You’re probably thinking… that girl on the right isn’t Ru. Where’d Ru go?
Well, that’s a very good question. I assure you, she’s fine. She’s just been nice enough to let me steal her blog for the day and say a few words.
Why me? Another good question (man, you’re a good question asker!) Ru saw my epiphany on my blog here, that I love doing guest posts and invited me to do one on hers. So here I am!
Today we’re talking about balancing it all. (Writing with work, family, friends, hobbies… life.)
As I allude to with the picture of myself on the right, I think this is something we’re always trying to achieve, and it is in the trying we succeed. I’m pretty sure we never reach perfect balance.
Or perhaps some of you have. And if that’s the case PLEASE share your secrets.
Writing is not my full-time job. I have another job that actually pays so until the writing job surpasses the current day job in income (I’m an Engineer… it might be a while) I will stick to having two jobs.
Even with the nine to five, I’ve managed to complete five manuscripts over the past year and have had success in landing two of them a home (one with an agent, one with a small publisher). Since I only know what works for me in terms of balance, I will talk about that. I would LOVE for you all to drop your hints/tips in the comments at the bottom.
I think the most important part for balancing writing with life is to think of it as a job. And it’s this really awesome job. A job that yes, can sometimes be frustrating, but it’s ingrained in us. Someone isn’t forcing us to do it. We are compelled to do it.
But even though we’re compelled, we still have to set rules, timelines, goals, as we would any task or job in our life. How much better do we feel when we mark things off our ‘to-do’ list? The more I cross off my little sticky notes, the better I feel about myself and the more I get accomplished.
So I set goals, deadlines. I use my lunch hours at the day job as writing time. Like clockwork. Every day. That’s five hours a week (unless I have lunch meetings which does happen) that I dedicate to writing, at a minimum.
I tell people I am a writer. Make sure they understand this is something I have to do for myself and it occasionally will get precedence over other things. Especially when deadlines I’ve created for myself are looming. Would you tell your boss you wanted to fit in a workout and didn’t have time to finish the assignment?
No. You wouldn’t.
You are a serious writer. You want to have this be a part of your life. So make it a priority. Like your family, friends and job.
Yes, that means internet browsing, movie watching and your favorite TV shows are even further down on the priority list. (No worries, they won’t disappear. After all, those things are inspiration for your writing ;))
Balance for our writing can only be achieved by taking some things we previously dedicated more time to (cleaning, cooking, TV, movies, walks in the park, etc) and moving them to the other side of the scale. Giving writing priority right up there with family, friends and our job.
Yes, the things we move to the other side of the scale will suffer, but that’s what balance means. We can’t be perfect at everything. We can’t be successful at everything.
But if we give writing a top priority spot, up there with the most important things in our life, we will find time to do what we love. And we’ll be happier, even if the rest of life is a little more chaotic.
What sort of things do you do to help fit writing in your life? To help balance it all?
Kelley Lynn is a YA Author represented by Brittany Booker of the Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her YA Fantasy, FRACTION OF STONE, will be released on March 21st, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing.