Red Echo

June 5, 2008

Once again I am trying to do too many things at once. I don’t really know how to prioritize my creative projects. I want to do everything, and I want to do it all right now. I feel like really good things would be within reach in a few different areas if only I could muster a few extra hours a week to put into each of them. I have a sketchbook full of clothing designs ready to implement… my improvised-live-electronica project is finally working, after all these years of noodling… I have a whole series of sewing & electronics workshops planned, on hold until I get enough time to finish building out the Rocket Factory… the Rocket Factory itself could grow up into a much more interesting community resource if I only had the time to develop it. Then there are the art cars, installation pieces, laser projects, midi tools, and video-synthesis algorithms I’m not even trying to work on, but which are all still kicking around in the back of my head, looking for an opening.

My day job is going well enough, but I’m not getting much of a creative charge out of it yet. I suppose I will probably never be able to take this product and its user community to heart the way I did with REALbasic, but I’d still like to get a little more out of the activity that occupies most of my day.

I don’t know whether I need to shift my activities around to better match my true priorities – whatever those are – or whether I just need to take a longer view. I just feel caught between a furious creative drive that will not shut off, and the implacable limits of a 24-hour day.


  1. Even Mars Saxman has priority issues? :) I’ve always been jealous of your wide range of different activities you stay involved with.

    Right now I have more than enough things to do, trouble of it is they’re all computer related somehow. I want to do more music and other things that interest me and keep a better creative balance, but I also cannot let down people I’ve made commitments to on other projects as my over-committing had nothing to do with them.

    I’m going to have to just laser focus on the things I’ve made outside commitments on until they are complete and somehow rein in future commitments. The hardest thing for me is keeping the true opportunity cost in focus (i.e. “No music” or “Less family time”) when I come up with an interesting project when I don’t feel particularly busy at that point…I hate the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day.

    Comment by Travis — June 5, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  2. Word.

    I’m lucky in that I do get a creative charge out of work – but I agree, days just keep slipping by, and all these wonderful projects that I ache to work on get dusty and forgotten because I can only do so much at a time.

    I fight it a little bit by making myself appointments on the calendar to do certain things… I feel not as bad about not pursuing an interest when I know I’ll get to it Tuesday after next at 8:30PM.

    I also fight it by refraining from buying new books, new project supplies, etc. that I know I can’t get to for a while. When I let that rule slip, the queue of books and projects grows faster than I can drain it, and I’m already on fire to try yet ANOTHER new thing, but the thing I was interested in two months ago is still staring at me with baleful eyes. Better just to skip it.

    Retirement is going to be fun. Having my son grow up and need less of my time (and better yet, maybe pitch in on my projects!) is going to be fun.

    I was complaining about this problem to my Mom once, and she pointed out that the alternative to being interested in too many things is being interested in too FEW things. How terrible would that be, to be one of those people who actually gets bored and can’t think of anything fun to do?

    Comment by Gretta — June 5, 2008 @ 3:19 pm

  3. Amen.

    I always have so much to do. I sometimes resent people who get bored for wasting their lives.

    Comment by Dawn — June 6, 2008 @ 9:38 am

  4. Don’t give up on the projects. It’s better, in my opinion, to have too many things to do than be bored and sit around watching TV for the rest of your life. Though spouse, kids and work do hinder my pursuit of projects….

    Comment by Bob K. — June 14, 2008 @ 11:22 am