I have a good ear for timing in music. This arose largely because I hardly ever practiced the tuba, my main instrument, outside of official rehearsals. This meant I had to be able to precisely time when I came in. If I messed up my timing, the entire song would be ruined by a single loud FWARP. I used to adopt a similar approach in life, waiting for the precisely correct moment to complete a particular task. This usually meant doing things at the last minute.
I procrastinate. It used to be one of the defining characteristics of who I was. At university, I would leave assignments until the point at which no normal human should be able to churn out whatever word count was necessary. Teaching and managing my activities outside of teaching has helped me reign in the desire to just do it tomorrow. Now, most of the time, I’m just doing it.
Insert obligatory meme here
I am teaching for 9 hours of my day. Last week, we had open class to prepare for and deliver, two major tests to administer, and submission deadlines for material for next month’s classes. When I get home, I often make dinner. Most days, I write a freelance writing piece and/or a piece for GosuGamers. This past week was particularly intense in terms of this. I submitted one large piece of freelance writing (2000 words is large, okay), stayed up until at least 3am on Friday and Saturday to cover the past Dota Major for Gosu and spend 3 hours casting my first competitive Dota series in a long while.
After I managed to get all of these things done, not missing a single deadline, I spent the majority of Sunday…procrastinating. I had one last deadline for Sunday, and I spent it watching Downton Abbey, playing Dota, and Skyping an old friend. You know what they say about old habits. I still didn’t miss the deadline, though.
While some of these projects yield more immediate rewards, like being paid money to write as a freelancer, others are more long-term investments. Writing for GosuGamers builds up my network within the Dota community. I hope to one day use some of these connections to fast-track my casting career. Either that, or be offered a paid job for the site. To be honest, I could think of little better than sitting and writing about the game that I love and actually getting paid for it.
All of these endeavours make me realize that I have become far less lackadaisical about what I want to do with life. I want to write. I want to have the game that is my passion, Dota, involved. I don’t want to be wrangling small children for 9 hours a day. It’s not bad work, don’t get me wrong. I just know it’s not really for me. Maybe next year I will work with older children, and I will find that far more stimulating.
For now, I will continue to fill my after-work hours with a fine balance between work, Dota-related endeavours, and procrastination. And I could think of nothing better. I hope that you all find your time signature. I can’t say I’ve found mine yet. All I’ve done is started to listen to my own song a little closer.