I'm going to start this chain by apologizing. My first ever turn starting the blog chain is late. Beyond late really. I had NO idea everyone would trust me to pick a topic so soon! I'm flattered--and--hyperventilating.
I've had the most hetic two weeks I can remember. I've been working on my NaNo project, critting, revising and worrying. I've been out of town, helping friends and counting down the days until my daughter comes home for Thanskgiving break. I've been battling my husband for the right to pay attention to my laptop and trying to clean my hopelessly disgusting house.
So in the spirit of hectic lives everywhere I'd like to know:
How do you prioritize? How do you balance paying attention to your writing, critiquing for friends, spending time with your family and earning a living?
Since volleyball has ended, I find that I have more free time. And yet, there never seems to be enough. I start my day by getting my family ready for theirs. A quick drive to school and then home. I take care of our birds (chickens, duck and geese) making sure everyone is fed. Next I check my email. Then my blog roll, and after I've finished reading and commenting (I read more than I comment) I hit the WIP. Then I do a load or two of laundry, field a few phone calls, avert several crisis, and hit the WIP some more. THEN I wash some dishes, mop, sweep and dust, check my email (again) and read manuscripts for friends and crit partners. Then I head to the bus stop, start dinner, check my email (again), fold clothes, and serve up dinner. After that, I wash dishes, another load of clothes, check my email (yes, again) and finish up some crits. I work on the WIP during stolen moments and then fall in to bed--exhausted.
Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it.
We happened to see 2012 this weekend, and John Cusak's character happens to be a struggling writer who's lost his family in pursuit of his dreams. My husband gave me many pointed stares and a couple of nudges. His children said, "You promised you wouldn't work on your book this weekend." Ya. Seriously.
It's hard to find balance when you feel so empassioned about what you're doing. I get wrapped up in crits. I become obsessed with finishing a chapter. I write in between bites of food. And yes, I forget blog posts after an emotionally trying weekend and busy Monday. I've been trying. I spend less time on my computer than I did. I try to set aside chunks of time for each task. I no longer linger on Facebook or Twitter. And I blog less than I would like. I listen to my son's stories about his day. I spend time watching TV with my husband. I don't take my laptop when we go out of town (okay, I'm still working on that one) and I try not to write after five o'clock in the evening.
That's not to say that I don't want to. That's not to imply that the urge to plunk down a paragraph or two isn't killing me in the after-dinner hours. But balance is important. Family is important. There are still bills to be paid, mail to be checked, clothes to be folded and kids to pick up. I'm working toward regaining the balance I had before I was overcome with the constant need to write. Every. Single. Day. And as you can tell--since my first ever blog chain post is coming at 9:15 at night--that I'm taking baby steps. One at time.
Check out Sandra's post tomorrow, who was gracious enough to give me a little nudge. Thanks for the subtle reminder, Sandra. ;)