Wearing Your Many Hats – Managing Life While Writing

Wearing Your Many Hats – Managing Life While Writing 1024 576 Reader Views
Susan Violante

Most writers will agree with me that the biggest challenge in their writing project is not letting their lives highjack their project. Life is definitely a roller-coaster, and honestly, I would not want it any other way. But when we are trying to write and publish a book while juggling family and a day job, the merry-go-round lifestyle prohibits the impossible dream we writers would love to have–the ability to finish our project. In my case, I gave up on that dream and looked for ways to keep writing, even during those moments when life kidnapped me from my writing time. However, nothing really worked, because there is no such thing as a secret recipe. Yet, I finished my book, published it, promoted it, and wrote and published my picture book, all while taking care of my household of my husband, two girls and two dogs, plus a full-time day job. I still wonder how I was able to do it, and every time I look back, I find only one word to describe what I see—PERSISTENCE.

But persistence is a challenge when the world changes to include a global pandemic, political and economic crisis, and a social divide over masks, tests, and vaccines to name a few things we had to endure the past years. Persistence is almost impossible when the ripple effects of what the world has turned into affects not only your life but also changes who you are and how you live. During times like this, the only thing that can help you keep going is to remember that things like this have happened before throughout history. The people that got through them and built a future despite their conditions persisted.

Life changes so often that there is no set plan when it comes to pursuing your goals and dreams that will work. On the writer’s dream, many try to write a set number of words or pages each day. I tried this and was not able to comply with my set number very often. But I kept trying. So, although I could not keep up with the plan, what took me to my finish line was persistence. This was also true during the last couple of years when my goal was to publish others, as we have finally done it in the midst of the pandemic.

In retrospect, I realize I could not control what life threw at me every day. But I could manage my day and write what I could and work on publishing instead of freezing due to panic. And so, I did; and still do… Here are some ideas on managing your life while writing or simply managing your life to continue living and pursuing your goals.

• Be aware and mindful of your priorities each day, and create a checklist.
• Don’t overload yourself. There is a set number of hours in a day, and you want to avoid
burn out.
• Be flexible about how, where, and how much you write. Keep a notebook and hand write while waiting in your Dr.’s waiting room, sitting in traffic, on your lunch break… etc., even if it’s only a couple of lines. There is no sense in waiting for the perfect moment, or the new laptop. Just write!
• Consider reading to be writing time when you find yourself with writing block. When the words don’t come, reading can relax your mind, allowing the flow of words again.
• Be kind with yourself and don’t put yourself down if you skip writing one day… just get back at it the next day!
• Always keep in mind your goal of publishing your book, and keep going – as long as it takes.

Persistence is the key! So, hang in there and keep at it!

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