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Find Balance As A Writer
Where to Begin
Well, let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?
You are a writer! As a writer, you must write. If you are to gain any satisfaction from writing then you must write. If you are to make any money from writing then you must write.
Pretty simple, right?
I can’t tell you the number of emails and comments I have received from writers who have a difficult time balancing their lives and thus do not find time to write….but they somehow find three hours daily to spend on Facebook.
How can you be a writer if you do not write? If you can answer that question to my satisfaction then you will be the first to do so.
But hold on, Nellie! I can hear some of you saying, “But we need to also promote, and work, and spend time with our families, so it’s not as easy as you make it sound, Bill.”
True words….it is not easy….but it is crucial, if you are to attain anything in writing, that you manage to find balance.
I know one writer in particular (me) who was writing twelve hours each day to the exclusion of all else. Can you say crazy?
Let’s take a look at the entire picture and then maybe we can work on this problem a little better.
The Many Duties of a Writer
I don’t know your situation, so it is impossible for me to tailor this article for you alone. However, I can list some of the things a typical writer faces during any given day. Chances are most of these activities and challenges will apply to you.
- Must find time to write
- Must find time for household chores
- Must find time for family and friends
- Must find time for marketing your writing
- Must find time to eat and sleep
- Must find time to research
If I missed any then I apologize, but I think the six mentioned above pretty much cover most of the obstacles a writer faces daily.
Now doing all of that is hard enough if you have twelve hours per day to dedicate to it, but what if you have a full-time job? And what if you have young kids? And what if you are the primary caretaker of your aging parents? And what if? And what if? And what if?
See the problem?
The good news for you all is that it is possible. The bad news is that it requires discipline and a dedication to your craft.
Look at Your Schedule
What’s that you say? You don’t have a schedule? Well we just discovered your first problem.
If you are going to get serious about your writing career then you need a schedule.
Literally sit down with a 24-hour schedule and pencil in how much time for sleep, how much time for family, how much time for marketing, and how much time for writing….and then….
Stick to your schedule!
Good writers write!
Bad writers make excuses!
If you can only write for one hour per day then great, but make sure that one hour is sacred and is not compromised.
If you want writing to make you money then you need to not only write but promote that writing daily, and that cannot be compromised either.
Make up your mind today what it is you want from your writing, and then commit to achieving that….and stop making excuses.
Do Not Borrow from Peter to Pay Paul
This is another common comment that I hear.
“I spent so much time on Facebook today that I ran out of time to write.”
Well shame on you. If you had a schedule and some willpower then that wouldn’t have happened now would it?
Or how about this classic remark:
“I overslept and it’s noon now, and I don’t have time to write.”
Well then buy a damned alarm clock and quit making excuses!
Or how about this one that I hear quite often:
“Friends came over and they dragged me out for a couple of beers and whoops, I guess I won’t be writing today.”
Well then treat your writing like a business and make sure your friends understand that fact…and quit making excuses!
Do you get the point yet?
This Is Purely Subjective
Listen….my priorities are different from yours. I get that. The fact that I write eight hours each day and market for two hours will most likely not work for you. Only you can decide how important writing is to you and how much time you want to devote to it.
And that’s fine….but…..quit making excuses!
If you have visions of being successful in the writing business then you need to give it the time it deserves. Otherwise, you are just one of millions of writer-wannabes who spend all their time dreaming and no time actually working towards their dream.
If you are a writer who just writes for your own enjoyment, then make time for that enjoyment. Don’t you think you are worth it?
Whatever your particular situation is, make it work for you if writing is important to you.
The Bottom Line
And I am assuming that you have read this article because you are a writer, or you want to be a writer….so…..
Find the time to write! Find the time to promote! Find the time to research and query for writing jobs and yes, find the time to interact with family and friends and oh, don’t forget to eat and sleep sometime during the day.
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And Always Remain Fluid
Times change. I know they do for this writer. As I come to the end of my final edit on my new novel, “Resurrecting Tobias,” I find I need to change my priorities. More time will be needed for marketing and promotion of my book, which means less time writing articles. I only have ten hours each day to devote to my writing business, so I’ll have to spend less time on some things and more time on others.
And that is how it should be!
So always be willing to shift your priorities to an aspect of your writing that needs more attention. In other words, go with the flow of life.
And Always Remember to Take Time Just for You
I almost burned out a year ago. I was writing too much and I was slowly losing my love for it. I had a decision to make, and I am thankful for loved ones who helped me realize that fact and I was able to make adjustments. I realized that man does not live by writing alone. I needed down time. I needed a walk in the woods. I needed more time spent working in the garden and just allowing my brain to unwind and relax.
And that made all the difference in the world for my writing career.
You need to do that as well. I am quite certain that your life is hectic, but never allow it to be so hectic that you lose your enjoyment of writing.
That would truly be a shame.
Remember that writers write. Just don’t go crazy over it.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”