Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Caution: There's a Writer in the House

Posted by: Unknown
There is no better state of mind than when you're deep into your story, you're on a roll, your fingers are flying across the keyboard as quickly as you can physically make them move, and still, they aren't keeping up with the speed of the narrative voice in your head that's bulleting words that feel like gold. This isn't a daily occurrence, nor a weekly occurrence, which is why I can liken this state of mind to experiencing a high. It feels so good. I want it again and again. Hours can go by sitting on the couch with my laptop revved, trying to find that place, that state of mind, as often as possible. This is why I'm still trying to learn that crucial lesson, finding a healthy balance between my family life, my personal life (taking care of me), my daily job pay-the-bills life, and my writing life.  

Here's how you know when it's bad. There are doctor visits you need that you're not getting appointments for over the course of several years. As your clothes become rattier, you aren't going out to buy more, and the elastic on your last wearable white bra is threatening to snap. Friends and family are rarely invited over, though you promise yourself that you'll have that big party and "catch up" when you feel like you've gotten to a good place in your story. Emotions are entirely reliant on how you feel about your writing, so the people around you will never be able to predict your mood. It's like being part of the roller-coaster ride perpetually. Manicures and pedicures seem like bothersome activities that are time sucks, and make-up is a thing that is only worn under duress during the week for the day job. Finally, you've stopped your normal healthy routines, like getting exercise and making a healthy dinner, which leads to health issues. I managed to gain a good twenty pounds in a one year period of time because I was coming home from work, sitting on the couch to get my third book done, and ordering take-out regularly. The wake up call? None of my usual clothes were fitting, and I'm too proud, and frankly, too cheap, to want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. I also want to keep up with my husband and kids on hikes and bike rides, which brings me to my next point.

If your husband and kids have to sit you down and gently explain that you don't see them anymore, you know it's bad. They could physically see me sitting there on the couch working, creating, living in my head for hours, but they had no access to me. My husband and boys are very sweet and supportive of my goals, which was why they were trying to give me space, but they missed me. Every bit of spare time was spent writing, so my kids felt like they couldn't share with me, and my husband felt like he didn't have anyone to talk to.

The fix? Time management and prioritization. My day job is taxing, so I'm not in my most creative mind frame when I get home. Therefore, I shouldn't even try to use that time to write. What could I do instead? Talk with my kids. Find out about their day, and tell them about mine. Decompress.  Check in with them about their homework. Once we've done that, they go off to their rooms to work, and I can get an hour or so of writing in before my husband comes home at least three days of the work week. The other two days I can exercise. The weekends are flexible enough that I can both write and exercise (which brings me closer to fitting my clothes again). Finding alternate times and places to write has also been helpful. During my lunchtime or during my sons' sports practices, I might hand write scenes that I can type in later.

I needed to make up some time with my husband who has always encouraged and supported my personal goals. Making sure that I made myself available once it was time for dinner was a start. Finding time to sit, relax and talk about our day with a glass of wine or just a tired smile once the kids were in bed was a wonderful reminder that I'm absolutely crazy about my husband. Date nights, flirting, texting love messages at different time of the day were my way of showing him that he was number one on my list. Remembering that we don't get forever on this big rock we call a planet helps me keep things in perspective.

It's a busy life, but if you plan it well, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

The first three books of my Dreamwalkers series are complete, and I'm working on book #4. If you're feeling like you need a little excitement, conflict and steaminess, take a look at my titles below.

Amazon BN Carina Press
Amazon BN Carina Press

Amazon BN Carina Press

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