Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Indie Life - It's All About Balance

I'm not sure where I spotted this, but when I clicked on The Indelibles link, I knew I had to be a part of Indie Life. This is a monthly series where indie authors can post about life as an indie. At the bottom of this post you will see the links for the other authors involved. This is a great opportunity to learn a little more about life in the indie world. I really encourage you to check out this series. You may discover some fantastic tid bits that you can store away for your writing craft and career.

This month, I want to talk about balance.

Most of the writers I know are passionate about the craft. I am. Writing makes me so incredibly happy and I would do it all day, every day, if I could.

My ultimate dream is to be a full time writer, something I am working hard towards achieving. At the moment I am at home with the kids, watching them grow, wiping up their tears, teaching one that throwing food all over the floor is inappropriate behaviour and teaching the other that kamikaze jumping from his top bunk bed, with a plastic sword in hand, is how bones get broken. My full time job at the moment is basically making sure my kids are feeling completely adored by their mother.

It's when my little one sleeps that I dive into my office and swim in the ocean of my imagination. It is my favourite time of the day and I always feel just a little sad when junior wakes up from his nap. My little bubble pops and it's back to playing mommy again.

I sometimes find this really frustrating and desperately wish to retire into my writing cave. But life is about balance. Stepping away from the computer to look after family, work another job, exercise, cook, eat, play, relax... is vital to becoming a quality writer. Your brain and eyes can only take so much screen time. It's amazing how often a storyline will come clear or a character will develop another layer as I'm going about my other tasks.

It's also important to find balance in your writing.
You need to find time to research, study (there's always room to improve your writing skills), write, edit and market.

Fitting everything in can be a mission. That's why I get up an hour before everyone else. The time difference works in my favour, so I spend that time marketing and working on social media stuff. During nap times, I work on my writing and on the weekends I do a little of both.

I'm not going to lie, I do get very excited about the idea of my youngest starting morning kindy next year - 3 mornings a week!!! That's like 6 hours of writing time. I am very much looking forward to seeing what I can achieve.

What do you think about having a balanced writing life? How do you fit everything in?


19 comments:

  1. Juggling life actually keeps me disciplined. I've definitely learned time management. I work about 30 hours a week at four days. The house needs cleaned. The laundry washed. Dinners to be prepared. A hubby. Two fir peeps. And three active grandsons. Schwoo....I pooped just thinking about it. And I squeeze it in...the writing and the marketing.

    Hang in there.

    Hugs and chcocolate,
    Shelly

    Found you through Indie Life.

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    1. Thanks, Shelly :) The hugs and chocolate are much appreciated :) Well done on fitting everything in. We prove it is doable. Luckily writing is just so incredibly cool, so it doesn't feel like work, which helps :)

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  2. So true, Melissa! I, too, am looking forward to my son's first day of Kindergarten. We're a couple years away, but I'm not ashamed to admit it. I do my best as it is, but I don't like being his sole entertainment. As mothers, we don't realize sometimes that this is a CAREER, and one that not all of us were cut out for, but we do our best. All I can hope is that my little guy knows his mommy loves him VERY much!! :)

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    1. I am 100% sure that he knows his mother adores him :) Well done for hanging in there. I know how tough it can be, but I don't think we'll ever regret being there for our children :)

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  3. I'm lucky that I am already a 'full-time' author so I can write pretty much whenever I want to. My problem is discipline and laziness. I am a naturally lazy person (I could quite easily waste hours laying on the sofa watching TV all day!). At 37, children never happened for me so I don't even have any kids to distract me.
    I'm going to check out the Indelibles link, Melissa. I love the idea of Indie Life! Thanks for the heads up :D xx

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    1. Being disciplined is hard and I know I will face that challenge when I do have more time up my sleeve. In saying that, maybe all this "squeezing writing into my life" is good training for the future :)

      Yes - you should definitely check out Indelibles. I think it is a very cool thing to be a part of :)

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  4. Fellow Indie Lifer checking in. :-)

    I think every author (trad, Indie, etc.) has to face that balancing act, but Indies have some unique challenges. I think your spirit of, "It's a challenge, but one I'm looking forward to" is a must for Indies in a number of different areas.

    Just like in traditional publishing, there are no shortcuts if you want to be successful.

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    1. So true, EJ. There are no short cuts in this business. At least I can always be proud of the hours and work I've put in.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Great to meet you :)

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  5. My youngest started school this year so I now have three days a week at home with oodles of time that I didn't have before to write. But I'm finding I'm feeling a little lost without the pitter patter of feet in the house that I'm so used to. I'm on tour at the moment sith my first novel, so I've been focused on that, but I need to sit down and work out a schedule. I think having all this time now has scared me a little. Finding balance is definitely hard.

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    1. Good luck with that. I wonder if I'll face the same thing. I've been an at-home mother for 5 years now. It must be such a big adjustment when the house is suddenly quiet :) Good luck with that schedule and finding the balance you need :)

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    2. Yes, I've been at home for about 7 years with my kids. I've been working 2 days a week for about 4 years, but it's very different on my home days. I miss them. I thought I was prepared for the change, but it's a big adjustment indeed. Good luck when it's your turn.

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    3. Thanks :) At least I'm easing in slowly with a few mornings a week first. I wonder if that will make it any easier?

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    4. I think it will. When my eldest started school I had my youngest in day care an extra day. I worked from home on that day, so I think it helped me to know what to expect. Still, it's so much quieter lol.

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  6. My little guy starts Kindergarten next year. We're looking to do full day, which scares me... I'll have to have more discipline and make this writing thing a j-o-b.
    Still, I feel guilty that I'll be happy to have the time to write. Ah, the conflicted mother. So I hear ya.

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    1. Yes - I think mothers are always conflicted no matter what line of work they're in. It's nice to have something for us though. Writing is my special treat in a day. I cherish every moment of it :)

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  7. Balance is what I think about all the time, although I rarely achieve it. My first year of being indie was not balanced:) I am hoping this year will be better, and then the next year will be better than that...

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    1. I hear you. I think having kids at home has forced me to be balanced. I have to remind myself it's a really good thing that I can't write all day, because I know that's what I'd do :)

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  8. I'm so glad its not just me then!!! x

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