Please excuse any mess around here while blog is undergoing damage repair.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Balancing It All

I've spent this past week discussing the goals I set for my writing in 2010. The first goal was to complete the rewrites on an older project. The second was to move on to a new project. The third was to try outlining for a change. And fourth was to expand on social networking. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I managed to obtain certain degrees of success with each of these goals so I am pleased with my efforts. Now, my final goal for 2010 was to find a way to balance writing and blogging with family responsibilities. According to my family, this was a success. According to my writing and blogging, this was a failure. In 2010, I definitely put my family first (which a person should). In fact, I think I used them as a procrastination tool (don't tell them that). But, even though we put our families first, as writers, we need to carve out some time every day to spend on the craft. This is the only way we will improve. So, I'm going to call this goal a work in progress. I'm still trying to figure it all out. What about you? How do you manage your blogging/writing time vs. family/work/other obligation time?

26 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm finding that I need to set certain times of the day for blogging and writing and then let it go:)

Diane said...

I have my scheduled days of blogging, but if it's an off week I don't beat myself up over it. :O)

Laura Pauling said...

Family should come first. Good for you. I don't mind not being free entertainment for my kids 24/7. I spend time with them. But I makes ure I have time to write too.

Amy Jo Lavin said...

It's a constant struggle, especially with young kids. My blog has been low on my priority list, but I'm trying to do better this year. I try to write after my kids go to bed. Otherwise, there are far too many distractions. But I agree with you, family should be a priority, but that doesn't mean I can't write.

Stephanie McGee said...

I don't really have too much else pulling on my time so for me it's more a matter of working up the motivation.

Carolyn V. said...

I don't yet. I wish I did. I'm trying to do an hour of blogging in the mornings, write in the afternoons (along with studying for school), and then spending time with the fam at night. I've only been trying for a while, so I hope this works!

jbchicoine said...

I can't say that I actually balance it, per se...The fact that my children are grown and long gone helps, and my husband loves to see me writing (or painting), so I can write whenever and as long as I like (yes, I'm spoiled--don't hate me).

When I'm writing, I do little if no blogging. I'm sort of all or nothing, I guess... Nope--no balance there...(Can you tell I'm not writing this week?)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Ugh. Yes, that's a problem with me. Networking v. Writing. I tend to do more of the first than of the latter.

Funny how I'm scrambling to promote my name as a writer when my book is lagging in the agent-worthy department? I need to shift balances toward the favor of my novel!

As for my family, I do my computer stuff while they are abed or aschool! ;)

Great post!

~Elizabeth :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Ugh! I'm still working on that balance thing, too. I teeter and totter my way through, changing which piece suffers periodically. :-)

Karen Peterson said...

It just comes down to having a schedule and trying your best to stick to it. Letting your family know what the schedule is usually helps, too.

Patti said...

I try not to do blogging when the kids are home from school. I do a lot on my breaks at work. I still need to work on balancing writing and family.

Sometimes I feel pulled in both directions, but I never fully commit to either and am left stranded in the middle.

Catherine Ensley said...

Because I've always put my family and just about everything else ahead of my writing, I'm now 58 years old and still unpublished. We need to fight for time to write. :)

Heckety said...

Ho! I am sooo working on that at the moment- and find myself a dismal failure...

KC said...

Right now i am some free time since i just graduated, but when i was still at school, i had to balance school/thesis/work/internship/social life and it was a struggle! I use to set aside time for reading and would literally pen in my planner time to do things. Quiet time is always the best time to work, so tried to get up earlier.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm still bad for this. I get up at 5 am to blog (and catch up later on while dinner is cooking). Most of my writing is done while the kids are at school. Now I just have to do a better job fitting in the housework.

GutsyWriter said...

I spend way too much time blogging and learning about how to brand myself versus the book synopsis and book proposal I need for my conference in San Diego, to meet agents and editors. So no balance in my life. Sorry.

Susan Fields said...

If only there were more hours in the day! I'm very blessed to be a stay-at-home mom, so even though time still seems to go way too fast, I'm usually able to get writing time and family time in every day. Sometimes I think I'll write after the kids get home from school, but if one of them is sitting around looking bored, I'll usually have to get out the board games. :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I keep my writing time restricted to early in the morning before anyone else is up and late at night after the kiddos are still in bed. I blog during stolen snatches of time throughout the day. It's hard, but I make it work!

Stephanie Faris said...

It's hard to balance it all. I think the key is to set a time every day you'll write and let your family know what time that is and stick to it. Maybe just 30 minutes or so?

Robyn Campbell said...

Oh bother! I don't. Something always gets left out. I'm like you. I KNOW time has to be carved out. BUT FROM WHERE? Sus, I need TEN more hours in the day.

As far as blogging goes, I lost followers when I took off that two months last January. I had to get away, though. Just like today, it's Saturday, but I am making the rounds to all my lovely blogging pals, because yesterday it was impossible to do.

I guess the only answer is do what we can, but never put it ahead of family or writing. :)

MG Higgins said...

I wish I didn't love sleeping so much. Being unconscious for only five instead of eight hours a day would give me ... gee, three more hours of awake time! I could get so much writing done. Or procrastinating.

K. M. Walton said...

I am having a very difficult time even reading the word "failure" anywhere on your blog, Susan! You are a hard working and dedicated writer. You should be proud, not only of your attention to detail, but also you willingness to help fellow writers. *waves at you*

Family? Yeah, always #1. Always.

Madeleine said...

Not having a family I guess I am 'lucky' in that respect, though I would have dearly loved to have children of my own, so I cannot offer any major insights. I do find blogging my biggest addiction and this often takes me away from my serious writing, so I make myself turn off the Internet connection router to make myself concentrate or I consider going out to a library to work as I find other environments often stimulate my creativity better than sitting at my desk. good luck with your own balancing act :O)

Kathryn Magendie said...

It's a difficult balance-I took a month's break - not that I was completely off social networking, but I cut way back, and I didn't work on the fourth book for over a month to give me some distance, and I spent time with my son, DIL, and granddaughter in Oregon in October, my famly in Tx in November, and with GMR during the rest of the holidays...
but, it's time to get back to work, and - well, I'm going to have to balance work, home, and "just plain me time" --

Lawd!

Jennifer Hillier said...

I'm getting better at compartmentalizing, but it's hard work. This year I'm determined not to let writing or social networking eat into the time I spend with family and friends, but finding that exact right balance is tough!

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Well, I'm gonna be honest. Basically, all I've done here is read through all your comments to get some ideas on how to balance it all. That's right. I have no ideas of my own! Ha, ha! ;o)

Okay, okay, I do try to set aside certain hours for writing and certain times for social networking, but it seems like stuff always changes and my plan fails. But I do keep trying!