Monday, July 27, 2009

It's A Balancing Act

If you lean too far in any direction, you are going to fall. You can only hope there is a net below to catch you. This is what I learned from Unplug Week. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, last week was supposed to be a week for writers to unplug from all social networking and just write. Well, I hated it. But it did teach me that life is all about balance. When we spend too much time on one thing, other areas of our lives suffer. Likewise, if we neglect something we love doing, we suffer. So the key is to find a proper balance on a daily basis, not to abandon something for a week just because it's taking up too much of our time. Now, how do we find that balance? I'm not sure, but I'd love to hear how you all do it. On another note, this is the last week for the Slumpbuster Challenge. Mooch has been itching for his next move. We've got five days to finish his story. What do you say we give it a go? To add the next sentence, click on the penguin in my sidebar.


Eileen Astels Watson said...

I'm still working on this balance thing too. I'd be interested in what others have to offer for advice.

MeganRebekah said...

I hated it too!! Glad I wasn't the only one. I just don't have the discipline to walk away and fighting the temptation to blog was more distracting from my writing than the actual blogging is!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Very good point. I personally love Unplug Week but that doesn't mean I've got the balance thing under control. During Unplug Week, I usually get a lot of writing done, which is part of the point. But in that sense, I am still not balancing writing with other things in my life, particularly family. Still working on it :)

Jody Hedlund said...

I think you bring up a very good point. Even if we unplug from blogging or internet activities, doesn't necessarily mean we'll make good use of our time. Perhaps we'll just spend more time watching TV instead. We may not get extra writing time in. The key is using self-discipline whether we're unplugged or not, right?

Corey Schwartz said...

I wouldn't even attempt it! if I were smart though, I would unplug for an hour or two per day.

Deb said...

I loved and needed unplug week. I'm an introvert and I need to withdraw periodically in order to revitalize. An extrovert on the other hand, is fueled by social interaction so unplug week could actually be detrimental. One person’s balance is another person’s ballast. Gee, it’s hot. Does that make any sense at all?

Susan R. Mills said...

Yeah, I'm hoping someone has all the answers! :)

How right you are! I have to admit, I cheated and read a few blogs. I didn't comment on them, though. I don't think I'll be participating next month. I didn't get much writing done anyway!

I agree. I think for me, writing and blogging go together, and what I need to balance is those two things with my family life. It's really not an issue of writing vs. blogging.

Yes, self-discipline is important all the time. My mom always used to say, "Everything in moderation." I see what she meant, now!

That sounds like a plan to me. Maybe, I'll shoot for unplugging a little every day instead of for a whole week.

That totally makes sense. I guess I'm more of an extrovert. I thrive on the interaction in blogville! And sorry it's so hot up there. I didn't realize it got hot in Canada.

Jill Kemerer said...

I look forward to checking my blog, e-mails, Facebook, etc... every morning. It's as energizing to me as my cup(s) of coffee! Why fight something that brings joy to the day?

However, I also completely understand how it can take over. I kind of had to make a deal with myself as to appropriate time-slots to check in. Some times are off-limits so I can write, spend time with my family, and just relax.

Thanks for your honesty!

Stephanie Faris said...

I missed out on unplug week because I was just starting to become involved over here. I need to unplug from the Internet in general for a week. It's the biggest procrastination tool in the world, isn't it?

Heather Sunseri said...

Balance is definitely what it is all about. Balance and moderation!! I'm going to guess we all suffer from time to time with the balance. My problem is the balance between the things I "want" to do and the things I "must" do. I think sometimes we have to schedule our writing time - actually write it down in the calendar like an appointment. When it's time for that writing time, you have to turn everything else off. I know I feel better about all of my must-do's when I've made the time for the wants.

LaFleur2009 said...

I simply address whatever is on fire, then return to what I was doing prior to the outbreak. Not always the most effective method, but I ain't dead yet! LOL... I'm still here and the world did not split in two.

I just write until I cannot anymore, and then I may stop for away to attend to the 'important' stuff, such as my checking accounts, work, etc. Then I return to writing. It is the circle of creation for me!

Anna C. Morrison said...

I didn't unplug and never intended to do so. As for the balance, I agree that it needs to be there. It takes discipline, and a good sense of humor when the discipline fails. Just keep doing what you're doing and eventually it will all get done. Maybe a real schedule with writing and rest worked with the other obligations would be helpful in my case.

Rae said...

It has taken me awhile to find that balance. At times I get so involved with writing and blogging I forget I have a family. When my grandkids stay with me the blogging and writing halts. There is nothing more important than spending time with them as they grow up. I think we all have to learn to prioritize.

Susan R. Mills said...

Great idea. Time slots. Yes, I need to time slots!

You said it, girl! Blogging is a huge procrastination tool, if you use it that way. I'm guilty. I admit it! But, according to Danyelle at Myth-takes, procrastination is a good thing. :)

I thought of your blog as I wrote this post today. The title, Balance With Purpose, says it all!

La Fleur,
Your comment reminded me of something my husband always says, "All I do all day is put out fires!" And no, he's not a fireman. He's a farmer. :)

Yes, humor is good. It makes all else seem tolerable, doesn't it?

You are such a wonderful lady! I'm sure your grandkids love you so much! When I first started writing, I only wrote when my kids were gone, but now, I find myself writing when they are home. I have to admit that they get a little annoyed. You just reminded me of what is most important. Thanks!

Lillian Robinson said...

Seems we're all struggling with the same problem. (Could be why I haven't clicked on the sidebar to add a sentence. LOL) Let me know if you find the magic formula!

Terri Tiffany said...

I totally could not unplug but then I think I have learned over the years to balance most things--it doesn't take over my life. I know it is always there and I set the times.

B.J. Anderson said...

I love the unplug week, but it's definitely not for everyone. I may have to give it up for a blog chain I've been invited to join. Because of unplug week, though, I take it easier when I'm not "unplugging" and try not to spend all my time blogging. I always get huge chunks of writing done during my week off. It gives me the balance I need. :D It's always good to try new things, even if they don't work out in the end.

Kathy said...

Nice post.

I'm not sure I've ever attained the proper balance. I tend to put all my eggs in one basket when something is going on in my life. I often put others' needs ahead of mine.

But as Mr. Miyagi said in the Karate Kid, "Must learn balance!"

Danyelle L. said...

Beautiful thoughts! You're right, life does take balance to get the most out of it.

Clementine said...

Oh Susan, I'm still tinkering with it all. Everytime I think I've figured it out, something else falls in the mix. Thank God for His grace and hot bubble baths!

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm not sure there is a magic formula, but I will let you know if I find it. And about Mooch, well, did you notice I haven't added a sentence lately either? His story may never be finished!

I have a feeling I could learn a great deal from you. Please stick around and keep offering your wonderful insight. I hope, someday, to be able to learn to balance everything.

Great reference to the Karate Kid. I haven't thought about that movie in a long time. Maybe Mr. Miyagi knew what he was talking about! :)

I'm still trying to squeeze too many things in, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. Especially, if I finally figure out how to enjoy it all at the same time.

Bubble baths???? What's that? I haven't had one in so long, but now that you mention it, I'm thinking a good long soak would feel really good!

AiringMyLaundry said...

At least you did the Unplug thing. I wouldn't even attempt it because I'd go nuts. I just try to make sure I write in my novel at least an hour per day and I usually can do that.

Susan R. Mills said...

Whispering Writer,
Yes, I did it, but not very well! :)

Mrs. Major said...

I fall from that wire every day. My house doesn't get picked up and my husband has leftovers. I loved Unplug Week but it seemed I used the time for other things left unattended. I don't know if balance is something that really exists when you have kids! Or atleast this is what I tell myself

Janna Leadbetter said...

Balance is an ongoing thing for me.

Glad you're back!

Karen M. Peterson said...

I didn't know about Unplug Week until I read it here. I really don't think I could go an entire week without seeing my blog. Or my farm in Farm Town.

Susan R. Mills said...

The house being clean is a huge problem for me, too. It's always the first thing to go!

I'm glad I'm back, too. I really missed blogging!

My kids play that Farm Town. Maybe I'll have to give it a try. It looks fun. Another distraction, right?

Unknown said...

My favorite writing assignment in College was to sit outside, anywhere outside for one hour and write down every single sound I heard. The unique individual sounds I heard numbered into the hundreds and I might not have gotten them all. So, my balance--I live life every day all day. And I take the time to write about it much like I did living one hour in sound. I don't pit one part of life against another. I try to find unique angles to write from that hopefully create images from words. It's like photo composition (rule of thirds, stops up or down etc.) to create unique words from images.