When I was putting together the Django post, I happened to dig up this old interview with Quentin Tarantino. He's not known as a prolific film maker, like the way Woody Allen or Steven Soderbergh average a movie a year. Tarantino takes at least three years in between movies, or seven years between Jackie Brown and Kill Bill. And it's not because he's lazy:
"I want to make movies. I have to make movies. The reason I don't make more movies is that I want to live life in between. I give it all to the movies, and it's like I'm climbing Mount Everest every time. When I get off the mountain then I want to be able to enjoy some time in the chalet at the bottom.
When I make a movie it's an adventure, but when I get through with it then I get back to my friends I've put on hold for a year. The opposite sex, adventurous travel, sleeping late, watching mindless television, reading a novel, trying to go to sleep at night - they all become very appealing again.
But the real, real reason I don't make more movies is that I'm a writer, and I always have to start with the blank page and that's hard. You are starting from scratch every single time. Nothing you've done before means a damn when you've got to start all over again."
Tarantino acknowledges the difficulty in trying to balance work life with real life. Whenever one is involved in a project, it takes up all your time and everything else takes a backseat until it's done. With movies, from concept to writing to production and roll out, it's a year and a half. With television, it's at least 3-5 months in preparations and another 3-5 months or however long it is on air.
Then when you're done, it's the only time you get to breathe, hang out with your friends. And only then, it's only borrowed time until the next project comes along and you disappear again. In the interview, an unnamed friend of Tarantino's is quoted: "It takes a pretty special kind of girl to give up her life to watch kung fu movies with him for a year and a half." I think I was actually more surprised that he dated Margaret Cho than the revelation how difficult it is to carve a life when one is in the middle of a project. So I guess this means either you find someone who understands the grind or just date Margaret Cho.