Finding The Balance

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Every writer I know has one. That thing that gets in the way and sucks up a huge portion of the day – a day job. Very few writers make enough money to survive solely from writing, so finding the balance between following the muse and paying the bills is a real challenge.

As much as I love what I do for a living, it does dig into my writing time. This is especially true after a long summer of being able to write all day long at a leisurely pace. If I wanted to spend five hours working on one poem or reading through one chapter of my edited manuscript, I could and I did.

The first week back to work is always a huge reality check in that my time becomes much more restricted and my attention span much more exhausted. I don’t have five hours to write, nor do I have the energy to head to my favorite coffee shop every evening. There is only so much time in a day and along with working I have to fit in everything from husband time to eating and sleeping. That doesn’t leave a lot time for writing, so I have to make the most of any moment that isn’t being sucked up by something else!

At the beginning of every school year, I have to sit down and create a new writing schedule to help me find the balance between the real world and my fantasy world of words. Otherwise, my stories and poems start collecting dust as my free time evaporates.

So, this the writing schedule I’ve come up with so far …

Monday:
– Write blog post for Wednesday
– Read

Tuesday:
– Attend writer’s group
– Write blog post for Sunday
– Read

Wednesday:
– Write blog post for Friday
– Write poem for Poetic Asides Wednesday Poetry Prompt
– Read

Thursday:
– Edit Sunday and Friday blog posts
– Read

Friday:
– Break from writing (unless the muse is chatty)
– Read

Saturday:
– Write Monday’s blog post
– Work on The Muse, (i.e. read through edited manuscript, make changes, work   on query package)
– Read

Sunday:
– Edit Monday’s blog post
– Work on The Muse, (i.e. read through edited manuscript, make changes, work on query package)
– Read

It may seem odd that I’ve included reading in a writing schedule, but I’m a firm believer that reading is an integral part of the writing process. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I consider the work of others as a crucial part of learning how to craft a novel. Plus, I pledged to read 30 books in 2014 on goodreads. I really want to achieve that goal, so I have to keep turning those pages. Good thing I love to read!

Hopefully, with this schedule in place I’ll stay on top of my writing goals. The Muse is a huge priority and the last thing I want is for it to sit on the shelf. Staying connected with my readers is immensely important as well, which means I can’t slack off on blog posts, either. While it’s all a lot to handle, I relish the challenge.

– – –

c.b.w. 2014

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10 thoughts on “Finding The Balance

  1. I admire your carving out time for what is most important to you. I do the same thing with harp work – it comes first pretty much every day. But make sure you leave time for spontaneous moments of discovery and inspiration. You have to keep the muse happy with play as well as with reading and writing, and you have to charge your own batteries given all the good energy you expend to be a great teacher. Insomnia will only stretch so far to give you time for all you love to do 😉!

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    • There’s always room for unexpected bursts of inspiration – I think that’s why I space out blog posts. I think I left enough room between tasks to allow for adjustments if needed. If anything, I’ll give this layout a try for a few weeks to see if it sticks. If not, I’ll reorganize. 🙂

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  2. It definitely is hard keeping up the schedule once school starts again, but it’s definitely worth the effort. And reading definitely is a vital part of being a writer and deserves to have its own place in the schedule. Have a great start to the new school year!

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    • In many ways, writing time is a great escape from the stress that goes along with the job. Once I sit down and work on a story or my novel, I get to leave everything behind and play in my own little world.

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  3. I recently got around to reading much more by including it in my commute to work but the writing is still falling behind…. maybe I need to schedule it in like you do 😀

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