Happy Monday everyone! About a month ago I posted about balance and my grand plan for squeezing in writing time, social networking time, and finishing all the projects on the to-do list. If you didn’t read it, click here. One of the commenters asked me to come back in a month or so and report my progress.

So here I am…

Ready to confess my epic failure at balance!

Okay, failure is a bit strong. There have been some great successes:

  • I did finish two major projects
  • I did manage to blog everyday M-S, and read more blogs than I have in months
  • I did manage to finish planning things I needed to plan

What I did not do…

Write much after the two projects were completed. So, in the past 3 weeks my word count (not including blog posts and such)  = ZERO

Yep, zero. You know, the WiP is never gonna get finished when I have a zero word count. In truth, it was a minus word count up until a week ago, so I guess there has been progress made.

But, still – you get the point.

Now, I have discovered a few things that help me understand why my balancing act hasn’t worked as perfectly as I wanted it to…it finally donned on me that I have three distinct careers separate from the all important role of Wife and Mother. Three. That is a lot!

I have my day job – one I enjoy and one that I’ve enjoyed more this year as I’ve been able to work with more kids of late.

I am a Non-fiction writer with two books under contract. I have launches, guest appearances, speaking engagements (at major professional conferences) all to prepare for. I have my platform I need to continually build. Not to mention, I really have to finish the new book and get it to my editor in a fw months.

I am also a budding fiction writer. I am at the querying stage in this career, pushing hard to find my place in that world. I write write and write for that career, as the skill of crafting a good story is very different from the craft of crafting a good advice or parenting book.

Three careers.

I guess that means I should give myself a break at times when I can’t get everything done that I need to. When I can’t give each one of those aspects of my life the attention it needs.

So I am learning to prioritize. I still devote the weekend to Mom, Wife and fiction. But I am learning to stop beating myself up when the words won’t flow the way I need them to, or when what is really needed is spending the day with the kids just playing.

I am learning to let things “be” a bit more.

All good.

So, maybe the whole lesson in balancing things hasn’t been such a failure after all!

How about you guys? Now that school is back in session, how are you all balancing things?


12 thoughts on “Wherein I Confess My Failure at Balance

  1. Thanks for reminding me that balance–which I crave, too–is not a static thing.

    I keep thinking that if I could just keep my balance, I could be more rested, more productive, more peaceful. But it’s like standing on one leg. It is NOT restful (my calf cramps up on me), and I don’t seem to accomplish anything else.

    I have allowed Keeping My Balance to become another full-time job.

    Sometimes the left leg trails behind while the right leg makes progress. Moving forward is always a matter of throwing balance away on purpose, so that you have to catch yourself somewhere further along. It sounds to me like you’re good at that. Your “confession” reminds me that I’m good at it, too. Thanks for that.

  2. I think this is something a lot of writers struggle with – they don’t allow themselves to take breaks and recharge and if they do, they feel guilty for not spending every spare minute working on their next WIP. I think breaks are essential for keeping a writer (especially a mommy writer and ESPECIALLY a mommy writer who also works) happy and inspired 🙂

  3. I don’t even have all those jobs and I still find it hard to balance work, play, and writing! I think you’re doing a pretty good job, considering how much you are doing 🙂 And sometimes you have to take a break from one thing or another and come back refreshed and ready to get back to it!

  4. If you ask me balance is a 4 letter word. LOL.

    Libras are supposed to be all about balance but really I feel like I’m dashing from one thing to another and not doing a good job with anything.

    I really think you need to add wife and mother to your career count, though. That makes FIVE careers and it’s a wonder you’re still coherent! So congrats, you must be doing something right!

  5. ha! I’m not. Except I’ve taken the stance that I’m not MEANT to get to everything. By that I mean, there are things that I make time for and other things that go into the “if I have time” bucket. Saying it is harder than doing, but it definitely Zens me out when I realize, yanno what? my kids/day job/writing (whatever it may be at that moment) is more important.

  6. I don’t believe balance truly exists. I think there’s always something (or collection of somethings) that has to precedence in a particular time in our lives. Like for me, first and foremost I am a mom and a wife.

    I think you did great on what you accomplished.

    And I think when we strive for balance, it allows us to get more done that we might otherwise have done. I think your efforts are a total success!

  7. Oh thank GOD I’m not the only one. To say I struggle with balance is like saying the sky is blue or rain is wet or hey, Jen sees smoke over the mountains again. Falls under Alter of All Obviousness. I have NEVER EVER EVER been able to balance my life well. Vicki mentioned Libras and balance…hm…I’m a Virgo/Libra cusp baby, so I’ll blame it on that. 😉 I love Ien’s comment, as it sounds like something I could have written! Balance IS one leg making progress while the other lags behind. And then they switch. And again, like a dance. Not a waltz, but more like a Dave Brubeck “Take Five…Plus a Half with a 7/8 Time Thrown In For Giggles.” I guess it all works out in the end…and if it doesn’t, it’s not the end. Great post, and awesome comments.

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