Balance? Ha! Baby, the world is tilted!

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnaginโ€™s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

97. Finding life/writing balance

I’m going to confess something here: when I first read the words “Finding life/writing balance” I nearly died from the gut-wrenching laughter/hysterical crying that occurred. I may have gone just a tiny bit insane from reading those words. It’s okay now. I had a peppermint-Kahlua-spiked coffee that my husband made me and all was well. But it was touch and go there for a moment.

In all seriousness, this is something that I’ve been struggling with for years, and to this day I haven’t figured out how to manage it. Additionally, over the past year of blogging I’ve come to follow quite a few very talented bloggers/authors and it doesn’t really seem as though they’ve figured it out either. I’ve even Tweeted with writers – published and otherwise – who seem to react to the topic with the same mad hysteria/life-crushing misery as myself. It just doesn’t seem to be a subject that many find they have been able to work their minds around It’s one of those things…like trying to get a moment’s peace with 20+ members of immediate and extended family having a shouting match in your home. Possible? Maybe. Likely? Not really.

Finding a balance between life and writing is one of those mysterious things that most people don’t believe is possible…like leprechauns. Or unicorns. You’d like to believe, you really would, but in your heart you know it’s a pipe dream.

Okay, so maybe I’m being over-dramatic. Perhaps it is possible to find a balance, but I personally don’t know anyone who has managed it.

The problem is that most writers have a heck of a lot of responsibilities aside from writing. Many writers will tell you that the only way to truly become a successful author is to suck it up, grit your teeth, and focus 100% on your writing, even if that means that you’ll be destitute for a while during the interim. And while part of me agrees with that, it’s not exactly as simple as being willing to make life hard on yourself in the short-term for the hope of long-term gain. After all, people have important responsibilities. They have families, children, mortgages, car payments, other assorted debts, and any other number of things that require them to have an income that stems from something more stable.

So immediately we have that disconnect. We have the day-job life, and the writing life. Now add in a couple of other aspects of life that many writers have to deal with… In addition to the day-job life and the writing life you might have the mommy/daddy life, the (ever elusive) social life, the household-chores-and-errands life, the “I desperately need to lose some weight before I die of a heart attack” life, and so on and so on.

Personally, the only way I’ve been able to “balance” life and writing is by sneakily combining the two. When I’m at my day job I write between tasks and during breaks. When I’m in mommy mode I’ll pluck out a blog post (sometimes a sentence at a time) whilst braiding ponies’ hair and making Leonardo beat up Michelangelo. Sometimes I’ll pluck out a few words whilst keeping an eye on supper, or I’ll save a couple of sentences on my iPhone while waiting in line at the supermarket. And since it’s pretty much impossible to write while exercising, I’ll use that time to mull over a scene in my mind, which doubles as a way to distract myself from the burning pain all throughout my body.

(I’m not going to comment on my social life. It’s silly to comment on things that don’t exist.)

And that’s my two cents on that. If any of you other writers out there ever find a better way to “balance”, I submit to you that it is your duty to share it with the writer community (in the form of a comment on this post). ๐Ÿ™‚

Prompts

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

10. Creative prompts for other writers

Now here’s a twist. Usually I’m the one searching for prompts, not the one giving them. I’m concerned about my ability to come up with a prompt that is actually useful, so if you come across this list and decide to use one of the prompts I’ve given, please let me know if it was any good! ๐Ÿ™‚

– Your character wakes up on a perfectly normal day, has breakfast, gets ready for the day, and walks out of their home to find…silence. Every other human (or if you’re really keen, every other creature) on the planet has mysteriously vanished overnight, with no signs as to what may have happened to them…

– Your character is vacationing on a sunny resort, perhaps taking a walk on the beach, when all of a sudden they are grabbed from behind and dosed with chloroform…

– Your character is a futuristic astronaut, exploring new worlds for breathable atmospheres and signs of life. On a newly discovered planet, on which your character is supposed to have been the first person to set foot, your character stumbles across a small human child, playing all alone in a field…

– Your character finds his/herself standing alone on a busy city street with no recollection of how they got there or who they are. All they have is their wallet, full of credit cards and store membership cards, but their ID has been stolen…

Hope these help someone! ๐Ÿ˜€