As human beings, we are always striving to find balance in our lives. It’s a life-long pursuit, beginning with the first tottering steps a baby takes (balancing body and gravity) to balancing the budget, work and family, healthy snacks and junk food, and exercise vs. being a couch potato. Then there’s too much TV, too much internet, too much sleep or not enough, balancing needs with wants. The list goes on and on.
If that’s not enough, as writers we have another whole dimension to take into account. Our alter-ego, our secret life, dealing with the voices, dealing with the muse. Balancing our writing life with our ordinary life is a constant uphill battle for most of us. And it can go either way, to both extremes.
We can become so submerged in our own little worlds with our characters and their problems, with getting words on the page, we sometimes neglect other aspects of life. Instead of enjoying time with family and friends, we resent being taken away from our writing. Instead of taking an interest in other things, such as gardening, dancing, or camping, we become hermits–only happy being alone with our computers and our stories. Some writers forget to live and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
The flip side for writers is we can always put off our writing—we are the world’s greatest procrastinators. We may think we’re writing, but somehow never find the time to sit down and actually write. The smallest thing can be an excuse to avoid the computer and writing. There’s always something that needs to be done, something that needs our attention. Life always seems to get in the way. These writers forget the pleasure and satisfaction of having written.
Then there’s all the baggage associated with the process of writing, from the creation of the first draft to the final product. Writers must constantly deal with the inner critic, the internal editor, the perfectionist and the doubt demons. Some have trouble getting beyond that first chapter, wanting the words to be perfect before moving on. Some get that first draft down, but then spend an inordinate amount of time polishing, until they destroy the freshness and wipe their voice right off the page. Some finish the story, but never publish it or submit it to an editor, because they don’t think it’s good enough.
It’s not easy being a writer. There’s no end to that constant uphill battle of finding the right balance, whether it’s in the big picture of life or the smaller arena of the actual writing. But don’t worry, there’s hope for us. Because as romance writers, we always strive for that happy ending, don’t we?
Happy Writing!!! Anne Marie ☺