My greatest struggle as a writer is finding the right balance. I have a tendency to go "OCD-- obsessive compulsive disorder" on new projects. I know I'm crossing the line when my wife and children roll their eyes as if they're going into some hypnotic trance when I start talking about my writing ideas. It's like telling the airline passenger sitting next to you that you work at Amway. No offense to my friends who represent this company, but most people don't want to go there and would prefer to go to sleep until the plane lands. Here are some ideas to maintain balance in your writing life:
- Be sensitive to others when you are talking about your writing projects. If they ask you how to find your blog or your books, they are genuinely interested. If their eyes started getting that glazed look, it's time to change the topic.
- Make sure you spend time doing other things besides writing. Take a walk. Phone a friend. Talk about things others are interested in.
- Make friends with people who are not in the writing world. It's true, birds of a feather flock together. Too much flocking together removes variety in your life. I'm married to a non-writer. She keeps me grounded. I appreciate it when she points out the importance of living my life with balance.
- Write during the non-peak hours of the day. I'm not missing out on my family when I write while they sleep. It takes discipline to get out of bed at sunrise and drive to my favorite Wi-fi spot to write daily. This leaves me plenty of time to be with my family. The balance I get from writing in the non-peak hours improves the quality of my writing.
- Make the balancing act a habit. Keep a log of how much time you spend writing. Checking your FaceBook page or your email is not part of your writing time. I'm careful to limit non-writing activities to just a few minutes each day. It's easier to do this when there is no internet in my home. Once my writing time is up, I drive home and enjoy the rest of my day.