Figuring out your priorities is something every human being that graces this earth does. But when you’re a wife, mother, employee who is trying to debut as a writer, either by traditional methods or self publishing eBooks, how do you find your balance?
I’ve never been good at balancing things; if I do something, I do it, whatever I’m unable to do, I’ll do it later. Maybe it’s due to my zodiac sign; I’m a Gemini, which attributes to why I tend to go wherever the wind blows. But this really can’t continue no more.
Not only am I working on my debut novel, I’ve already written two synopsis sequels for it. And I can’t even forget the 10 short stories and short story collection I’ve put on hold, six novellas I’ve already plotted out, one of which spirals into a trilogy, two future poetry chapbooks in their idea stages and a poetry chapbook manuscript currently in multiple submissions.
Now add together, preparing meals and lunch for my family, being the itty bitty homemaker I’m able to be (I’m no Daisy Day), work and trying to get back into shape, you have to wonder if you can get anything done.
But could you?
Yes and no. Call me a realist or a pessimist, yet more often than not, you can’t get everything done like you want to. Rome wasn’t built in a day and there’s always tomorrow.
I’m still fine tuning my balancing act, but this is how I do it:
Sunday morning– I prepare my work clothes for the entire week.
Sunday afternoon– I try to at least cook 2 dinners, so I don’t have to cook for the next 2-3 days.
Monday thru Thursday– each day is taken for a particular chore: the floors on one day, the bathroom the next, polishing the wood furniture another day, etc.
Wednesday thru Thursday– I cook again or given the rare treat of my husband making dinner; this sometimes also happens on Saturdays.
Monday thru Fridays– I use my lunch hour at work to at least type 500 words a day, working on one new chapter a week. Usually it’s 1000 words a day but when I focus too much on achieving the 1k word count, I find myself struggling to fulfill it and end up with useless crap I need to cut out later. By setting a low word count, I often go over it anyways and feel less disgruntled about not being able to achieve my quota. Also, I get phone calls or emails or someone asking a question about something during lunch hour.
Monday thru Fridays– my two children follow four rules when we come home from afterschool and the sitter: 1) take a shower, 2) do your homework, 3) eat your dinner and 4) go to bed. They’re in bed by 8pm on the dot but if running late, then 8:30pm at the latest. They get to watch a little bit of TV before bed and only stay up to 9pm on Friday and Saturday.
And if there’s still things to do after they go to bed, my relaxing time is a bit later. by the end of the day, you’re feet is hurting and need to put them up for a bit. Or sneak in some belly dancing after the boys go to bed or light excercises before going to bed. I prefer to go to bed relaxed and in a good mood than dead tired.
Fridays thru Sundays are my rest days, unless I’ve been lazy and I take care some of my chores on Sunday but they must be done by 4pm at the earliest or 6pm the latest.
Saturdays/Sundays are laundry days.
By 4pm or 6pm Sunday, it’s my absolutely rest/down time. I need to prepare myself for the Monday blues after all.
And then my week begins again.
You might’ve noticed I have the weekends off from writing. It’s not intentional but because it’s hard to get writing done on the weekends and your children is all over you. But in the future, I will add a writing quota of
1k- 500 words in the afternoon and 500 more later.
Sigh, I swear it’d probably be easier if I won that $400 million Powerball ticket last week. Will have all the time in the world.
Check out this Writer’s Digest column, Balancing Act: How to Live Life as a Wife, Mother &
Writer , to see how author, Jamie Engle, does it.