Setting boundaries is one of the most difficult tasks for me personally and I am betting it can be difficult for others striving to become published writers too. At this time I continue to work 60 hours every two weeks as a critical care nurse while trying to balance and build my writing career. I know other writers who must also supplement what they really want to do with what really pays the bills.
I know that I have to set boundaries with family, friends, and my employer, but I also need to set boundaries for myself so I avoid distractions like television, social media, and other activities that do not move my writing forward.
What about when you finally get a really good paying writing gig but it isn't exactly what you want to write about and there isn't time in your schedule to fit it in and do a good job? That is happening to me right now. It is good that I have clients contacting me but boy sometimes I don't feel ready.
This is what I am learning from this newest writing saga.
- Think about the time it will take to do the job and be realistic and honest about your ability to finish it.
- Be willing to miss activities, family time, and tolerate a less than spotless home. If you cannot do these things the assignment might not be right for your present situation.
- Be honest with the employer and be flexible if they are willing to do the same. If you know in your heart that you cannot do the employer a great service, it may be better to decline with grace and leave your contact information for a later project.
Writing is something we must to do as authors.... so to make life less stressful we can learn to set and abide by boundaries, be disciplined in using the time we have to be productive, and to also take time to relax and refresh. If we can manage all of these ideas it may just mean that we are writers.