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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Finding Balance In Writing

Domestika has set me on the track of this meme about balance in the writing life, forcing me to face some uncomfortable truths about my life as a freelance writer. Of course, I aim for balance. I even have a written plan for the amount of time I will spend writing, with family and on myself. The trouble is that it all goes out the window when I have a deadline. Instead of finding balance, I end up sitting in my chair, typing my fingers off and watching my butt grow larger by the second. But for what it's worth, here's my plan for achieving balance in the writing life:

1. Family time – I try to go with my husband to collect my daughter from school each day. It gives us time to catch up on our day and then to get the latest news from school. I also try to make time a couple times a week to spend the entire afternoon with my daughter, playing, reading, watching television and generally having fun.

2. Exercise – I have lots of exercise machines, which I am trying to use. I go to a weekly salsa class and I try to hit the pool five times a week and the beach a couple of times a week. We also try to walk round the block a couple of times a week, which is more family time.

3. Social time – this is less frequent, but it involves spending time (non child related) with my husband, and also with friends (sometimes child related)

4. Me time – this is the bit that tends to suffer, but occasionally I splash out on a pedicure or spend half an hour reading something that has nothing to do with work or childrearing.

I don't think I've achieved balance yet, but I'm much nearer to it than I was when I worked as a lecturer, with long work days and nights.

Now, who shall I tag? How about Dana Prince, Katherine Huether, Productive Pen, gracepub and suejeff


Dana Prince said...

Thanks for the post. This is something I needed to read right now as it made me look at the lack of balance in my writing life.

I've answered your challenge and tagged others, too :)


domestika said...

Those deadlines do have a way of throwing a clever life-plan all out of whack!

You've put your finger on a useful, nay essential point here, Sharon -- it seems to make sense to combine where possible, like making your exercise time into another shot of family time (or maybe that hard-to-grab "me time"?) -- after all, multi-tasking is practically the freelancer's middle name!

BloggingWriter said...

That was exactly my reaction when domestika tagged me, Dana.

And Jen, you're right about multitasking. It's one of the words I taught my four year old, only to have her ask me to multitask the other day when I said I couldn't read a story and do her hair at the same time.

homemom3 said...

Very true post and I think from time to time we all need to write out a list like this. I'm on a deadline now that is due early in the week, so I'll be working through the weekend. I'll have a bit of tomorrow off but not much. Have fun!

Lillie Ammann said...

Thanks for participating in the meme. As freelancers, I think we all deal with those rush deadlines, and we'll probably never achieve balance. But you're moving in the right direction.

BloggingWriter said...

I'm working through the weekend, too, homemom3.

Thanks for your comment, Lillie. Finding balance is difficult, but I suppose as long as we keep working on it, that's a good thing.