There are two kinds of write-life balance.
You know, write-life balance — like work-life balance, but much less work-y.
The first kind is the one you are likely most familiar with: juggling a dozen responsibilities and never seeming to be able to fit writing in the proper place between them all.
The second is probably less familiar to you, yet it’s the problem I have been dealing with for more than a decade at this point.
Here’s what happens: I write, and I write, and I write. And making time for everything else becomes increasingly difficult the more things I am writing.
I know I’m not the only one. It’s the curse of the introverts. Don’t sit there and tell me you’ve never thought, as you were getting ready to go out with friends, “I’d much rather stay home and write.”
I could give you all the time management and success tips in the world. But if you want to solve your balance problem — not writing enough, or writing too much — you have to start with something a little more abstract.
You have to start with being honest about the importance of writing in your life.
You need to decide not HOW important writing is to you, but WHY it matters, and in what manner you want writing to fit into your life.
Only then can you figure out how to make room for the kind of writing you want to do.
In my case, writing is my job; I get paid to make words happen. That is why I write as much as I do from day to day. If writing weren’t my job, I would still write, because I am at my best when I am telling stories. I would just have more room for other things, like seeing my friends more often.
Yet I don’t worry about not having as much room for non-writing things right now. I’m on a personal timeline — this is how I want things to roll for the time being, and I’m happy with the current structure of my life.
You might not write all day because you have to. You might do it because you want to — and there’s nothing more frustrating to you than not having as much time to write as you’d like.
You have a completely different issue. You’re looped within a cycle that doesn’t currently allow for optimal writing time.
But here’s the cool thing about schedules: you have the power to change them.
If you’re not happy with the way things are, you can change that. You can shift things around to make room for writing. And if you can’t — if you feel you’re in a place where you desperately want to write, but there is not a space of time that allows for it no matter how much you wish there were — then you need to figure out what’s keeping you from writing, so you can, in one way or another, clear it from your schedule.
It’s easier said than done. I know. I’ve been there. I wouldn’t suggest swinging to the other end of the spectrum where I prefer to dwell, but you shouldn’t have to deprive yourself of adequate time to create. If you’re reading this, I hope it’s because you’re a creative human being and you need to stimulate your brain to function.
You are my people. I know just how hard it is to balance writing with everything else. I can’t say I have all the answers you’re looking for. But maybe there’s some kind of in-between ground we can all reach together.
Here’s to writing a lot, as much as possible, not because we feel we have to, but because life wouldn’t matter quite so much if we didn’t.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.