Balance-1) an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
2) A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
I’ve found myself walking a tightrope trying to balance my work, writing and family responsibilities. While also adding time needed for social media and promotions of my books. Its a juggling act to find quality time for anything. I usually end up neglecting what’s most important, as well as my own needs.
So what should suffer? Certainly not family or work, that leaves my writing. Yet I can’t see giving up my creativity. So I’m left to find methods to enable that a balance will be achieved.
I found that the key is to get organized. Now is as good of a time as any to get started.
Here are 4 things that I found that can help.
1) Find the time
Review your monthly calendar and mark out activities including family time and date nights, so you can have a visual of what you are doing each day. By keeping a time journal you know what you do from the moment you wake until the time you go to bed. Do this for about a week. You are looking for pockets of time to write. I did this and found that I had hours throughout the day that I wasn’t using for writing.
2) Find the space
Finding the space to write is so important, given our hectic lives. So its important to find a room in your house, the gargarge or basement or somewhere that works well for you. I have a spare room that I use as my office. I lock myself away for at least 30 minutes every day to write. You need this space to store your reference books, notes, and prepare yourself mentally for your designated writing time.
You found the time, that’s great! But it’s not much so you need to discipline yourself to use the allotted time to work on your current WIP. Pencil in your writing times on the calender. Perhaps getting up an hour early is the only time you will have, so use it wisely. Waiting in a car pool, using your lunch period at work or waiting for the doctor, anywhere you got a moment to yourself you should use that time to write. I wrote a short story while waiting to be seen by my dentist.
3) Be Selfish
I mean that in the best possible way. Let your family know your heart’s desire. Your declarations that you are a writer may be met with moans, groans, and protests rather than cheers. Because let’s be honest, they might fear that you’ll become less focused on them, or that they will have to take on the heavy lifting because you are somewhere lost in a story. Don’t quake under the pressure, give yourself permission to keep your focus. You are a writer. They will come around…eventually. My family did.
4) Limit Social Scanning
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Linkin…etc and the list goes on and on. You can find yourself lost in the Social media black hole. We all know that social media is a powerful tool that can increase productivity by getting the word out about your books, WIP’s and any events. Balancing that strong pull with work, family and writing can be too much. I’ve found that limiting my time to 30 minutes each day helps either after dinner or before bed. This link has more helpful ideas to stymie your addiction to social media.
It’s a challenge to find time to follow your dreams to write when you’re working, caring for your family and managing your other responsibilities. It can be hard, but it’s not impossible. If it’s your dream, it’s worth the effort to find a balance that will appease everyone.
Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin