Writing Info

How I Balance My Life While Writing Novels

Haha!  I am already laughing at myself as I attempt to write this post.

A lot of people have asked me how I balance having a family, a young infant, a consulting career, volunteering, socializing, and writing novels all at the same time.  Balance is definitely the key word because it is truly a balancing act.  Obviously my family and child come first, no matter what.  But I am also super-focused when I write.  It’s like I’m in another world where not much else breaks through.  So how do I fit it in?  I work in short little stints, whenever I can get in a few minutes…after my child goes to sleep at night, on a day off from work, while the baby is napping, etc.  I take every opportunity and don’t wait for a long stretch of free time.  Even 10 minutes is enough to open my laptop and jot down a few paragraphs.

I wrote most of ELECTED’s first draft while I was on maternity leave.  I was worried I’d be bored at home for four months, and everyone kept telling me that the last thing I’d be was bored.  But when it came down to it, my child slept for about 17 hrs a day for the first four months.  So when I wasn’t napping with her, I spent a lot of time writing.  It was January, and I had to find something with which to occupy myself  indoors because of the weather.  (I also started learning Spanish on Rosetta Stone and started on the Dwelling Place’s Board of Directors).

I have to admit that was all a little too much after I started work again, but all I can say is that I managed.  (And I went part-time at work, which was awesome!)

Most of the writers I know do it as a hobby, not as a full-time career.  So that means most of them are also balancing a bunch of other priorities.  If anyone else has advice on how they balance writing in the middle of everything else they do, I’d love to hear it!

2 Comments on How I Balance My Life While Writing Novels

  • Lu says:
    September 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Great post. I do something similar & I work 2 jobs. I write everyday at lunch for 45 min. Then brainstorm ideas when I get a chance. I have an audio recorder that is voice activated in the car on my long commute. I speak what I want to write & use software to the mp4 file and it creates a transcript (its not that expensive and fairly easy to use). I wrote my first MG in a month and a half. The car method works well because you somehow get better dialogue. Just delete any explicative you may say in traffic (its hands free so there is a bit of editing later and legal so far as driving is concerned). I learned all that while in grad school. :)


  • girl101 says:
    September 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Hey Lu,
    The voice activated audio recorder is such a great idea for car rides. You sound very technically savvy turning that into an automatic transcript. Go you!

    What do you write?



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