Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Writer's Struggle to Juggle

In honor of Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group, I'd like to share a bit about my struggle to juggle for April's post.
 




Juggle:
1. To keep (two or more objects) in the air at one time by alternately tossing and catching them.
2. To keep (more than two activities, for example) in motion or progress at one time.
Balance:
1. A harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts or elements. 
(www.thefreedictionary.com)
 Do you struggle to balance your real life and the writing life?
If so, you're not alone. 

Truthfully, most people struggle with juggling their lives, it's not just us writers. Children, jobs, 2nd jobs, health, friends & family, hobbies, homes, pets, the list goes on and on...

Grrr...cranky pants
Personally, for me, juggling life as a mom, wife, writer...is extra crazy. Writing isn't a hobby I can just cut out when I get too busy. Writing is a must, a have-to. It's something inside of me that needs to be done. When I don't pencil in writing time, suddenly, I've got my cranky pants on, and nobody in the house likes the cranky pants. They're cantankerous, dreary, and sometimes, ferocious.


BALANCE
I'd like to discuss balance for a moment. We all need more balance in our lives, right?

As a Yoga Instructor (one of the many juggled stuff in my life), I teach my students how to achieve balance. Quite simply, if we cannot find balance while in posture, we will fall.

But, as humans, we're all different, we must find balance in our own unique fashion. What may be right for me, may not work for you.

Image courtesy of Google Images



For balance postures, it's all about firmly grounding yourself, finding the perfect balance between you and the earth, and the world around you.



 Tips on juggling for writers:

~Set reasonable goals
~Make to-do lists
~Join "goal setting" groups such as #wipmadess on Twitter.
~Learn how to say "no" to things outside of your life priorities. (http://linneaheaney.blogpsot.com)
~Live as a writer-meaning, go through your day, notebook in hand, and watch everyone and everything around you. Life inspires the artist, one just has to pay attention. 
~Recognize you're not a superhero. Give yourself a break.
~Find external motivators such as, conferences, contests, blogging, etc.
~Feed your inner creative self by taking field trips, gardening, crafting, whatever you need to replenish the soul.

~And, if all else fails, and you've reached the end of your rope, staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page, about to pull every last strand of hair from your precious little head, dance. Yes, I said dance. Turn up the Pandora, stereo, iTunes, or CD and let loose. Take your hair down, loosen those collars and release your inhibitions...
(If you have time, watch this great video!) 
"Staring at the blank page 
before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find." ~Natasha Bedinghaus 'Unwritten' (This song has great lyrics for writers, btw)
***

 Here's a cool website where you can fill out your very own Wheel of Life . It's a great visual for me, and I've hung it above my computer desk.
***
"The best time for planning a book is while you're doing dishes." ~Agatha Christie Quote from Goodreads.com
***
I myself, can only intake so much "stuff" and how-to information. So, without giving you too much stuff, here are two books that really helped balance my real life with my writing life.
 ***
King's book gives "tough-love" advice to writers in his own unique way. Lamont's book helped me realize I can create miracles and achieve my dreams, but I must take them "bird by bird".
***
Check out how to Creating the Perfect Time Management Souffle' on Kristen Lamb's blog.
***
Need some assistance balancing writing & social media? Find out here what author Lynda R. Young says.  

 


Remember, balance is within yourself. You are the juggler. Only you can decide how much stuff you can handle, and how many objects you can keep spinning in the air.




7 comments:

  1. I don't dance, but I will jam on my guitar.

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  2. Nice post and shared tips. Alot of jobs also for some reason don't give us that work/balance that we need that is important.

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  3. Ah balance. I'll get there some day...

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  4. Thank you for this post! It's good to know I'm not alone when I feel overwhelmed by it all. I'll be checking out those useful resources too-- because I never want to be a cranky pants!

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  5. Each writer struggles with how to live life while writing about it at the same time. You can achieve your dream becausee you have the heart of a poet and a hero, Roland

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  6. Alex, I don't dance anymore, but I do get up and sing with the music, at the top of my lungs! Usually when no one else is home. :)

    Gossip Girl, I agree. Our day/night jobs can be unfair to our writing craft. When I worked my full-time day job up until last year, I wrote in the early mornings and my lunch break.

    Fairbetty, I hope we both do!!

    Kristen, No you're definitely not alone! Just ask my kiddos and hubby, my cranky pants are not fun to be around!

    Roland, You're so sweet, a poet and a hero, really? Thank you, friend. :))

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  7. Some great pointers there, I need to find my balance and being a Libran it is even more important to me! I am definately cranky when out of sorts. Sometimes if the wind is blowing the wrong way, you just don't want to be near!

    CarolynBrown-Books

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