Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Balancing Act

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Make sure you spend time doing other things besides writing.  Take a walk.  Phone a friend.  Talk about things others are interested in.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
A balanced writer is a happy writer.  It's a choice.  Choose to fill your life with meaningful activities and spend time with your loved ones.  Follow a consistent daily writing schedule and don't forget to make time for some fun in your life.  Happy writing.  Care to leave a comment about how you manage the balancing act?


  1. Ah yes, the balancing act. I'll admit to falling short in this department. Right now I'm very close to completing my first manuscript and I have basically been off-line the past  month. No FB, blogging, socializing. It's too easy to get distracted from pure writing time. I've found the break from social media refreshing! Keep writing my friend!

  2. Thought I was a pretty balanced person in most areas of my life. Yet, recently, my eyes have been opened to areas I need to tweak that have become out of alignment. Two of your points fit with what I feel is stirring in my spirit. First, birds of a feather... On the one hand, I do need more interaction and input from other writers. On the other hand, I need to make sure I socialze for the purpose of fellowship. Second... writing during non-peak hours. My kids are done with school this week, and I have been struggling to figure out how I can keep up with my writing and not miss out on the opportunity of connecting with and teaching my boys (11 and 13) this summer. Your other points fit with what I'm working on, but those two really stuck out. I think continual assessment of one's state in every area of life is important. Good post!

  3.  Thanks, Kari.  Always great to hear your input.  Have a great day and enjoy your family.

  4.  Can't wait to read your book.  Way to go on blocking out all the distractions.  You're on target.  Keep it up.