Thursday, February 7, 2013

Blog Chain: Elusive Balance

SourceMaxwell Holyoke-Hirsch

Lisa's farewell topic for the Blog Chain The balancing act. How do you balance your writing time with everything else in your life--including, kids, job, book promotion?

Answer: I don't.

Honestly, this is just life, and balance is a lifelong pursuit for everybody. Somebody can think she's got it all figured out for a week or two, and then fate or God or the devil throws her a curve ball and it all falls apart again. 

Examples of curve balls in my personal life:

  • death in the family
  • near-fatal car accident
  • pregnancy
  • new baby
  • restructuring the group blog

Then there are the things you choose, which come at you straight on like fast balls:
  • coordinating with authors/agents on writing conference
  • coordinating with authors/agents on mystery agent contest
  • agent revise and resubmit (hasn't happened to me)
  • editorial notes (hasn't happened to me)
  • release week for your own book (hasn't happened to me)
  • writing three books at once (living it, loving it)

Whether you choose your stress or merely suffer through it, balance is an ideal and not an actual destination. The best I can hope to do is cope. How do I personally cope with the struggle for balance? Why not throw some more bullet points in this blog post? :)

  • Prioritize: God/spiritual health first, family (husband, kids, parents, siblings) second, career (blogging, writing, reviewing, reading, editing) third. This is the ideal, not the reality in most cases. But it does help to remember my ideal.
  • Be flexible: Remember that the best-laid plans of mice and men are not going to turn out perfectly. This is easier said than done, too. It's disappointing to see a plan foiled by a curve ball. As fast as those fast balls are, at least they come at you straight, and you know what to expect. When something goes askew at the last second, that's the worst kind of stress. Expect detours.
  • If all else fails, breathe: Literally stop what you are doing, take a breath, and do some purposeful relaxation. Yoga, running, ice cream, dance, karaoke... whatever does it for you personally. For me, it's running and ballet, or curling up with a non-required-reading book. 
Since I haven't had the fun or stress of publishing a book, my insights are restricted to juggling the usual writing-with-a-family stresses (well, plus homeschooling). 

For more insights from people further along in their publishing road, check out Christine Fonseca's thoughts from yesterday, and meet our newest blog chain member, taking Lisa Amowitz's place: Demitria Lunetta.

Welcome to the Blog Chain, Demitria!


  1. Love this and totally agree with it: "balance is an ideal and not an actual destination"

    1. Just read your blog post on the same topic: Perfect! I laughed out loud. The great thing about the Blog Chain is finding out our isolated writer lives aren't really so isolated or unique. We have companions in the craziness. Thank you for your comment!

  2. Wow, great advice! Thanks for stopping by my post today...and I promise next time I'll get it right, you're on Thursday before me. I never changes, right, because that would be way confusing :) Have crazy respect for parents who home school BTW. You juggle a lot!

    1. Thanks, Demitria! Yes, it never changes, so that's helpful. Except for me it just did change because instead of directing people to Lisa, I'm directing people to you! Yay for new people!

  3. Reading all these blog posts in the chain makes me feel less alone and less guilty about not always having it together. Speaking of...must go write my post which was due, um, 2 days ago.


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