It's All About Balance

It's All About Balance

By A. Gagliardi


I just read an article that was about right brain vs. left brain activities. It seems that the right brain is the creative side and the left brain keeps us on task, organized, and busy with the business of life. The author suggests that utilizing the right brain gives us an opportunity to focus on purpose, peace and unbridled enthusiasm.[1]

I agree with that article, in that we should access the creative side of our brain. But, I think that it is all about balance. We need to do the homework or housework, the cooking or shopping. We need to go to work (most free lance writers have at least a part time job). We need and want to spend time with our families. Given these pieces of our lives, writing is one part of a busy life.

Prioritize your goals

I don’t know about you, but I have lots of goals. I want to loose ten pounds, like almost everyone I know. Then there is learning to play the Mandolin, keeping fit, spending time with my spouse and family, my religious obligations and by the way, I have a full-time job. Most people with a fitness goal make time to exercise regularly; a musical goal requires frequent practice; religious and volunteer goals take time from each day. Finding time to do freelance writing becomes a constant struggle, unless I consciously make time for writing.

Budget your time

I hate budgeting. I don’t want to have to be mindful of every penny I spend. Nor do I enjoy calculating the calories, fat content and sugar in what I eat. But, what I have found is that a little budgeting, even though disagreeable, really helps me in the long run. So, applying the budgeting principle to writing seems like common sense. I keep track of how much I write every day, of where I am going with the writing and what my long-term goals are. Every so often I reassess my goals and make a mid-course adjustment. I can’t spend all my writing time in the creative process because I need to do the housekeeping parts of research, query letters, and marketing in order to sell the creative parts.

Be Consistent

Being consistent is something I learned in Early Childhood Family Education classes. When we are consistent, our goals for parenting are more readily realized. If we have a goal of writing for publication we need to put in the time for practicing that skill. Make a habit of writing on a regular basis. I set time aside each day at a specific time. (This ties back to the budgeting ) Most days I can write a little, some days much more. Having a set time to write is really the clincher because it provides the mindset that I am working toward my goal that my work will regularly be published.

When I started playing the Mandolin, I noticed how good my neighbor’s high school student was at the playing the Violin, and asked her how he did it. She replied that she makes him practice only on the days that he eats. I decided that this was a good rule for me and I try to practice the Mandolin - and write, every day.

Organize

If you don’t organize your work and your workspace, you will lose valuable time that could be spent writing. Set up a space to write that you can leave and come back to. Organize your space for easy access to whatever tools you need. There is a need to spend time writing query letters, doing research, sending off mailings, financial book keeping and organizing your files. Set aside two or three scheduled writing times for this type of work and other specific times to allow those creative juices to flow.

Hire Help

I would like to hire a house cleaner so I wouldn’t have to spend the hours I do cleaning my house, but my budget doesn’t allow it. However, I barter my services. I go to a near-by day care and provide a music circle & story time once each week. In exchange the teacher I work with cleans my house twice a month. Thinking creatively to get the help I need gives me more time to spend on writing.

Strike While the iron is hot

Ok, having said all that about planning, I also firmly believe in striking while the iron is hot. When I am hot on an idea, I sit down and write. I write on anything handy. I take the time out of homework, housework, sleep or hobbies. I write as much as I can at the time, making as complete notes as I can. Then, when I have more time, I can finish what I started in the heat of inspiration.

Summary

If we think about having a balanced life and we have the goal of having a writer’s life; then we need to prioritize our goals, budget or time in order to write consistently, get organized, and when inspiration hits, strike while the iron is hot. Put regular writing on your scale for a balanced life.


[1] “Stop this Hamster Wheel I want to get off” by Donna Gephart, Jan/Feb 2012 SCBWI.

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Comments 15 comments

Kadmiels profile image

Kadmiels 4 years ago from Florida

it is getting this all together its the follow through i have most of my problems with :(


Irenevosburgh profile image

Irenevosburgh 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Good article. Which do you follow? I am more right brained than left. I am very creative and very messy in the process but because of my upbringing, I have to be organized also. There is a battle in my brain everyday! lol


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Very interesting hub; it is about discipline needed to create and sustain the balance in our lives. My challenge, is "strike while the iron is hot;" it is something I'm still working on. :-)


agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

kadmeil, Yes Getting it all together is the hardest thing.


cnwriter profile image

cnwriter 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Yes! I agree with what you write and obviously think about balance. thank you for those insights.


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

Unfortunately I am predominately right brained, which makes for chaos in my life. I love being creative, I struggle being organised. I have dozens of projects on the go at once and rarely see things to completion. Luckily for me, my partner is as left brained as I am right brained. This caused a great deal of tension between us initially, but we seem to balance each other and I am grateful to him for keeping me grounded and organised. This is a very interesting hub. Thank you for sharing.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

Yes, the getting it all together is difficult. I think I do well for a little while, then something happens and I blow a week wondering when I have time to write. But, like a good diet, we just keep trying.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

I am heavy into right brain, but have a strong organization bone, which nags me into submission.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

Yes. that is my best thing. Some of the others are harder.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

you are very welcome.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

Yes, my life partner (my spouse) is the opposite of me in many ways. He grounds me, I guess.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 4 years ago

I am more like the scarecrow in the Wizzard of Oz looking for a brain?I love to be organized but I love the creative side when it strikes like lightning.I love so many things but I try to put off the other less important things so I can focus.I love to write and I spend time to practice and see results.I also love to sleep,read and eat.So that brings me a little of everywhere.But something I love the most and that is this hub that nails me like a sign posted on the nearest tree.Brains were here and now they are gone.Come back later and maybe they will be back after lunch.Brains do the body good.Rated up and heres to brain power!!!!


agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

Dream On, You sound like a well rounded individual. thanks for reading my stuff - and for commenting.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

I can sit at the computer and write, most times, until I am finished, unless it is something long, like "1943" was. In essence, I make my mental notes on my birding hubs when I am coming back home. I take photos as they present themselves, and those photos have been used in a number of hubs, sometimes a week later. So there you have it, me in a nutshell. I cook every day, do laundry every two weeks, and am good with my dishes. Everything else I get to it. Happy writing!


agaglia profile image

agaglia 4 years ago Author

Aviannovice, You sound awesome - living life on your terms. it is a good balance!

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