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Living Out of Balance

The Rich Writer: Living Out of Balance

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Living Out of Balance

Thought for the day: Should a "balanced life" really be the writer's goal?

This is, after all, commonly accepted wisdom. Seek balance in all things, yada yada yada. And yet, I gotta wonder.

Here's the thing: I get the most writing done, the most passionate and real writing done, when I'm totally out of balance. If I tried to balance my writing life with the rest of life, I'd write three or four hours a day and spend the rest on all those important tasks that expand to fill any and all available time. But when I treat writing like a love affair, when I let it consume me...well, the laundry suffers, but the stories unfold.

I guess I'm an all-or-nothing kind of gal. I guess that's why I ask weird questions, like whether I should spend time blogging or reading blogs or reading the news or paying the bills. I guess that's why my answers to those questions change week to week (or, sometimes, day to day!)

This isn't a permanent lifestyle, of course. I do, eventually, have to do the laundry, walk the dogs, and even exercise. And certain priorities (read: kids, husband, and dogs, not necessarily in that order) can't stand much neglect. Heck, even I can't stand much neglect. If I don't spend a minimal amount of my time taking care of myself, then I lose my ability to function in all those other important areas.
Sometimes, I think every writer can use a bit of all-or-nothing focus. It's a great tool for making leaps-and-bounds forward progress on a particular piece--or for getting past a writing hump--or just for answering a particular writing question. Or maybe the occasional--or even frequent--bit of excess is part of balance! Who knows?

I say, if a bit of excess or imbalance helps move your forward, go for it.

:) Cheryl

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