Friday, January 27, 2012

Learning to Juggle

                The hardest part of being a writer for me has always been juggling.  I never realized that becoming a writer was becoming a juggler.  I had to keep my day job as a psychologist and most of my writing occurred after work during hours I should have been sleeping.   This juggling only got worse when I had children.  It was like I added an extra ball. Suddenly, I found myself juggling book reports and my writing.  Of course, I hadn’t had any successes at that point so I could write or not write as I pleased.
                Over the last few years this has gotten worse.  Success as a writer lead to an unexpected difficulty, suddenly I had deadlines.  When I started writing I hadn’t imagined the joys of deadlines.  My column had to be in every month on a specific date and my editor liked me to turn things in to make the publication schedule.   So things got harder.  My blog needed weekly attention and more books meant more deadlines.   I wasn’t even that successful.  I still am not, but the deadlines are there.
                I guess what I still haven’t entirely learned to juggle is the unexpected life events.   I had another baby recently and despite guest posts on my blog and forgiving editors, I still found myself struggling.   Constant illness, surgery, and a newborn slowed me down to a point where I began to worry my editors would give up on me.   I guess this is more of a question post than an answer post.  I figure other writers have to have figure out some method to deal with this.  There must be some way to juggle life and writing without one being sacrificed.   I haven’t really figured it out yet.  I have somehow muddled through by writing even when I don’t feel like it and staying up even when I only get a few hours of sleep already, but I know there has to be a better way.  I hear other writers talking about juggling and they sound so much less crazed by it all.   All I know is, I keep juggling and hope that someone shows me a better way, even if I drop a few balls now and again.

Jessica Penot


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Funny you mentioned the juggling and the psychologist in the same breath. One of our writers in our critique group is a psychology teacher. He worked his way through college as a professional juggler!

Just don't drop the ball. Time will open up as your family gets older and you get wiser -- even if they'll never admit it.