Balancing Life and Writing (or how not to do it)

balance

Work/life balance. It’s the goal we strive toward – the Stanley cup at the end of a season – yet sometimes, it seems more of an urban myth. Has anyone ever achieved the fabled work/life balance? How do you obtain something so challenging when you add a time consuming activity like writing into the mix? Good question. Let me know when you have the answer!

In all seriousness, this is a topic I struggle with at the best of times. How to juggle a busy job with kids, house chores, animals, friends, a husband, reading, and down time (not in order of importance of course!) and then adding writing on top of it all? For me personally, it’s a matter of compromise. I focus on the area of my life that demands attention most, but generally that means another aspect ends up suffering – then I focus on the area that suffered and the cycle goes on… and on. Is it perfect? Hell no. But then again, what in life truly is? It’s an ever evolving process, and one I’m constantly tweaking.

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If I were to use one word to describe my writing process, I’d probably use the word “sporadic”. Over the past few years, I noticed my writing settled into a basic pattern. During the fall and winter I write like heck (because it’s cold, miserable, and hurts to breathe outside), and come summer time I start revising, since work at the clinic amps up and the kids demand more of my time with outdoor activities (since it’s not dark at 5pm anymore!) which makes the process of drafting harder for me. I work best when on a deadline. No excuses, just get down and get ‘er done. (Which is why I’m forever grateful to PitchWars and Nanowrimo, my revising and drafting incentives)

So do I have it all figured out? Not yet. Maybe someday. For now, I’ll just keep hacking away to find little moments where I can work on my passion in the hopes that one day I can share it with the world. Until then, I’ll be curled up in a cozy corner of my couch on cold, wintry days typing away to my heart’s content – or revising in a swath of sunlight with a cool iced tea on sweltering summer days (and always surrounded by my unruly but loving brood).

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The Balancing Game

 

Everything in life is part of a daily balancing game. But for non-published authors we have an extra piece that we love and cherish that we need to dedicate ourselves, in order to keep going. Not to mention at least for me I’m a mother of three homeschooling teens (which I will have to admit has made life easier), a wife, library volunteer, home owner of a house up for sale, friend, CP/beta reader, and owned by two dogs and we’ll stop there.

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Every day I carve out time for my three loves writing, the husband and my kids no matter what’s on my plate. Whether I’m waking at three in the morning or staying up until three in the morning I find the time for writing.

While, making sure to spend time with my husband so we never forget why we fell in love and started down this road of life together in the first place.

Every afternoon I make sure to follow up on the kid’s virtual classes and school work, and be an overall nosey, huggie mom.Image result for mom helping with homework gif

Luckily for me when it comes to meals, my husband was a chef and cooking rarely lands in my lap which is just another moment I steal to write, whether it be a scene or an outline or even a blog post. My family has become a driving force and cheerleaders, always finding distractions for themselves so I have more time to write.Related image

My friends are super pushy about writing. Heck, some have been known to bribe me with wine to write or submit my writing.

In this game of life writing is where I find myself, this piece of the balancing game may not pay, —yet. But it is my only job and I will work till I get paid.

No matter what if writing is what you love find the time even if it’s on your smart phone during breaks at work or the commute home—or waiting to pick up your kids in the car loop. Continue to find the balance that works for you and your life. The game belongs to you, you don’t belong to the game.

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