Any Progress is Better than No Progress

For me, this weekend has proven that having multiple interests and hobbies helps boost my productivity. At times I have struggled to balance all of my hobbies within my limited free time, but that was not the case during the past few days. I’m still heartbroken about my current job situation, and such feelings often kill my creativity. But I refuse to let my sorrow take over this time. So over the weekend, I changed my pace and did something other than write.

On Friday, my parents and I took the dog on a day trip to the mountains for a delayed Father’s Day outing. I turned it into a working trip (as I often do) and took my new DSLR camera along, enjoying the opportunity to do some landscape shots and wildlife photography. I also practiced taking action shots of the pup chasing sticks in Tom’s Run. The last time I had opportunity to photograph my fuzzy fiend like this, she was less than 18 months old and I still had my Sony A55. I’m still learning how to use my new camera which I bought approximately two months ago, and any chance to play with its various settings unhindered by time or surroundings is welcome.

Saturday and Sunday I continued editing photos from the Supernatural Convention a few weeks back. I’m at least two-thirds of the way through the batch, and every time I go into my editing software, I’m getting faster at fixing the issues brought about by the inconsistent lighting conditions that existed during the event. Such issues are an uncommon problem for me. Typically when I’m working outdoors, I have the time to adjust my settings to the environment, whether I’m working in sun, shade, or overcast skies. Working in a theater with changing spotlights, houselights, and others’ camera flashes made the convention lighting unpredictable. The resulting photographs have proven diverse in their color qualities, requiring fixes to correct skin tones, highlights, and shadows.

In addition to photography, I did find time for a bit of writing this weekend although not as much as I would have liked. After three weeks away from my current story, I spent most of my writing time reacquainting myself with my characters and plot details. It feels good to rediscover characters that I had only begun to flesh out when I left off. I discovered, however, that I had stopped writing in the middle of a scene which I cannot remember how I wanted to resolve. But I’m sure the new direction I’m now taking will work out just fine for the plot progression.

With my long weekend drawing to a close, I don’t want to give up on my day-long creative pursuits, but I have to go back to my job. I found time to update my resume this weekend, but I still need to post it to a few more websites that have not been part of my previous job searches. I’m hoping that the sooner I get out of my current work situation, the more energy and enthusiasm I’ll have to put toward my creative pursuits, but job searches can be slow going. So in the meantime, I’ll use my creativity as a means to escape my frustrations.

Sometimes it can be difficult to balance multiple hobbies and personal projects during limited free time, particularly if your heart is not in it. But as long as you feel you’re making progress in some way, whether it’s through adding to your existing materials or by learning and practicing techniques, your free time is not wasted. There is nothing that says you must complete one project before working on the next. As long as you don’t give up and give in to frustrations and life’s discouragements, you will always make forward progress. Sometimes it helps to take a break from one pursuit in favor of another. Just don’t stop working toward your ultimate end goals.


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