Why That Favor I'm Doing You Isn't Done Yet

John Scalzi hit one out of the park today with his "10 Things to Remember About Authors" post. I want to replace 'author' with 'artist/art director/writer' and send the entire thing to oh… hmm… about 40 people. Only I'd call it "10 Reasons Why That Favor I'm Doing You Isn't Done Yet."

Especially this bit:

3. Authors have lives: Writing is not all we do. …

…we authors also have some required and desired physical and mental activities. We need to eat, sleep, poop, (somewhat more rarely) exercise and (even more rarely, alas) get laid. We may also choose to pursue activities that have no immediate profitable purpose but which refresh our brains through amusement: Watching TV, playing sports, arguing with people about absolutely pointless things online, collecting stamps, traveling, attending conventions or conferences, staring at pictures of other nekkid people, and so on and so forth. Likewise, there are some things we would prefer not to do but have to anyway, like take out the trash, do the laundry, pay the bills, call up publishers/editors and ask where our damn money is, be civil to people we don’t like but have some reason not to say “kindly piss off, would you?” to, attend meetings or therapy, and so on. While none of these things is directly related to writing, it’s likely without doing them, our interest and/or capacity for writing might be in some way compromised.

And beyond these things are the “Life is a drunk driver and you’re the poor bastard pedestrian what just stepped into the crosswalk” items … because it’s hard to be creative/funny/interesting/engaged in writing when your world is falling apart around you. This isn’t asking for an extra dollop of sympathy. It’s pointing out that being creative often works best in congenial surroundings.

Preach it, brother!

I sometimes mention on this blog that I have about 16 free hours a week, once all my work obligations, classes, homework for classes, and chores and commuting are done. Seriously. 16-20 is about right, and that's with usually only sleeping for 4-5 hours a night. I have to cram in social time and favor-doing into those hours. Factor in that I'm surrounded by people for whom face time = love, and I feel like I'm constantly disappointing people.*

So trying to jam in doing favors for people is… well, tough. Very tough. On the order of mucking out the Augean Stables tough. And all I've got is a thimble. Be patient. I'll get there. Eventually.

*I'm not one of those people. The amount of love I feel for someone has very little to do with how often I see them in person, and a lot more to do with how much I talk to them. If I'm making the sacrifice of my free time to spend face time with you because I know you like me to do that -- I like you a LOT. Not even my mother sees me as much as she wants, and she lives less than five miles from me. If, however, I'm chatting with you on IM and calling you and emailing you -- I'm very, very fond of you.