When asked writer Gregory, he told Creative Paramita :
Yes. I had thought so too; achieving something meaningful in life while working as a writer is to want the impossible. The reward is hardly anything compared to the efforts put in and responsibilities life put before us.
Even writers with full-time jobs struggle to live a balanced life. You have to get out of bed early, deal with the traffic, especially if you live in one of those cities that never sleep. You have to deal with the daily targets, and when you are back home, you are exhausted and will have to struggle to get yourself to put ink on paper.
I tell you this, the situations above are real, but they are in no way obstacles to having a successful life either as just a writer or as a full-time worker and a writer. The fact is, in these situations lies opportunities that are capable of moulding you into a skilled writer, and also the key to living a balanced life as a writer.
I don’t argue that it is easy to juggle life and work as a writer. I am only making it clear that it is very achievable. How? I will share it with you.
Be you a writer or doctor; regardless of the line of work you find yourself, time is our most prized asset; and it is never our friend.
I must say not even myself has been to make every tick count, but I put in enough struggle to ensure that not every tick goes to waste.
I put it to you that a common reason some writers have been able to achieve and sustain a balanced life is that they have broken free from the shackles of procrastination and inconsistency as quickly as possible.
Stop failing to plan or failing to follow your well-thought-out plan. You can only juggle through life in comfort as a writer if and only you embrace the reality that every aspect of your life should have its time and season.
Developing and executing a good plan will get the job done (and also pay the bills), not procrastination, not a lifeless attitude. Failure to abide by this will only mean you intend to surround yourself with never-ending backlogs and pressure, and people under such pressure rarely have that clarity of mind needed to be creative nor productive. Have a plan! Every facet of your day-to-day activities should have a “when” and a “how.”
Have set targets
A great way of attaining a balanced life while working as a writer is settings targets. These targets could be long term or short term. I would recommend you have both. The aim is to ensure that there is always a goal to achieve.
Setting targets is essential to stay motivated because there is always a task to achieve. Meeting up with these targets gives you a feeling of victory, which in turn gets you enthused for the next task.
The fascinating aspects of short term goals are that they create what I will describe as a ‘beautiful distraction’; beautiful in the sense that they take your mind off that bulky novel or piece you are working on while at the same time can create a new perspective to the larger work.
Examples of short terms goals could be assigning yourself a task of writing at 1000 words per day, per week, etc. It could also be writing a short novel at least once a month.
Set time aside
I won’t shy away from the hard truth. Writing as a career is not the same as other professions. In lots of cases, the monetary return is next to nothing when compared to the time and efforts put into it. It is why we have lots of writers who also have other jobs they do to keep up with the financial responsibilities of their day-to-day activities.
The problem with having another job, be it a full-time job or part-time (freelance), is that you barely have enough time for yourself, and you are most likely to be exhausted by the time you are back home.
The easiest solution to this is to allocate a certain amount of time of your day to writing. This dedicated time could be the early hours of your day or late hours of your day. Regardless, you must stay committed to this time, even if 30 minutes per day.
If you are the one with a family, you should negotiate your time with them. You can arrange to have a day or two to yourself in a week. On these days, you can have your family spend time out so you can have several hours to yourself alone.
Learn to take a break
I gladly recommend here that as a writer, taking breaks is one of the best observances that can impact how you live and work. The idea is not for you to lazy around. It is for you to engage yourself in taking care of other aspects of your life. It could mean having time for other people in your life, but more importantly, to look after your health. Avoid burning out. It exposes you to mental and physical illnesses, in some cases, could be severe.
To be clear, I will echo here that your breaks should be productive. You can travel, read books, visit friends and family, you can even explore sites for content. You will be surprised that a simple premade book cover design site like creative paramita, can give you tons of ideas for a new project or even add to your current project. Breaks are capable of refreshing your spirit, give you new ideas, or a new angle to your pre-existing work.
As I had said at the start, it is easier to juggle life and work as a writer if you can develop a well-thought-out plan which you must be sure to follow.