Work/Life Balance… Yeah, Right.
So, it’s said that you should balance your work life with the rest of your life. Sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t, at least not for me. I have to fight tooth and nail to carve out some time to write. It was especially difficult during my first book. Everybody thought I would just give up, that I was wasting my time. That hurt. Then, once they realized I was serious about it, they started asking me how much money I’ve made.
Is the measurement of success only monetary? Not for me. When I see that someone has purchased my book, it fills me with a wonderful feeling. When I get a glowing review I’m pretty sure I literally glow for days. It makes it all worth it.
Makes what all worth it?
Well, for me, I have a six year old son whom I homeschool. It’s only a few hours a day, but that’s time that I previously spent writing. I have to prioritize his education and not be selfish. Then I have a nine month old daughter who is into absolutely EVERYTHING! If I look down at my screen she either gets into something she isn’t supposed to, or stands next to me swiping at the keys every few seconds. Babies can change settings faster than you can blink! Apparently my laptop has a hot key for Google searches. Who knew?
On top of that I have a husband who expects to eat when he gets home from work, along with the two other little mouths. Then I have to spend quality time with them because the days are so short and one bleak morning I’ll wake up and they’ll be moved out, building their own lives. I’ll regret the time I took from building memories with them. But I have to write!
Writing is important to me. Even if I never become a best-seller, even if I never crawl my way into the black from the deep, red, financial hole I’ve dug myself trying to market my books, it is my dream! Writing is my passion. I love every aspect of it from conception to completion. Thinking of my stories and characters fills an empty place in my soul. So, I have to make time to do it even though life and obligations crowd in like frenzied sharks.
How do I do it? Well, recently I haven’t been very successful. Nursing a baby and not having a full night’s sleep in over a year are wearing on me. I don’t write well in the evenings and our mornings are generally pretty busy. Sometimes, on the weekends, my husband will let me escape to solitude. You’d be surprised how focused you can be if you’re on a time crunch. At least, it surprised me.
I don’t want to use my busy life as an excuse. I love my job – all of my jobs – and it is very difficult to give each one I perform the care and attention required. Somehow, I manage not to mess any of them up too bad. Sure, some days my house looks like a war zone but those days are the ones where I’ve added 2,000 words to my manuscript or edited furiously. I’m blessed to have a family that understands and supports me (now) in my dream.
It’s worth the struggle. This is why.
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