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How Do You Cope With Being Overwhemed..?

March 17, 2014
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As writers we frequently become overwhelmed with expections, some are self imposed, while others are derived from external sources. We are told we need to have a social media presence, ensure our manuscripts are edited, revised and polished, submit to magazines, publishers, clients, promote our books…the list goes on and on! However, these are only the tip of the iceberg, as many of us also have full time jobs and a family life to squeeze into our daily 24 hours.

How can we cope when we are being fragmented in so many directions? We are advised to maintain a work/life balance but as this article shows it is sometimes more a ‘blending’ than balancing.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/ronashkenas/2012/10/19/forget-work-life-balance-its-time-for-work-life-blend/

My question is should we not ‘switch off’ at some point? Have ‘down’ time? Refresh the creative juices as well as restore our emotional needs?

What is your coping mechanism?

Here is a link detailing how some writers cope. http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/5-ways-to-balance-writing-and-life

Presently, my ‘work load’ looks something like this:  I am helping organize a writers conference, volunteering for my writers foundation as secretary at events, deciding on illustrations for my children’s chapter book, revising my cowgirl romance, working full time, spending time with family, household chores, being taxi for kid, promoting my books, advertising for a writing retreat, maintaining my social media presence, and transcribing my Mother’s journal. I’m sure I have forgotten some things but you get the picture.

How do I cope? Admittedly, I do ‘drop the ball’ sometimes but I try not to beat myself up about it. I realized a while ago that whatever ‘moment’ you are involved in is the one you should be experiencing. It may not be on your schedule but rules are made to be broken after all. I have a weekly schedule but it is flexible. Why not accept an invitation for dinner or a movie? After all there may be inspiration in those experiences, you would miss otherwise. My mantra is New Opportunities – grab them when they present themselves with both hands.

For instance, we are dog sitting at the moment so I did not have time for my morning ritual of reading through my emails. Instead, I enjoyed an early morning walk under the bright glow of a full moon. It was spectacular and if I had kept to my schedule I would have missed it entirely. So let the unexpected intrusions come and enjoy them.

My week is full time work during the day, with writing related meetings every Tuesday evening, aquasize every Wednesday, assisting at my publishers every Thursday, but these are open to change. Such as an author reading to a Brownie troop last Wednesday evening. The evening was extremely enjoyable and the questions raised were insightful and fun. I gained new perspectives on my narratives and the Brownies learnt how books are published and writers come up with their ideas. As always there will always be someone busier than you!

None of us can ‘do it all’ – enjoy what you can do – that is more than enough.

work-life-balance

These tips may, or may not, help you decide on your own balancing act: http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/protect-health-13/balance-life?page=1  Full descriptions on link.

1. Build downtime into your schedule.

2. Drop activities that sap your time or energy.

3. Rethink your errands.

4. Get moving.

5. Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way.

Life is Exigent – Do You Balance Your Life..?

December 11, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Exigent – definition: requiring, demanding, or calling for much attention or action

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Life is exigent, isn’t it? We are pulled in different directions for family, work and writing commitments. This Wiki explanation sums it up well:

Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development / meditation). Related, though broader, terms include “lifestyle calm balance” and “lifestyle choices”.

For most of the time we seem to be ‘catching ourselves up’ or ‘dropping the ball’ in one area; if not more. Stress results and impacts severely on our decision making, abilities and mental health. Finding a balance in our personal lives isn’t easy and although we try to divide our attention to each area equally, it is not always possible.

What should suffer? Work – would impact us financially. Family – relationships would falter. Writing – creativity and productivity would diminish. So the answer is…juggle it all and hope for the best or find methods to enable a balance to be achieved.

Have you found difficulties with this?

Do you have creative ways to achieve your best balance?

http://www.writedirections.com/balancing.php

http://www.mybooktherapy.com/finding-balance-with-writing-life-getting-organized/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/amyanderson/2013/07/26/work-life-balance-the-ultimate-oxymoron-or-5-tips-to-help-you-achieve-better-worklife-balance/

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Balancing Your Priorities…

September 11, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Precedence – definition: the right to be higher or earlier in order, rank, or importance; priority

220px-Pert_chart_colored.svgPERT chart for a project with five milestones (10 through 50) and six activities (A through F). The project has two critical paths: activities B and C, or A, D, and F – giving a minimum project time of 7 months with fast tracking. Activity E is sub-critical, and has a float of 1 month.

Looks like a complicated way of organizing the writing and editing of a novel while participating in life’s other activities to me. We all multitask to a greater or lesser amount depending on our personality type. We marvel at people who can juggle it all seemingly perfectly but is it just an illusion? Are they constantly busy and never finish anything?

The movie, I Don’t Know How She Does It, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, showed the reality of trying to do it all. The comedy centered around the life of Kate Reddy, a finance executive who is the breadwinner for her husband and two kids. The plot has Kate struggling with more and more demands on her time.

Are your methods this complex? How do you prioritize your writing and family life?

Here is a great post about the subject : http://www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/books-and-babies%E2%80%93how-do-writers-families-bal

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