Saturday, October 2, 2010

A fine balancing act

I recently recieved a gentle reminder from Big Mike - thanks by the way - that I'd been MIA here. I was both horrified and shocked to realize that so much time has passed since I popped by. Time flies when you're having fun I guess.

Recently, after much debating, I decided to go through with a major undertaking and opened my own editing company. This sadly, has detracted from my writing time. Its a double edged sword I think because on one hand the editing company is doing okay - just getting started so its slow - and thus helping to pay bills, but on the other time its sucking the very life from my writing.

To manage both I've had to organize not only my time on the computer but my time with family, friends, work, and life in general. No longer and I willing to spend 16 hours a day working or ignoring one to focus on another. I've rearranged and juggled things so that I can maintain my comitments to my clients and still have an hour or so each night after the kid has gone to bed to write.

Its a fine balance that I have had to learn how to do. I can't give up an one without the other suffering, and I'm still developing my schedules, my life is by no means staid its full of doctor visits, school meetings, clients, friends, family - and all deserve a part of my time. There are priorities, there have to be, but my goal is to maintain my projects with the care, attention to detail and more that I have come to expect from myself and those I work with.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I'd love to hear how you manage your time, your life, your writing. Do you write at night when the house is quiet and dark, or do you take scraps of paper with you on the bus each day to jot down an idea or two along the way to work?


Jude Johnson said...

hi Patricia,

This is a subject near and dear to us all, I fear. We need more hours in the day and more days in our lives. The opportunity to write uninterrupted and fully immersed in the zone happens only between midnight and 3am for me. I've had fortuitous bouts of insomnia at times when I could write to my heart's content, but otherwise, I write when I can. I do keep a small notebook in my purse to jot down observations or inspirations. Damn the need for sleep, though!

Priorities are vital. Family first, obligations to work, then concentration on my writing. (You'll notice there is no mention of housework. That's waaaaaaaaaay down at the bottom of my list!)

~Jude Johnson

Big Mike said...

When do I write? Most of my best writing time occurs from about 4 AM to 8 AM. Although I'm retired now, I've always been a late to bed, early to rise person. Now that I'm getting older I seem to rise earlier in the morning. I've heard that at 60 you have 1/4 of the melatonin you did as a child (the hormone that controls sleep).

Point is, ideas come to me during the night and I can expound upon them best when I first get up. Yeah, I know, weird.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year, (2008 and 2009)

Patricia Bates said...

thanks for the comments. I agree Jude, housework is right down there with plucking the eyebrows...wait I need to do that or at least get them waxed. lol

Its nice to know that I'm not the only one up at wee hours of the morning pounding away on teh computer with the door locked and only the light of the screen to guide me when my muses hit!

pablo said...

I also try & grab every opportunity to sit down & write.

Usually this occurs when my family goes to bed, the phone quiets down and the frogs croaking is the main sound. Usually by 10pm I am just starting and like Jude, 3am comes along way too fast.

Sleep gets to me & off to bed I go - much like right now...

Good luck w/the editing co.