How I Balance Life and Writing

Initially I feel that I should point out that life and writing aren’t actually two separate entities for me. They are both woven quite neatly together. Writing is my life. Perhaps a better title for this post would be ‘how I integrate writing and life’. Writing is a discipline and does best when it becomes habit. To treat these two things separately makes it sound as though you must wait for inspiration to be bestowed on you. Well, that mentality I have found to be the best excuse not to write. Once you decide it’s integral to your person you will write regardless. If you don’t have that motivation, maybe it’s not for you. I personally cannot imagine living without it.

That introduction makes me feel a bit cocky. I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say I am not a perfect writer and have credentials that perfectly support that – none. Besides holding a blog up for two and a half years, of course. It’s a discipline I am still trying to learn, but talking as sternly as I have in this post is the way I talk to myself about writing too. For me I have to be straightforward with the task at hand. I’ll think to myself, ‘Do it or don’t. But if you don’t, don’t bother dreaming about doing it either.’

Saturday is the day I focus on my blog. There’s a bit more to posting on here than just written content, such as the photography and scheduling and general site up keep. When I make a blog post I always want it to be a complete piece. It has to hit the mark on both a written and visual level. Although I’m making it sound like an intense process, blogging is something I love and what I do for fun, so making it a weekend hobby just makes sense in any case. I mostly just aim to get as much done as possible until I’m satisfied, but ideally if I were to put a quantitative goal on it I like to have the following weeks blog posts ready to go. At the moment that’s one or two posts, but again, in an ideal circumstance I would be making three. If I feel like I haven’t done enough I’ll also use my lunch hour at work (and I’m always grateful that it gets me off scrolling through social media unnecessarily!).

For some reason, on Sunday’s I’m always motivated to write fiction. That’s just one of those feelings I can’t explain. But that kind of natural motivation is sacred so I always use it, haha! With blogging out of the way most Saturdays, I’ll focus on fiction writing on Sunday and in the evenings. I’m happy working along at the moment with the intention of ‘just write something’. Even if I only manage ten words (but have tried my best to do something) then I consider that a win over not having written anything.

Because I’m not trying to give the impression that you have to give up a social life to make writing worthwhile, I will admit that on Friday nights I am more likely to be seeing friends. Realistically if you never explore the world your writing will soon become stale. To avoid the guilt of stepping away, I consider what I can do with the time to make returning to writing more effective. This can be meeting new people to build more realistic characters, hearing stories and making memories that can give you inspiration, even tiring yourself out at the gym just so you’re not so restless when it comes to having to sit and write.

Like I said initially, this post would probably have been better if I said it was about integrating. Writing is everywhere if you look for it. Reminds me of some good advice: Place yourself at the mercy of inspiration and surrender yourself to it.

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