How To Achieve A Writing/ Life Balance

By on December 27, 2017
How To Achieve A Writing/ Life Balance - Writer's

Sometimes when you write, it seems like nothing else matters in the world. When it’s going well, minutes turn into hours which then turn into days!

While this feeling can be pretty powerful, and make you feel as though writing is what you were born to do, it is also important to remember that there is another world out there, and if you ignore it for too long you could end up regretting it!

The best part about being a writer is that we can be flexible with our work. We can decide when to write, where to write and how much we want to write at any given time. This means we have a unique opportunity to fit other things we love to do around our writing, much more so than someone who has set hours and an office that they must travel to, to get to work each day.

With that flexibility, however, comes the responsibility of managing our own time and workload. Whether you are writing blogs, articles, web pages, short stories, novels or anything else in between, it is essential to get a good writing/life balance otherwise it is far too easy to dedicate too much time to writing, and let other relationships and activities suffer.

Of course, there is also the danger that one will experience writing burnout too, and this could mean that while you write on a roll for a while, your productivity suffers in the long run as you become too exhausted and fatigued with writing to be able to do any more!

So what are the tips and tricks writers can use to ensure they achieve a healthy balance between work and a life outside it? Here are some things to try:

Set your working hours and goals

If writing is your full-time job, it is essential to treat it as such. That means you should set your working hours, have days off and even set yourself holiday too. Of course, it’s great to be able to work whenever you want, but without any structure, it is easy to do too much. If you don’t want to have to work at specific times each day, then make sure you set goals instead. Make goals at the start of each week, work out how long it will take you to achieve them and then work out when you will be able to work around your other commitments.

Make downtime count

When you aren’t working, it is important to ensure you do put it to one side and do something else. Turn off your phone and emails and shut down your computer. Make an effort not to talk about work, or even think about it. Spend quality time with family and friends or pursuing other hobbies and interests that you love. This way you’ll feel as though you have a full and balanced life!

Don’t get distracted

Just as it is important to take time out of work to do other things, it is also important to make your working hours as productive as possible. So don’t procrastinate, minimise distractions such as social media and try to focus as much as possible. This way you are far more likely to have a productive and useful day and feel like you can walk away from your work at the end of it. If you stop and start and don’t make much progress, you’ll waste your own time and feel like you need to keep going, while achieving half as much!

Be realistic and kind to yourself

Of course, you are going to have days where you aren’t as productive, or ones where you need to work late to reach a deadline, or just because you feel like it. If this happens, there is no point in beating yourself up about it. But if you know you have a tendency to overwork yourself you need to ensure you keep these instances in check and don’t let them become too regular.

It’s also important to let yourself have breaks and enjoy other parts of your life. So many writers carry around a sense of guilt because they feel as though they should be dedicating every minute of every hour to their writing. Realistically no one can do this, and if you try you run the risk of taking all the joy out of writing and potentially damaging your writing career in the long run!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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