Authors wage a constant battle—besides the one going on with the characters living in their minds: the battle of balance. Keeping life in balance while making a living and getting those pages written.
This struggle isn’t exclusive to writers. We all fight the same thing: the family needs more time today, but your schedule is already full; or the baby is sick and the only time the doctor can work you in is 3:05pm, but you have a critical meeting at 3pm; or you haven’t written a word for two weeks, you’ve taken a day off to write, and your boss needs you to cover an out of town presentation. You get the idea.
Writing fiction is my job and I love it. I get to make things up for a living – how great is that?! But my neighbors still have a hard time understanding that I can’t take a two-hour drive just to try a new place for lunch. I really am working up here.
I just returned from a weekend trip that combined a writing conference with visiting friends. While I had a lot of fun, and made some great contacts and new friends, I lost four writing days. And I can’t just turn off the world for the next couple of weeks to get caught up. So I end up spinning my creative wheels and beating myself about the head and shoulders for not getting more done, which doesn’t help my productivity OR make me feel any better. lol
The toughest challenge for me, as a fulltime, self-employed writer, is keeping my priorities in what I consider proper order – family, then self, then work. (That second one is always the toughest one!)
There are days when the order of priority changes. Sometimes work has to take the lead, and putting myself first on occasion saves my sanity. But for the most part, I try to remember what’s really important.
I’m learning to set my daily goals and expectations so I can keep things in perspective. And I try to remember that it’s okay to be selfish sometimes – it helps keep me ‘on the level.’
How about you? Are you successful in keeping a balance between work, play and family? What do you do to take care of yourself?