Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Writers: Balancing Personal Life and Writing Career

Are you trying to create and maintain a writing schedule, only to have distractions or interruptions?

It takes trial and error along with time and effort to balance your personal life and writing career. You are working from home and that makes you vulnerable. If you don't manage your day well you won't be productive. Eventually, you will get discouraged, make little progress, and maybe even give up.


How do you balance your personal life and a writing career?


There is a practical side and an emotional side in approaching this. 


First, the practical:



Make an effort to give yourself “business hours” and stick to them;  both with yourself and with clients. Let everyone know what those hours are, and make sure they’re respected – from both sides.
He continues to say there are exceptions but make sure they are just that - exceptions. 

Identify the distractions from working at home and you will be ready when they come. Navigate through them and learn to manage them.


What you can control:

  • Your schedule for writing.
  • Muting your cell phone, closing personal email and social media sites.
  • Not answering the door.
  • Not allowing friends, family or your children interrupt unless it is an emergency.
Then there is the emotional side to life. We are not machines that input-output. We are human and we face difficult times.

What you cannot control:
  • Illness (yours) - temporary or chronic
  • Illness (others) - and your help is needed
  • Death in the family
  • Computer problems
  • Personal situations in marriage, family, or friends.
Here in the Northeast, sometimes the gray, cloudy winters seem to go on forever. If you face a serious situation out of your control, think of it as a season you will get through. It doesn't mean you don't write. It means you go easy on yourself and be flexible with your schedule. Your schedule is the framework and sometimes adjustments must be made.

Don't think of it as losing ground, even though the difficult season may be long. Often, the situations we find ourselves in ends up making us stronger, along with providing more writing ideas. 


It's all in how you look at it. Allow your personal life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, to positively shape who you are and let your writing flourish.


How about you? Have you found a good balance? Or are you struggling? 


Everyone is different. There is no one size fits all. Please share your thoughts and tips in the comment section.

Acer Chromebook on the white desk
                           

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After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts http://kathleenmoulton.com





9 comments:

  1. Great post, Kathy! There is a never ending balance in one's writing life, particularly with kids at home and working outside the home as well. You've presented great options for balance. My issue...I know what I should do; I'm just not always so good at doing it and do tend to get frustrated with life's happenings. I like your idea of it being a season:)

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    1. Thanks, Karin. I agree, there is a never ending balance because life keeps changing : )

      You're not alone. I don't always follow through, too. But I just get back on track, which is why having a track (schedule) is so important in the first place.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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  2. Great tips. I find that I'm either in a good rhythm why my life is balance or something happens and I get totally out of sync. I'm working to get my balance back.

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    1. Hi, Mary Jo. Me, too. So easy to get out of sync. But we just keep balancing.

      Looking at it as seasons helps me know that a good season is on its way ; )

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  3. Kathleen, I agree, great post. It's so true that everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another. It's trial and error, and kind of going with the flow. I think one of the most important things is to have a work schedule and try to keep to it. This is something I struggle with almost daily.

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    1. Yes - going with the flow and having a work schedule to go back to.

      Encouraging to know I'm not the only one : )

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  4. Oh yes, Kathleen. The real problem is "life"! I have a great work schedule - but it just doesn't work with my life! I sat down last week and re-thought re-prayed my whole approach to writing. This would work, I knew it would. Then yesterday, my husband fell and fractured his right shoulder! He is now in a sling. No driving, no writing by hand, no . . . doing lots of things he usually does. That sets my new schedule back a bump, and I hadn't even started it!

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    1. Oh, Shirley, I am so sorry to hear this! Your schedule has certainly been put on hold.

      Grace and strength for you both. Please keep us updated.

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  5. Shirl, so sorry to hear your husband fractured his shoulder. The one thing you can count on in life is it's unpredictable. Hope he has a speedy recovery.

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