The Balancing Act
Life feels like walking a tightrope sometimes, doesn’t it? One wrong move and everything will start falling away, falling apart. Life, everyone tells us, is about balance, and that goes for your writing too. I see lots of people struggling with writing in their busy lives. People have jobs, families, other hobbies. I get it, writing isn’t easy, but we have to make sure that we’re not making excuses.
Yes, you have a million things you have to do everyday, but how many hours do you spend watching TV? How many hours do you spend scrolling through Instagram or getting lost in the black hole of YouTube? Watching videos about writing isn’t the same as writing. Yes, learning is all part of the process, but if you watch all kinds of videos about kayaks, learn everything there is to know about kayaks, but never actually get in one, what was the point?
We as writers have to make sure we don’t get sucked in to unnecessary time drains. We have to prioritize. Ask yourself if it’s really important that you spend 4 hours a day on social media. I’m guilty of this too. I often get lost in Pinterest for hours on end, not even realizing the time is passing me by, time I could’ve spent writing.
How do you fix this? Well, a quick and easy fix would be to delete all these apps entirely, but that’s not realistic. We still have to build our platforms, we still want to connect. The key is to set yourself limits. Watch one YouTube video a day before you start writing. Only go on Instagram after you’ve met your word count goal. Turn your WiFi or your phone off until your daily writing session is done.
I use these tactics sometimes, especially on days where I really want to make excuses, but most of the time I follow a schedule. This is a very loose schedule mind you. It’s more just setting aside time to write. Writing won’t happen on it’s own. You have to make time for it, even if it’s just 15 minutes on your lunch break everyday. Those are 15 dedicated writing minutes and they add up. Personally, I have been making great use of my breaks between my college classes. On Mondays, I have 4 hours between my two classes so I know that is a writing day. I don’t write every day, but I know what days I write on and I protect those days.
Between college, work, and writing, I’m a pretty busy girl but I’m doing what I love and I’m making writing a priority. If you think of your writing as something you’ll do when you get the time, it’s going to take you eons to finish. Instead, think of a time to do your writing and then use it wisely.
Take your writing seriously and you will be rewarded. God knows it’s easier said than done, but if we wanted an easy job, we wouldn’t be writers, now would we?
Have a great week guys and as always, keep writing.