Balancing writing and life

I find balance a challenge in my life. Like one of those amusement park rides based on a swing I find myself going from one extreme the opposite and back again. Writing is like that. For several years my goal was to write not fifty thousand word, not simply one hundred thousand, but to break one hundred and fifty thousand words. How easily my life got out of balance. How little I wanted to write after November was finished.

This year I approached National Novel Writing Month with the hope of completing fifty thousand words. With my office’s relocation and a now five hour round trip commute I realized I no longer had the luxury of a massive writing push. I had to balance my life.

In prior years I emphasized writing on weekends. I’d push, go to write-ins, and make sure I added four to six thousand words each day. But this year I have to fit my writing around other necessary life activities. So I am glad when I reach my minimum word count for the day. Like today. I started with my morning routine of some meditation readings and my daily journaling. Then I attended church ate lunch and wrote some before attending a men’s meeting at church in the evening. After I got home I wrote and just completed 1,677 words. That’s ten more than what I need to write daily for the month.

I may be ahead in my word count but I want to make the minimum each day. That keeps me in my novel’s world so that I am comfortable there. That helps me write. I regain my familiarity with my characters, their characteristics, what makes them tick, and where the story is going.

This year I am more relaxed having adjusted my expectations and goals to a more reasonable level based on my current life situation. I can accept interruptions without grumbling. (Yesterday my son invited me to a movie. I attended because I haven’t had one on one time with him for several months.) I still write but my writing is more balanced.

And because I am more relaxed I find my writing has become a little tighter and more coherent. Hopefully that results in less tedious work in rewriting.

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