Monday, November 7, 2011

The Search for Balance

This weekend came to a close with me finding myself exhausted - even with the extra hour of sleep.

Of all the disciplines required for a full-time author, I have the most trouble with striking a balance between work and recreation (or relaxation). No matter what plan I concoct in my mind, write down on paper, confess to my critique partners, etc., I end up working seven days a week. This is not bragging, for sure. You see, I am not a proud workaholic like some.
Hardcore Workaholic by HolidayT-Shirts


My predicament could very well be because I don't have much of a life outside of my writing. Don't laugh. I'm serious. Other than church and the infrequent literary or family event, my daily schedule consists of housework, errands and television. I know that's sad, but by the time I finish working I'm too tired to do anything else.

After an early morning trip to Home Depot, for items to finish up the new bathroom floor, we spent Saturday morning sprucing up for Thanksgiving. Everyone comes to our house on Turkey Day, and we all go to my sister's for Christmas. After returning newly washed dishes to the now sparkling clean china closet in the dining room, we stripped the living room slipcovers and I vacuumed and Febreezed the furniture while the covers washed. He put the clean covers back on while I finally got to work on revisions for The Real Thing, which is supposed to go to my editor by this coming Friday.

Yesterday was the first Sunday of the month, the day I serve in the nursery. Over the years I've served in different ministries, and taking care of the babies so their moms can enjoy the service is my favorite. Unfortunately, one of my sweeties wasn't feeling well and had a case of diarrhea which resulted in my having to change her three times.


Another of the little ones is relatively new to the church and still hasn't grown accustomed to being away from her parents. Needless to say, she wasn't exactly a happy camper yesterday. Thankfully, I did have one joyful, smiley child. Thank you, Miss Kyla!

By the time we got back home from church, after hubby stopped at Blimpie for subs, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and read for the rest of the day...

Only I had 104 e-mails, 24 Facebook messages and a few Twitter DMs to which I needed to respond.


Granted, all of the e-mail is a result of the groups I belong to, and most of those messages aren't addressed directly to me. Still I have to at least sort through them and delete the ones I don't need to read.

Once I dealt with the mail, I needed to continue working on the TRT revisions. But I just couldn't do it, and instead went upstairs to read and finish watching Fast Five on DVD. Within fifteen minutes of starting the movie, I was out cold with my Kindle resting on my chest (and people wonder why it takes me so long to read a book these days...).


By five o'clock we were hungry again. You know who wasn't cooking anything at that point, right? Curbside To Go from Applebees provided dinner while we finally watched the end of the movie. At eight o'clock, BET aired the fabulous Black Girls Rock special, and I watched that while I typed the questions for a blog interview I'm doing next week.

I've said all this to say that I think I'm losing the time management battle. There seems to be more and more to do and less time in which to do it. I feel as if I'm drowning. A recurrent daydream I have is one of a world where I can simply write endlessly and my work magically appears in cyberspace without the aid of Tweets, Facebook posts, online features, and interviews.


Well, I'm done with my rant (and with my Monday blog entry.) I'm not asking for answers to my mess, just some listening ears.

Thanks for listening ...

12 comments:

MJKane said...

Busy, busy, busy bee! The pics of the crying baby just made me realize how thankful I am that my babies have all grown up...and can be locked out of my room while I work to fend for themselves!!!! Hang in there and remember....it's what you asked for when becoming an author. I remind myself of it every day!

Kimberly T. Matthews said...

I will be sure to share my intern with you . . . when I find one! LOL!!! At least you are productively busy and not just wasting time and ummm . . . I still haven't received my Thanksgiving Day invite! :-)

Jackie Chanel said...

Geesh, you just described my life, with the exception of the babies. I have a 20 y/o college student at home and in between cheering tournaments, work, more work, HIM, and the Internet, I need about six more hours per day. How does a person write like this?

Chicki said...

I know, MJ. I just didn't have any idea it would be this much ...

Kimberly, the way it looks right now, we're having 18 for dinner. God only knows if I fit that many in my dining room. If you don't mind eating outside on the front porch with your plate on your lap, sure - come on! LOL!

Jackie, I haven't written anything in eight months. All I've been doing is getting my books onto Kindle & Nook and promoting them. Hopefully, I'll be writing again after Thanksgiving ...

Sharon Cunningham Cooper said...

Wow, you sound like you have been busy! I truly understand! Some days/weeks my schedule flows and I feel I'm in total control. And then those other days/weeks, I don't know if I'm coming or going! So I feel your pain. :)

BTW, I'm looking forward to reading your next book. I'm sure you'll keep us all posted on when it'll be available.

Dana Taylor said...

I can TOTALLY identify, Chicki! All the social media makes you feel like the ball in a pinball machine, slamming one metal post to another. The truth is: you can't do it all, every day. Your body was telling you: Sunday is the day of rest.

I'm learning to decide some things can just wait until later!

See you around the web--

Dana

Chicki said...

Sharon, the book is scheduled for release in December, but it hasn't even gone to my editor yet. Hopefully I'll be able to get it online before Christmas.

Dana, I've only been a published author for about 18 months, and I'm still learning - the hard way. Gotta give myself a day off.

Ashley Barron said...

Ah, excuse me, but if you weren't such a stellar writer AND marketer, we all wouldn't have been able to enjoy your books! (Hot Fun In The Summertime is my favorite...so far!)

And how wonderful to have more loved ones coming for Thanksgiving than you have seats in the house. No greater blessing. :)

Laramie Briscoe said...

I too feel much like you! I just started this crazy ride into self-publishing and have set up a timeline for myself. I'm asking myself at this point...where did I think I was going to find all this time? Work 40 hours a week, find time to hang with friends for Margarita night, spend time with the husband, watch the tv shows that you actually like to watch, read the book that came out tuesday that you've been dying to read, do dishes, do laundry, vacuum, pay bills, cook dinner, and then at the end...that's where I feel like I can write. I feel like I never get there though.

When I first started my journey, I was going to Panera Bread three times a week after work and writing. I got so much done, but it started to seriously affect my hips and my pocketbook. I'm trying many different things to try and make time for everything that needs to be done. But it's just not happening. I need a clone!

This is the worst thing for me so far. I can write this book in my head, but when I sit down to type it out, the dryer stops or my husband comes home hungry. What's an author to do?

Laramie Briscoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chicki said...

Thanks, Ashley! I love hearing that readers really enjoyed a story I've written. And you're right about Thanksgiving ...

Laramie, I write full time and can't even comprehend how people do it all with a day job and small children running around. You guys deserve a medal of honor!

Jackie H. said...

Sounds soo very familiar...unfortunately and fortunately at the same time :)