Rise gum up the works.

I’m starting to realize I have a real problem with time management.

On the face of it, it doesn’t appear weight loss or income could have anything to do with time management. But when applied to the fitness routine, or the amount of writing-related work I actually finish and turn into money, proper time management can have a huge impact. Keeping a better workout routine (between karate classes, that is) could make the weight loss more consistent. Finishing To Rise and a few other projects could set up some additional work and bring in some moolah. And that, in turn, would make it a lot easier to stomach the insurance increase, if not provide a little more stability to the monthly account balance.

So what do I do about it?

Accountability – I need a way to track my writing and make sure I’m doing it. It’s been working fairly well for the fitness with the Weight Tracker the last eleven freakin’ months. One would think it would have dawned on me to apply something similar to the writing. Dumbass.

Motivation – I’ll start with the important question: do I want to be a writer, or do I want to have written? The bibliography says the former. Should I think about the money? Wow. I can’t believe I typed that with a straight face. No, this one’s a bit trickier. I need to get some more stuff out there. And to do that I need to write more. See the problem? I could try to convince myself I’m doing it for the love, but then I’d be full of shit. In fact, anyone who says they write for themselves is full of shit. Writers need to be read. Period.

Distraction – Distractions abound. I need to cut out several of them, and stop overscheduling myself. In fact, I think I’ll talk to the wife right now about keeping next weekend wide open. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, I better take advantage of free weekends while I can.

And now that I figured all that out, maybe it’s time to shut the hell up and actually do something about it.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

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