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The Writer’s Work-Life Balance

1040265_10201647131799503_474965984_o Ah, the unreachable work life balance. What does it even mean? For me, it is the hopeful dream of someday having just enough time to accomplish everything that is important to me, without feeling rushed. But everyone’s ideal work life balance is different. In fact, it might not even contain the words “work” or “life”. One of my weaknesses as a writer is that I often find myself putting writing at the bottom of my list of priorities. My current work life balance looks something like this:

  1. Day job
  2. Tending family/friend relationships
  3. Continuing education for more lucrative day job
  4. Staying healthy
  5. Free time to watch television or read or just stare into space in order to keep sanity
  6. Writing, if I get around to it. Maybe. Oh look! I have full lives on Candy Crush again!

But when I’m in the middle of priorities 1 – 5, in the back of my head I’m always thinking about writing. When I have time, I’m going to write xyz and it’s going to be AWESOME! 

I even complain while meeting priorities 1 – 5….

Me: “I just wish I had more time to pursue the craft of writing, ya know?”

Friend: “Uh, yeah, sure. Are you going to eat that?”

I often feel like I cannot start writing unless I have several hours ahead of me. I yearn for a vast expanse of time with nothing else on my schedule to distract me. Unsurprisingly, THAT NEVER EVER HAPPENS.

I have still not found a good way to schedule writing into my life. My new years resolution was to write daily. It didn’t matter when, or where, or for how long. I think I lasted 3 days. But, I am optimistic that I can reignite the fire and begin that resolution anew. How do you prioritize writing in your life? Do you have any tips or tricks?

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7 Comments »

  1. Writing (at least for me) is something that I cannot force. For example, if I make a resolution to write something every day, some days it will not come and the words are few (and bad!). Writing and your passion for it is strongly reflected in what you produce, hence (unfortunately) in order for readers to get *the vibe* of your passion and love of it, you can only write when you genuinely want to. Otherwise, your words are empty and lifeless. Some days, it flows like a river, other days it is a desert. As the French would say, C’est la vie.

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  2. Ah, I could relate to this so much! Writing is literally in the back of my mind at all times. I long to write constantly and I keep thinking that it just never is the right time. By the time I get off work, get the kids fed and bathed, there’s only a couple of hours left in the day. I always feel like it isn’t enough time to get in the “ZONE”. Then I feel guilty for never having written anything! Such a tragedy.

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    • I feel your pain! Lately I’ve had the writing itch, and yet I still can’t seem to find the right moment. It’s true what they say, you have to write even when you’re uninspired. For me that is as difficult as going to the gym ><

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  3. Oh goodness, I’m the same way. And trying to be inspired to write while going to school and work and then life…ug. Unfortunately, though, it all boils down to not prioritizing writing, you’re right. I tried dedicating a block of time to writing, and here and there I adhere to it. I have still kept my main goal of posting at least once a month on my blog so even if it does not have anything to do with my story, it still keeps in the habit. 🙂

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  4. That sounds like a great strategy missL, thank you for sharing it! I have never sat down and timed myself to see how long it takes to write a page. I think I’ll have to go and buy a stopwatch… 😉

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  5. It’s funny because I wrote a post very similar to this yesterday, asking for help. And amazingly, last night for the first time I wrote as many pages as I set out to do. That literally has never happened. My trick was to schedule out a block of time that was absolutely dedicated to writing. Then, I figured how long it would take me to write a page, and I calculated how much I could get done in that time (for example, I write screenplays, and I figured I could write roughly one page every half hour. So, three hours, I could write six pages.) Then, instead of just focusing on “I have to get these six pages done in this three hour window,” I focused on each individual page. “I have to get this page done in thirty minutes.” I actually didn’t feel too rushed, I just focused easier. And then I’d usually get done with ten minutes to spare, so I’d allow myself to browse the net until the next half hour window started. Maybe this doesn’t help though, this method is definitely more focused on just “producing,” but I think that if you can promise yourself you’ll be producing content every time you schedule yourself to write (and if this method can actually help you focus), you’ll see writing become a more important priority.

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