Romance or Reality?

The idea of contemplating your life while sitting at a desk in front of a picture window overlooking a busy street (or country lake, or pounding ocean) sounds romantic and serene. However, the reality of it is when your income depends on you generating multiple ideas, marketing those ideas, and producing articles that entertain and amaze editors and readers, your life will be anything but serene, at times.

The stress created by deadlines and phone calls isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I prefer to work under a strict schedule, with frequent deadlines to keep me pushing forward. I am a procrastinator by nature, and when left with too much time to sit and think, I become lazy and depressed. As long as I know someone is expecting me to produce a product that is well researched, concisely written, and utterly mesmerizing to read, I can resist the temptation to put things off for a later time.

Unfortunately, there can be stretches of time when you will not have editors beating down your door to have you write that mesmerizing piece, what then? How can you fill the time when there is no strict schedule?

During the time between deadlines and commitments, I take time to read, to write lists of things I want to accomplish, some day, and to send query letters to potential clients. I set up my own “schedule” for each of these activities, to keep from lapsing into depression and procrastination.

There are those days though, when sitting at a desk in front of a window that overlooks a busy street, I find myself contemplating the past, present, and future. It’s a beautiful life, and I wouldn’t change a minute of it.

What do you do when your romantic ideals and reality clash? Please share your thoughts.