It’s a delicate balance, this life is. I have swung from being a workaholic to not focusing enough on my work for various reasons, to attempting to find a way to balance, well, life in general. A family, a new love, friends, writing and the support that goes with it, and a new dynamic.
Here’s the thing about being a writer, and really a public figure of any sort: if you don’t stay in the front of people’s minds, you fade from their memories. If your last book was written two years ago, and you really haven’t put a lot out since, if your marketing has been in a slump, both due to finances (partly due to the lack of marketing and writing new work) and those new, and at times stressful, changes mentioned above.
The key, I think, is to get back in the saddle, not just part way, but all the way, without flipping myself over the horse. Not a small task. But after my big wedding on Friday, Life should stabilize and find a new balance, at least so I hope. Here are three ways I plan to do so, things I used to do before, that might help you too, whether you’re just starting out or whether you too need to get back in the saddle.
Schedule your Writing Time, and Keep it Sacred
Yes, I write every day. Sometimes it is for business, or blog posts, or work. But I write every day. However, my fiction writing has been sporadic at best, my time for that variable.
There is no compromise: if you are going to do this thing, and try to write for a living, no matter what your path for that is, and fiction is a part of that, you need to do that every day too, and that means setting aside specific time to write.
Set that time when no one will interrupt you. Make an appointment with yourself, and keep it every single day.
Take Care of Your Body
It only makes sense. Sit up straight (a hard one for us writers) and watch your posture. Use keyboard pads, ergonomic keyboards, and get a good desk chair. Get up and move, every hour if possible, even more often if you can, just to stretch. Not only is this better for your body, but it is better for your eyes too.
If your body is not healthy, the likelihood is that you will have a hard time focusing on writing or anything else (as I write this, my leg is wrapped from a basketball injury, so trust me, it’s true).
Take Care of Your Mind
Zen gardens, stress balls, meditation, reading. Hey look, whatever it takes, keep your brain healthy. Your writing will be better, and those around you will really appreciate it. Writers tend to be a little mentally unstable anyway. I mean, we listen to voices in our head, write down what they say, and try to profit from it.
Truthfully, many authors tend to have issues with depression, bi-polar, and other mental disorders. That’s not an excuse for not getting help, whether that is from counseling, groups, or friends. However, it is a reality we all face.
Mental health matters. So don’t neglect it. Every single day do something that benefits you mentally, physically, and spiritually. And write every single day. It makes an amazing difference.