“No structure, even an artificial one, enjoys the process of entropy. It is the ultimate fate of everything, and everything resists it.” – Philip K. Dick
“The Evil Forces of Entropy” was the phrase we used in college to describe the ever-increasing mess we found in our dorm rooms when things got hectic or some of us just didn’t feel like keeping things clean. It even made it into the comic one of my roommates drew for the school paper.
It’s not the most utterly precise use of entropy, but it’s also far more accurate to what we were trying to express than anything else with such an economy of words.
Since I worked my last day at the South Jersey Times after more than 14 years of service, I’ve had some part-time freelance work with a couple of different publications/websites. I’ve worked usually 2-3 days a week and produced 2-4 stories a week.
It’s been nice and I hope to continue, but at the same time it’s just not the same. I find the atmosphere of an office to be supremely beneficial to working, particularly since I don’t currently have a home office to use. And while it’s great seeing coaches and being involved, covering a full-time beat part-time is far from easy unless you like to work a lot for free.
Of course I can’t keep doing just this forever, so another job must be found. That can be easier said than done when The Evil Forces of Entropy sink their claws into you. They like things just the way they are, and aren’t really interested in doing what’s best for you.
My wife and I had a frank discussion recently about the situation, and I felt like I’d let her and myself down in some way by not doing more sooner to remedy the job situation. But she immediately told me that she wasn’t surprised, and that by the time I left the paper she knew I was burned out and needed a break … and not just a couple of weeks.
I began writing this post over three months ago, when I was still doing a decent job of keeping this updated. Obviously things changed, and I let it slide. It wasn’t the most important thing on my to-do list, and even though it was still on the to-do list it kept getting pushed aside.
But I think I’ve realized that it’s a much more crucial part of that list than I gave it credit for, not for the content or the message it sends to anyone else but what it does for me. You see, that to-do list hasn’t been getting done the same way lately. Things get done in fits and starts, and some important things have been accomplished during the time since I last worked on this post.
But The Evil Forces of Entropy have also been tugging away, doing their best to prevent me from getting back on the road I need to be on, the road to a more normal life. I’m doing less writing now for the part-time job, because I got a promotion to be an editor. I think I realize now that means this blog is even more important to keep me writing on a regular basis.
My original goal was to write something every day — that’s what good bloggers do, continue to drive traffic by providing new material — and I will strive to do that as much as possible. But it won’t always be possible, and I know that. Besides, this blog was as much for me as anyone. But it will be a goal to keep it closer to the front burner, something that is part of a routine that includes getting more done and getting back to the things I really need to be doing.
While spontaneity is a wonderful thing, and I hope will be a part of this blog as well, structure is critical to a serial procrastinator like myself. I’ve decided this should be a part of that structure going forward, and that’s the plan for now.
Some of the things that had been part of my daily routine will have to become less so as I work to achieve what I want, and other, more constructive ones will have to find their way back into greater prominence. Striking balance will be key, but hopefully the ever-increasing threat of destitution will help my discipline. Posting things like this here in a public forum is a way to hold myself accountable. If you’d like to help, feel free. I’m sure I can use all the help I can get. Thanks in advance.