Business Musings: Limitations

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In last week’s post (titled “Bread and Cupcakes”) I talked about how businesses need to pick and choose their growth. In it, I discussed knowing when you have enough on your plate.

I was talking on the macro level. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessary mean you should do something.

This afternoon (Saturday April 14 as I write this), I got smacked with the micro level.

In four hours, the coast fantasy workshop that I’m teaching will start. I’m still in Vegas, because my idiot neighbor is still burning his garbage. (No one is stopping him, at least in city government. Sigh.) And I’m really, really starting to feel better.

Our small rental away from the neighborhood won’t be ready until May 1, and I can’t stay in any of the local hotels because of fragrance allergy issues. Somehow, Dean and Allyson Longueira of WMG Publishing talked me out of toughing it out in Lincoln City. (I was seriously considering it.) I’m teaching online, to folks who are in Lincoln City. (Dean and Allyson will be providing some onsite extras for folks who made the journey, plus there’s all the networking—which I will greatly miss.)

The past week has included a lot of work for Dean and Allyson, learning how to set up a virtual meeting and the office space so that everyone can see me. I’ve been working here to come up with a method to handle all of the homework and other assignments, because old fart that I am, I work better on paper.

Plus, I spent time this week investigating venues here in Vegas for our in-person workshops. The wonderful Kip Ward, who owned the Anchor Inn in Lincoln City, where we held more workshops than I want to count, died in February. The Anchor just isn’t the same—and there’s no guarantee that it will even be a functioning hotel in the fall.

That’s the other thing the students will do; they’ll be able to say good-bye to the Anchor for the rest of us.

So I spent Thursday afternoon, when I should have been writing, walking with the banquet manager of a local hotel/casino that none of us had ever seen, trying to figure out if it would work for our workshops. (Long story short. No. Too smoky, too poorly lit, and too far away from anything. Great rates, though.)

Yesterday afternoon, I ended up with too many other errands prepping for the workshop. Usually Dean and I split those errands, but it’s just me here and the boys (pictured above). They won’t go shopping for me, even though I shop for them, so this relationship is a bit unequal.

My writing schedule for last week lists Thursday as blog day, and Friday as the back-up. Neither happened, of course.

So I figured I had this afternoon. Which I do (thankfully).

I knew, as I went through the various morning errands (and one fun run), I would end up with a blog topic by the time I was ready to write.

So what did my brain serve up? Something with a lot of references and links, something I had planned to write for weeks now. I was eating lunch and reading about comic book retail stores, and found yet another link for the topic I want to discuss.

I started lining up all of the magazines that referenced the topic, the various online articles that I read, and…

I stopped.

Because I realized if I wrote that particular post, I would be adding links in my spare time during the workshop. (I’m not sure I have spare time this week, because it’s just me and the boys here. Not to mention the fact that the methods I’m using to go over all the assignments will add time to my day, not take away time.)

I love that blog topic. I’ve been wanting to write it for weeks. My brain has come back from the move to being interested in publishing and all the changes and everything that’s important to our careers, so I’m ready to write this post. Clearly.

But I don’t have time.

Now, I could have written it anyway, and, frankly, if I were still in Lincoln City (and our idiot neighbor wasn’t still burning his garbage in his fireplace), I would have happily written that post this afternoon.

But I’m not. I’m here in Vegas in a half-furnished condo, with two cats who are sending out waves of nap energy (see photo, above), and I still have about five errands to do before the first class at 7.

In other words, writing that longer, more interesting (to me) post, is something I want to do, on a topic that I really want to explore in depth, but this afternoon is not the right time to tackle the topic.

Next week won’t be either, since I’ll be exhausted by next Sunday—the first day I’ll have to write the next post. So that topic, ready at the tip of my brain right now, won’t become a blog for at least two weeks.

Sometimes scheduling can be frustrating. Sometimes choosing what’s best for the business is tough. (That was part of last week’s post.) Sometimes choosing what’s best for the writer is tough too.

Because much as I want to settle in and write something long and thoughtful, I simply don’t have the time. Other things—important things—have gotten in the way.

So, in some respects, this is a placeholder blog. But in others, it was a reminder to me—if I even consciously knew it—that sometimes taking the easier route is the correct route. It feels odd to me: I like writing the harder pieces more, to be honest.

But today is not the day.

So I will post this short blog, and move onto the last few errands before the workshop. (And try not to interrupt the boys.)

Until next week…


Update on Wednesday morning: We found a venue for the in-person workshops, so they will definitely be held in Las Vegas. You can find out more information on Dean’s site. I’ll write more about this in future posts, but I wanted to let you know, since there is an early bird price. If you act fast, you can still get the Coast workshop price for the Vegas workshops. That means your expenses will be roughly the same as if you went to the Oregon Coast. (In other words, it’s a heck of a deal.) Check it all out. I hope to see some of you here! Click here:

“Business Musings: Limitations,” copyright © 2018 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Image at the top of the blog copyright © 2018 by  Kristine Kathryn Rusch.


11 thoughts on “Business Musings: Limitations

    1. The reason I don’t work on computer has nothing to do with eyestrain. I tried doing the work with track changes and it took me 3 times as long as it would have to scrawl by hand. Computers are really inefficient for the kind of work that I was doing. Line editing a three-page manuscript takes me about 15 minutes with a red pen and paper. It takes me 90 minutes to do the same work with track changes. Very frustrating.

      1. Have you tried using something like Openboard? It’s a free white board software which I use in my teaching. It allows you to import pdf, and then you can write on it all you want, by hand, exactly like you would on paper (underline, write, draw, erase, change color, etc., and even type short bits of text if you want).

        You can try it on any computer, with a mouse, just to see whether it could work for you, and then if it does you can buy an active pen and a tablet to go with it.

        I use it to annotate my course live, on a beamer in front of my students, but you can use it on your own. And once you’re done, you can just convert the document back to pdf and send it to your students.

        Of course, like with any technology, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but if you want to be able to annotate a pdf with a pen, just like you would on paper, this might be a solution.

  1. Thank you for this post. I felt guilty all day yesterday because the writing I had scheduled to do simply wasn’t happening. By this morning, though, with all of today’s chores still to do, I was feeling a little irked with myself. Now, however, My brain has thrown up a better idea for that delayed writing, and your blog post has reminded me that disruptions and diversions not only happen but have to happen. If I don’t get distracted by cats lol.

    Good luck with the Vegas conference prep. I’ve wanted to attend a workshop for some time now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend one of those.

  2. Glad to hear your health is improving away from the smoke. 🙂
    You have me curious as to what the comic book retail shops do that we can adopt for our fiction. 😉
    I’m looking forward to reading your article when you have time to write it.

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