Someone once said to me “Oh, I know balance. I see it every time I swing by!”
I get that.
One of the biggest challenge of being a (creative) person is to keep life even. Moderation. First things first. The list of things to balance includes all the normal stuff, like home and hearth, family, relationship, job, personal care (ie exercise), friends, and hobbies. That’s a feat for everyone, with all the ups and down of life.
But when I add my writing life, the challenge gets even stickier. I never seem to get brilliant ideas at a convenient time. Those edits don’t arrive on the doorstep (or in my magical email) on the most perfect day to perform. And a character who has taken over the story on her own terms just demands to be written, and I seem to be driven to do it.
For some strange reason, family is not always overjoyed when the obsessive pull of a story or deadline makes the small but crucial task of laundry seem unimportant. At these times, compromising (yes, clean clothes are a necessity, but the sheets can wait until I’m done Chapter 2..) can bring some balance into life. But I have to work at it.
It’s even worse when I have carefully blocked out my “writing time”, clearing the decks, and announcing my intentions with self assertive determination. And then I sit down to begin… and I’ve got NOTHING. White space. The snow storm on the screen. Then, it’s just as hard to sit there and keep working, instead of jumping up and deciding it’s an absolutely great day to wash all the curtains or reroof the house.
Sometimes, I use a schedule, and keep myself to it. Sometimes I write lists (and lists of lists) to organize myself. Sometimes I just wing it (there is a lot of take out food included in this plan). Sometimes, I’m just “unbalanced.” I don’t seem to have it quite right.
So I will keep working at this. I will keep working at having as much structure and balance as I can muster, to keep ALL the parts of this marvelous thing called life productive and happy. Any good ideas? What keeps you balanced?