Monday, October 19, 2009


By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I was drowning in work. I lost the balance and things went from crazy to hellacious over the last week. I had so much on my plate that I had no idea what exactly I needed to do. I got way off course and fell behind schedule with other projects. It was sort of like running an ER and being over run with patients, except that I was wasting my time pulling out splinters from people's asses while there were patients with multiple gunshot wounds that I was ignoring.

I took an entire day and triage the workload in order to make sure the most serious assignments and deadlines were met. It's a ruthless business. I fired a client. I lost a client. I gained a new one and I lost out on a gig because someone undercut my rate.

I made a stand and figured out all of my assignments for the rest of the year -- that I know about. I assigned an amount of time that I think it would take to write each piece. Then I added the time it would take to write a dozen miscellaneous assignments on top of that. Once I got that ballpark number I knew that I was fucked. There's not enough time in the next 10 months to do everything that I'd like and that's incorporating my insomnia into finding an extra hour or two to write.

That's always my biggest complaint -- lack of time. I wish I had more of it and some days I really wish I had a speed addiction so I can catch up with all this backlog of personal projects and freelance work. I'm glad that I sat down and figured out how much work I had because it would have gotten uglier if I didn't shake things up.

Once this month ends, I'll be in constant motion for the rest of the year. Indio. Vegas. Costa Rica. New York City for Turkey Day. Albany. Richmond. Los Angeles. Vegas again. New York City for Christmas. Miami. Then... ? Yep, after a couple of weeks of being in the same place, I will be hitting the road again. Living out of my backpack. Airports. Delayed planes. Crying babies. Same old shit.

I have to pre-write assignments and get as many in the can as possible in order for me to enjoy the next few weeks. The best way to do that is to get into a rhythm and crank out a bunch of assignments in rapid-fire succession. Once you get the first one done, the second one comes easier then the third and the fourth. The next thing you know, you knocked off six or seven in a single day. That's over a week's worth of freelance work condensed into a single writing session.

I only delve into those monster churn 'em and burn 'em sessions a couple of time a year and it's usually in April and May before I moved to Las Vegas for the WSOP. Over the last few years, I wrote more short stories in those months than in the summer months because I was so swamped that I didn't have time to write fiction.

This week will feature split time between cranking out pieces and the re-writing the final chapter of Lost Vegas. This was the week that I was hoping to have last week -- but things didn't work out in my favor. I'm back in control, which is refreshing and a confidence-builder. Most fear comes from the unknown and I was scared shitless that I'd have deadlines looming over my head during the worst times -- partying hard for Halloween and bogged down with the November Nine.

I'm distracted too easily these days. With that said, I might be taking a few days off from the grind of the intertubes while I catch up on projects. If there's another Balloon Boy, well then I'll have to miss it. In the meantime, I spent the late night hours pre-writing several items for my websites and for a few clients. I made a tiny dent -- but at least it's a step in the right direction.

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