In the last issue of my newsletter, I included a post on achieving balance between your writing life and the crush of holiday festivities and responsibilities. But what about other times? Don't writers need balance in their lives during the rest of the year? The answer is YES! The larger question, however, may lie deep in the "how to" part of the balancing equation.
Much like the gymnast in this image achieving balance is no easy task. For the gymnast, it means hours of training, concentration on each move, and maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. This adds up to total commitment on her part.
To stay healthy in body and mind, our gymnast likely still has a life outside gymnastics. So her commitment is to balance both in the gym and away from it.
Here are a few ways that we as writers can create balance in our lives like our focused gymnast friend:
- Begin now reviewing your accomplishments in 2014. Follow that up with establishing your goals for 2015.
- Once you have your goals established, fill in an editorial calendar with blog posts, podcasts, guest posts and interviews, and whatever applies to your writing.
- As part of your editorial calendar, be sure to leave some time open for social networking, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. This time should also include reading and commenting on blog posts by those you follow regularly.
- Now it's important to insert time for working out, going to the gym, taking a walk with the dog, yoga, whatever you use to relax and get your mind and body in a state of contemplation for writing.
- Don't forget to plug in some time for your family or friends. This is all important for you as much as it is for them. You can't be a writing hermit forever, although those days when you can it feels really good, doesn't it?
I can hear what you're saying: "She has no idea what I have to do every day." "When am I going to get the grocery shopping done?" "What about the laundry and taking the kids to after school activities?" And more!
I know what you're saying. I used to work full-time and more, am a mother and wife, participated in volunteer activities, and ran the ever popular athletic bus route. And I know the sense of pressure the every day demands of life can bring to your already packed schedule.
Nothing I suggest here is written in stone. These are just that ... suggestions. Massage them, manipulate them, keep what you can use, and toss the rest. Add your own ideas. What I have offered is how I manage my time and calendaring.
For example, as I'll be sharing in a post coming up in a few days, I set a goal for myself that by the end of December 2014 (only a few days away), I would have finished my memoir manuscript. I cannot mark that off my goals or to do list as completed. Why?
In December 2013, my husband injured his back and was completely disabled until surgery in March 2014. At the same time, I was suffering from a respiratory issue, and life around home got miserably behind.
I had to clear my calendar, push things out, forget about deadlines and guest posts, etc. I had only one focus and that was taking care of my husband, myself and our home.
Adjustments can and often are made to anything we set up. Do not think that any calendar, goal list, or deadline is always firm.