Hi there everyone!
The personal life has had some ups and downs recently. From infertility decisions and happy occasions to work stress and awful stuff, I’m beat.
I know that’s all really cryptic. But if I took the time to explain the last two months to you guys? You’d be long gone before I finished the first week.
But today I want to talk about balance. Everyone has different things to juggle. Some people have more, some have less. The ideal life, I think, has perfect balance. When you have to wear seventeen hats in a single day, some hats won’t get as much head-time as others. Some get ignored completely. And some, no matter how many times you try to pry them off your noggin, refuse to be taken down.I read somewhere about the rule of 8′s. That sounds like a perfect setup to me! You get:
8 hours of work
8 hours of sleep
and 8 hours of “me” time”
This is per day. Each portion of the day is equally important. Can’t work if you don’t sleep! And ignoring your personal time is a surefire way to land yourself in a padded cell.
But what if you’re like me? I know there are a lot of you out there. You’re working as hard as you can to become a successful author, but you have to maintain a regular dayjob to feed yourself and your family. And your family needs time too, whether you’ve got kids or not. And medical conditions cut into those hours too. What about volunteering? Writer’s groups, critique partners, local charities? Do you have a pen name? Do you self-publish? Do you blog regularly? Adding hats all the time, and there are definitely more than this.
When striving to become a full-time author, you have to devote a lot of time to writing. To learning. To promoting the work that’s already out there as well as developing more. To making connections, being a friend, participating in the industry. But if your day job is 8 hours, and you sleep for 8 hours, if you devote the other 8 to writing (which most of us do) then any time to unwind is left out in the cold.
I think this is a big reason for a lot of writer burnout. We try as hard as we can to wear all the right hats, but they get heavy after a while, and the muse throws up her hands and quits. That’s enough. Done.
I don’t have the answer to the balancing question. The rule of 8′s is, sadly, a myth that I don’t think I’ll ever see implemented in my own crazy life. There is too much to do, because the goals are right there.
I’m never going to stop fighting for my ideal life. I’m never going to stop fighting for my dream. But keeping things in perspective, I know that this dream is going to take a while to accomplish. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. And so, until I’ve snagged that holy grail, I’ll keep trying to figure out this balance machine. If you’ve got any tips, I’m all ears!
I’ll be attending the RT Booklovers convention in Kansas City, MO this week! I’ll be signing at the eBook Expo as my pen name Regina Cole, and at the Giant Book Fair as myself, Gina Lamm. Please stop by and say hello! If you like a button, please tell me. Cuz I’ll be the freak handing them out like they’re candy.
If you know how to wear seventeen hats, or you’re going to RT, let me know in the comments.