Monday, May 17, 2010
Try substituting "after you sell your first book?" Or, "after you sell your fourth?" Or, "while you write the Great American Novel?" Or, "While you write the sequel to the GAN?" It's funny, maybe a little sad, but true. Writing is a balancing act in so many ways, only one of which is balancing your writing career with the rest of your life, including your "other" jobs. Whether you are a 9-5er, a mother (or father), a student, a freelancer, a teacher, a spouse, an exercise fanatic, etc.--you are a combination of those things and a writer at the same time. Some times are easier than others to balance the writing life with *real* life. I'm struggling a bit to balance both right now, mainly because preparation (research, outlining, character development) for my WIP is coinciding with a busy time at work. At the beginning of a project, I need a lot of time to think and plan. Once I get going and have a few thousand words down, it's easy to come home after full work day and/or the gym, sit down and write my allotted # of words, and then call it a night. I get into a routine and I like, no, love it. The same goes for squeezing in time to revise. The pre-work I am trying to do right now is not exactly conducive to a routine, and it's a tad frustrating. So I find myself daydreaming about people for whom writing is their primary source of income. This KidLit post was a good reality check. It's important to be happy with your present place in life. It's important to learn how to balance your writing schedule with the rest of your life. Maybe it's even beneficial to have to do that. If I'm honest with myself, I would say that my day job is fulfilling in many ways and as an added bonus, it really does force me to commit to protecting my writing time. I am a champion procrastinator and also a very lazy person. I like a lot of naps. I am inclined to think that without some structure, I might just spend free days reading blogs, watching old episodes of 30 Rock, snoozing, and eating doughnuts. (That actually is a pretty accurate description of a weekend day for me.) I feel like I need some sort of conclusion to this post, even though I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, so: I'm realizing that balancing acts are good! Even if from time to time they get you down. There will always be something(s) to keep you busy and pull you away from your writing desk, so learn to make time. If nothing else--all the other stuff you do/have-to-do is good material, no?