Sometimes it gets really frustrating trying to juggle what you want to do. Recently I cut my hours at my day job from 32 to 24 a week - which means 1 whole extra day I can spend at home making progress on comics, evolving my website into more of a business platform, and planning new ideas/projects. Time that would allow me to eventually (in theory) help me evolve out of my day job completely.
So how do I handle the juggling of the day job with the home studio job? I make myself schedules. Crazy Person Schedules that I'll never be able to actually follow.
My Crazy Person Schedule Categories:
- PRE-WORK - What I expect to get done in the extra hour I wake up before having to get ready for my day job
- DAY JOB - How much time I spend at my day job and commuting to/from
- WEBSITE - Maintenance and graaaadually fixing/improving things I want to fix
- BIZ - All the things I need/want to do to make this freelance thing happen full time
- WEBCOMICS - Regular planning/drawing/posting for Bonnie N. Collide twice a week (and soon Gods & Undergrads once a week!)
- BOOKS - Thumbnailing/drawing secret book projects
- EXERCISE - When and what kind of exercise I plan on doing
- FREE TIME - When I'm allowed to kick back and won't feel guilty for doing nothing and/or something else besides art work
I have yet to incorporate any of these schedules into my actual life, and I just designed my 4th one. For some reason, it gives me great peace of mind just to create them. Usually there are so many things floating around in my head about what I anxiously want/need to get done that I get frantically unproductive. The schedules help me visually map out what I'm expecting out of myself (and how unreasonable it normally is).
It's a constant struggle when the rest of the 9-to-5 world only understands that weeknights are for TV or going out to dinner and weekends are for going out with friends. I love my friends and I love relaxing with my boyfriend but there's the constant, neverending pressure that I NEED TO BE MAKING PROGRESS. Persistence and regular practice makes perfect. Or in my case, it will take me where I want to go with my life and my art career.
So I'm ready to start this next week planning on following SCHEDULE #4. Wish me luck! How many other fellow jugglers out there are making things work? And are you doing it with or without imaginary schedules?