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Balancing Life and Writing – A Mother’s Tale
We live in a fast-paced world where things are due yesterday, or preferably, the day before that. Smart phones are connected to our hands, information is updated by the second and life changes in a minute. Besides living in the matrix many writers, like myself, have families, day jobs and other responsibilities that lure us away from finishing a chapter or starting that next novel. But with vigilance and discipline, we can get the job done!
Set Family Boundaries: My family is given my writing schedule at least 2 days in advance. I generally do a lot of writing on the weekends because work and my children’s after-school activities keep me super busy during the week. So I tell them, “Hey, I’m writing on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. If you need anything let me know, because I’m off-limits during this time.” They respect this. They tell me their needs in advance and I meet them. In return, they respect my request for time and space. It’s a win-win situation.
Have a Game Plan: Think about what you want to accomplish. Instead of sitting down and staring at a blank computer screen or thumping a pen against the desk for an hour, it’s easier to already have an idea of what it is you want to do. Perhaps it’s simple editing, or a complete rewrite of your latest masterpiece. More work will get done when you have an agenda.
Avoid Burnout: Sleep is important and ‘me’ time is invaluable. Don’t burn yourself out in a mad rush to finish that next sentence or chapter. You may have a job to get to in the morning, children to get ready for school, or errands to run. You need to remain fresh and alert for every area of your life. When you feel yourself winding down, listen to your body and step away. Don’t worry – nine times out of ten you are going to get back to whatever you are working on to edit, rewrite and repeat.
Writing is a job and a tough one. As with any job, there are schedules, breaks and deadlines and this takes discipline. If we integrate writing in our lives in a healthy way, our families, careers and writing will be the better for it.
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