Friday, October 12, 2012
My friend and mentor, James Scott Bell, made a tough decision some time back. Jim describes himself as a "recovering attorney," but now he earns his living by writing. That means that he sets a schedule, makes sure he produces a weekly word count, and sticks with it. I applaud Jim and all the others who've chosen this route, but for most of us, the advice is still "Don't quit your day job."
In my case, I'm a retired physician, so my day job is helping around the house, doing a lot of grandfatherly stuff, and occasionally playing golf. In the case of other writers, the day job involves different things, but all of them are the same in one respect--they require time and commitment. And that means that, if we're to write, we have to carve out a time to do so. Thus, the hard part of being a part-time writer. Achieving balance.
I've gone through a tough loss in my life. My first wife passed away after forty years of marriage. I, above all people, know that we're not guaranteed another day. So I keep in mind that, although my writing is important, my family are even more so. That's why I make sure that Sundays are devoted to worship and family, not to writing. That's why, when we're asked to keep one or more of the grandkids, the answer is always, "Sure"--even if I should be revising a manuscript. It's all about balance.
What do you have to balance in your own life? I hope you'll share with us.
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