The Myth that is Work/Life Balance
by Stormy Smith
You decided you wanted to be an author. Maybe you got an agent and a book deal. Maybe you self-published. You might be a NYT best seller or someone with two titles just trying to build a following. No matter what, you’ve quickly found that keeping all the balls in the air is getting more and more complicated.
You managed with your first book. It got a little harder as you tried to write another while you marketed the first. It got harder still as you gained popularity and tried to maintain five social channels, a newsletter, your family, maybe a full time job and still writing the books that are really what you love and why you started down this path. And then you start to feel a little down on yourself. You think you’re the only one struggling.
I’m here to tell you that you aren’t. You one hundred percent ARE NOT the only one. And I’ve got a phenomenal group of authors here to tell you what they’ve found to help them stay sane. So, read on, and know that we are all in this together. This is a crazy industry that has high highs and low lows. But no matter what level of success you’ve found, we all have some common ground...the slippery little beast that is balance.
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Balance is a myth… it’s that adorable white unicorn we all strive for and hold as a standard, then berate and blame ourselves when we can’t find it. The truth is writing is 90% procrastination and 10% bleary-eyed-stay-up-all-night-drink-ten-gallons-of-coffee-a-day-when-the-deadline-looms. We have too many balls in the air and we’re not juggling them, we’re just trying to stop them from hitting us on the head when gravity eventually kicks in. The good news is that we’re in this together. It’s not about balance, it’s about survival. My tricks for weathering this beautiful storm? Write every day. Every single day. Whether it’s one sentence or your illusive word count. Get words on the page and create something. Find a group of people you trust and that will support you in the ups and the downs. And finally, and most importantly, know that Five Hour Energy is your best friend.
~ Rachel Higginson, author of the Star-Crossed Series and Love and Decay
As soon as you can afford it, hire people you trust to do all of those menial tasks that take you away from writing (website updates, formatting, marketing, etc.). In the beginning it will feel like more work, but in the long run it's the only way I know to not completely burn out.
~ Suzanne Rock, hybrid author of the Playboys of Boston series
My advice would be to set out specific writing times each day/week and treat it like the job it is. "Go" to work, focus only on your writing during that time. If it's an hour, two hours, or an entire day, you have to take it as seriously as any other job you have. Let the little things go. So your house only gets vacuumed every other week, or a little dust builds up on a few surfaces. Balance is important, as is the fact that you aren't superman/woman and you can't do everything.
~ Heather C. Leigh, author of the Famous series
Do 20-minute sprint sessions. That's what I learned. It's amazing what you can get done in just 20 minutes. Take your goal for the day and then cut it in half so that you don't feel bad if you didn't reach your lofty goal.
~ Jeff Rivera, author of No Matter What
Remember that every little bit of writing counts. If you write even one page, that counts. If you write for just 20 minutes, that counts too. Even jotting down one idea can make all the difference. Carry a notebook or a handful of index cards everywhere you go. When you're waiting for something, don't check your phone. Write.
~ Laurence MacNaughton, hybrid author of The Spider Thief and Conspiracy of Angels
And, my advice to you is to use the tricks that make you more comfortable. I am a list-making freak, so I use Asana (an online software that’s free) to organize my projects and my to-do lists. It helps me see and keep track of what needs done outside of writing. They send me a list of tasks every morning. I can also assign projects to my PA and easily check in with her. I know that writing every day isn’t feasible for me, but I write for large chunks of time when I can and I schedule those just like I would an appointment. I know how many words I want each week and that’s what I strive for. I also work very hard to be compassionate with myself on the weeks it all goes to hell. Because it will, and that’s okay.
Do you have any tricks to share? Comment, we’d love to hear them!
~~About Stormy Smith~~
Bio: Stormy Smith is the author of the Amazon best seller, Bound by Duty, and Bound by Spells. She calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.
Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.
Facebook: Author Stormy Smith
Bound by Duty (Bound Series, Book One) Release Date: July 24, 2014
Bound by Spells (Bound Series, Book Two) Release Date: March 19, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, and Paranormal
BOTH BOOKS ARE ON SALE FOR $0.99 RIGHT NOW!
Bound by Duty Synopsis: Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn't even know his name.
Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.
As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?
Bound by Spells Synopsis: Aidan Montgomery hadn't been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn't expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he's embracing it -- finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia's best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.
Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen's mercy, she spends her days with Micah -- an ally she still holds at arm's length -- struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia's true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she's willing to sacrifice.
Will Aidan get to Amelia before it's too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart?
Endorsement for Bound by Spells: "Featuring a cast of mages and shapeshifters with unique magical abilities, one destiny-shaping prophecy, a genocidal megalomaniac, and a budding, heated romance (or two!), this book is paranormal gold! Read the first book in the series first, of course, but once you finish this one you're sure to be salivating for the next release in this not-to-be-missed romantic paranormal series."
-- Serena Chase, USA Today's Happy Ever After blog
Be sure and kick in a comment about how you balance (or fail to balance) work and life. What are your struggles?
Well, that's all for today, folks! I hope you enjoyed this little takeover by Stormy!
Until next time, WRITE ON!