That word, balance, annoys me sometimes. It reminds that I have a hard time maintaining it, or even reaching it at all.
For most writers, we have to constantly try to keep some sense of balance. We have our regular jobs (you know, the one you plan to drop like a bad habit as soon as you get a bestseller), our families, our social circles, and we have our writing. The writing, sadly, almost always gets put to the back burner first in stressful situations…at least, that is what happens for me. It’s a sad cycle; if I can’t write, I am stressed. If I’m stressed, I can’t write.
With my now not-so-new job picking up in intensity, it is becoming more and more important that I maintain my writing habits. I have to set clear boundaries (stop bringing work home), make a schedule (from 7-9pm, I am writing and nothing else), and recognize when my stress engine is overheating (which seems to be a lot lately).
I now have two blogs to maintain. There’s this one, the general writing blog, which I have neglected terribly as of late; then there is the new one, The Fae Sight Series, dedicated to my first blogged novel. My goal is to maintain them both weekly, updating the Fae Sight blog on Saturdays and this one on Sundays.
This is how we have to be with our writing. I know, it sounds much more romantic to just write when the spirit moves you, but the spirit doesn’t feel like moving a damn thing at 7:45pm on a weekday night when you’ve just gotten home from work after battling traffic for over an hour. *Ahem* Sorry, I was having flashbacks…
Anyway, this is what separates the “hobby writers” from the published writers. “Hobby writers” talk about writing, read about writing, attend conferences about writing, lament about how they don’t have time to write…they do everything except write. The writers who got published? They sat down in a seat and wrote (they didn’t edit for 20 years, either).
I mention this often because it needs to be mentioned often. All of us creative types have to work on our craft, even when life tries to pull us away from it. We go a bit insane if we don’t. If that means creating a “restrictive” schedule so that we get our novel, poems, paintings, blogs, and sculptures done, then that’s what has to be done. In the end, it comes down to finding a balance between our imaginative worlds that exist in our art, and the real world that really doesn’t care about those other worlds you’re working on. One doesn’t have to destroy the other, though. There can be a balance, if you are willing to work at it.