Writing and the Balancing Act

A little over a year ago, I requested authors share their stories of how they were able to keep their lives balanced, and a small volume of shorts was born called The Write Balance.

As a writer the ability to get it all done seemed to elude me. The balancing act of not only family, work and writing, but also of writing for pleasure (otherwise known as my novel writing) with my professional writing (writing non-fiction for trade journals, clients and publications for money), and marketing (putting myself out there).

Now with the Holidays looming, a daughter's wedding in a few weeks and an upswing in clients the lessons I learned are even more important. I'll share a few of the tips I learned.

1. Take them on one at a time. My tendency is to worry and fret and then worry some more over what I will write and when I will write it. I have found listing the items in need of my attention can give me the space I need to not try to worry them all into creation at one time.

2. Exercise creates a clear space. I have found that any type of activity - walking, yoga or running - eventually forces me to let go of all my thoughts. That means that when I return to a project, I return with a clear space and many times a different perspective that propels me forward at a much more rapid pace. It's also good for my body.

3. Eating and drinking are good for you too. Living in Phoenix, dehydration is a concern. Sitting at my desk for hours and hours as I get into the groove, is not healthy and ultimately takes its toll. Not to mention that sometimes the time taken away from work, again allows me to see things differently and come back refreshed and with new ideas.

4. Know yourself. For me, creative writing is best done early in the morning. I reserve this time for my novels and first drafts of non-fiction. Marketing is my least favorite challenge and so it comes next as I need to be more focused to get it done. I finish my day with editing. In some strange way it feels more pleasurable to end my day this way and, as I enjoy it, I do not put it off.

5. Give yourself a day off here and there. Yep, its mandatory. Okay, not the whole day. You can still use your notepad to write thoughts and bits of dialog, but give yourself permission to relax and not think of any of your characters or deadlines.

Which is what I'll be doing this wedding/holiday season. I've already scheduled my days off. I love being organized & balanced!

D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, Flight from the Water Planet, Book 1 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.  

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook


Shirley Corder said...

Thanks for this D. Jean. I't's always good to know others struggle with the same issues! My problem is that I often end up spending hours doing a task that "will only take a short while". Do you have a suggestion for that?

Karen Cioffi said...

Jean, great list of tips for keeping it all together. Prioritizing is a must.

Magdalena Ball said...

Excellent tips Jean. I also work best in the morning and making sure we're taking care of the body is critical.

Melinda Brasher said...

Good tips. I'm a night writer.

D. Jean Quarles said...

Honestly, I've found that setting a timer helps with speed. Interesting how the mind works.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great tips Jean!

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Thanks for the tips, Jean. And have a wonderful break for the wedding.

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