An old refrain begins anew

If I had to pick what’s the most common question I get asked, it is this: “how are you able to balance everything you do and have time for it all?” Usually I make some joke or shrug it off, but in some cases — where the question gets repeated a few more times — I chalk it up to compartmentalization. Or being a freak of nature. Because on the surface, it’s awfully difficult to balance blogging, book reviewing, freelance gigs, writing fiction, having some semblance of a social life, and a day job.

As it turns out, at least for the moment, the answer to the posed question is that I can’t. Not fully, anyway.

Six months ago I moved back to New York to take on a new day job, excited for the challenge it would pose. Today is my last day there, and I leave with a much more complicated spate of feelings. I learned a lot, but some of the lessons were not ones I expected to learn. In the end, though, it served its purpose — by getting me back here when I truly least expected it.

And damned if I am going to be dislodged.

But it also means that the next little while is going to be…interesting, shall we say. For one, because I have some breathing room (as December is a great month to take some time off.) For another, because I can do more of what I’m doing already: more blogging-for-pay at Galleycat (which has already begun.) More freelance work, if people will have me. More fiction writing (be it short stories, new novels, and oh yeah, finishing off the current one.) Hopefully more science writing, because it’s an avenue I’d really like to explore further (and that master’s degree ought to amount for something…) Finally, because maybe I’ve been doing exactly what I’ve meant to do all along, and additional compartmentalization in the form of a vaguely related day job isn’t necessarily going to help matters — and may end up making things worse.

So in the end, I don’t know. It’s a scary time if I choose to think of it that way, but I’d rather not — mostly because I am more optimistic about my prospects (and that of my friends and family) than I have been in a hell of a long time. And frankly, while practicality and clear-headedness are really good attributes, fear is vastly overrated.

More tomorrow. Stay tuned for my take on the opening night of CORONADO, crime news of the day and some shameless BSP.