Balance Is Tricky for Every Writer
By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
To some, my early morning work, may appear a little strange. I was preparing some social media posts for early June—and yes I'm writing these words in April. Why was I working on June? When I search for content for my social media feeds, I am looking for timeless articles focused on writing and different aspects of publishing. Before I post each article I carefully look at it to make sure there is nothing about a particular date or time of year and if there is, I use it earlier. It's just one of the details I keep in mind with my 12–15 daily social media posts. Most of what I do is routine only because I've created a system for these posts and use my system over and over. I hope it is something you are doing for your own writing life.
Besides my social media posts, this morning, I created and sent an email to my list. It's a current campaign that I'm actively involved in, telling people about free events (again keeping my audience in mind). Each of these events have a purpose and if someone takes the additional step (buys the product), I have an affiliate relationship with the originator and will make some income. Nothing is predictable or certain in this process. Sometimes I receive an unexpected check and other times zero. These couple of details are just some of what I'm doing for my work today.
I'm sending emails and phone calls about some aspects of future work. I've called an author friend to get an endorsement for a current book that is about to finish typesetting. I'm calling some Morgan James authors today about their contracts and other aspects of my work for the publishing house. I'm also doing some writing like on this piece for The Writing Life (weekly). I'm writing a blog post which is due in a couple of days. I'm also writing on my monthly deadline for another blog, which will post to the public in a few days. In some ways, I'm doing multiple juggling yet focused juggling to accomplish each task to the best of my ability. As I've written in these articles, the details matter.
I hope from writing about some of these projects, you see the delicate balancing act of our writing life. I have long-term projects which I need to move forward. I also have short-term projects that need to happen. Besides these various writing related tasks, on the personal front, I'm also trying to find time in my day to read, exercise, eat healthy and of course enjoy life with my family.
In this article, I'm writing about the tricky aspects of balance. In this process, I've learned some important truths:
1. Not everything I do will work. For example, I pitch my colleagues and convince them to send publishing contracts to writers. Some of these writers do sign but some do not and decide to publish somewhere else.
2. Some of what I do will work. Some of my writing will sell books or products or services—and actually pay to have done it. The key is to have multiple streams of possibilities and payment.
As I'm writing about in this article, I'm involved in a daily careful balancing act. For any of us, this work is not easy. Each of us need to find that balancing place in our own daily lives and keep working to tweak it and refine it.
How do you get it all done? The truth is not everything does get done but the ones you focus on and finish, those get done. Here's some important elements in this process:
You need to have a vision and a plan
You need to have routines and follow your routines
You need to use multiple tools—email lists, Hootsuite, etc
You need to be diverse and create multiple income streams
You need to be consistent and keep at it—even when some things fail, other things will succeed.
You need to keep in the back of your mind your why. Why are you making this effort and doing these things? For me, I do it because books change lives. I had a book change my life years ago and you can read that story here.
It's all part of our lives as writers. It is not clear cut. Each of us have to carve out our own take on these various routines. I've shown you some of my details in this article and my atempt at something that is not easy for anyone called balance. I freely admit I don't have all the answers and continue to learn and grow. Let me know how you find balance in the comments below.