Wednesday, March 1, 2023

IWSG: Balance

 

Happy IWSG Day!

This is the day we all dust off our blogs, fears, and insecurities and chat!

Come join us!





Today I wanted to talk about how to know if you’re taking it too easy on yourself, or going too hard. (No, I don’t have solid answers—that’s why I’m insecure about it. šŸ˜‰)

Background on me. I started self-publishing in March 2015 (Yay—just realized this is year eight! Still confused šŸ˜‰). Up until Dec 2020, I was also working full-time in a soul-sucking job.

I’m telling you this so you don’t think that I’m living a magic life being a full-time writer—I am now, but got 14 books out while working full-time (to be fair a few were either done, or close to being—they all needed edits).  I fought for my writing time then.

In Dec 2020, the university I worked at offered a buyout for some of us who were within retirement time for them. Not a great deal, but I found I liked my sanity and peace of mind, so getting out was the best option.

Switching to full-time isn’t as easy as folks think. When you’re used to fighting for writing time, and now you don’t need to, it can leave you fumbling around.  I also think that my evil day job’s evilness motivated me to write those books!

Plus, while I hated the job, I enjoyed many of my coworkers and guess what you don’t have as a full-time writer? Yeah—co-workers. No cheery chats as you come in, no lunch time complaining sessions. I still miss it and them.

Then there is the 'how am I going to be a full-time writer' question? So many options!  Once I got over leaving the EDJ (Evil Day Job), I started looking at how to work my writing business.

I’ve been in the work force a long time, so having two days off a week is normal for me.  I know some writers write every day, but I need those two days off. I now have one business day as I realized that I get thrown off way too easily by business stuff and having those issues on a writing day doesn’t work.

I have my schedule. I’m giving myself time off, a full business day, annnnnnnnnnnnd I still feel squished.  I think there’s an issue of pushing hard as a full-time writer to show folks (even if only in your head) that you are WORKING. And I think that’s what’s happening.

I was with a fellow author last week and we were talking about what we were doing. I told her my general year plan. Then said, or not. But laughed, indicating I was planning on pushing myself regardless.

She looked at me and said, “Or you could take a few things off your plate.”

I brushed her off with a “I’m fine.”  But those words hit me. I think I’m pushing so hard because I need to prove I can do it (and money, never forget money—it’s crass, but my retirement is far too small to live on).

Now I’m not sure what to do to balance things.

I have a few days off coming up, so I’ll do some thinking.  Like my adding my business day, I need to find a way to adjust my mindset and working habits. Without compromising my goals too much.

How about you? Full or part time—what do you do when you think your goals might be overwhelming you?

 

Have a great IWSG day!


 

12 comments:

  1. Hey we started publishing at about the same time! For me it was May 2015. I'm nowhere near going full-time, nor will I ever be. The full-time job with benefits and a pension is just too much to give up.

    I applaud your dedication and focus! Stick to your schedule and write your hardest. I've heard of authors that write 40+ books PER YEAR, and I just don't understand how it's physically possible, day job or not.

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    1. Yeah for the 2015 kids! I am lucky in that I have benefits from my former day job. This isn't easy, but I love it! Thanks for coming by!

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  2. I started publishing in 2015 too! I can't yet foresee a time when I won't have that full-time job to pay the bills. I can only imagine what a major shift it would be, and I think there is something in having limited time making you focus harder. I'm sure you'll work out a schedule that works for you though.

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    1. It was a great year! LOL!! Thanks, it's going to take some revamping, but it'll happen. Thanks for coming by!

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  3. I completely understand what you mean. When I first retired (regaining my own sanity and peace of mind), I tried to do too much. After all, I was used to 50-60 hours a week of work (home + kids+hospital hours +after work research,etc,etc). I have now learned to make my days more specific for goals that will 1)increase my life satisfaction and 2) have to be done. My daily to do list starts with "personal" as a category, so it doesn't get shoved to the bottom. And then, when I'm done with the most important personal "stuff," I move to the chores. It's still a work in progress, but I leave my days feeling less overwhelmed and more satisfied. I wish you luck in finding your balance.

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    1. It sounds like you have a good plan in progress! It's not easy, that's for sure. Thank you for coming by!

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  4. It's easy to push yourself every day and not give yourself time off when writing is all you are doing. Just don't forget why you began this journey in the first place - the love of writing.

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    1. Thank you, Alex! That is the point I think I need to focus on :). Thank you for coming by!

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  5. Valid points. I took a year off for health reasons and went back to college, but there was a time between college and finding a new job where I was on the job hunt where I got to spend much more time writing instead of fighting for it. I'm not sure I got more done during that time than when I'm super busy.

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    1. So true! It's harder when we don't have to fight. Thanks for coming by!

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  6. A lot of us (meaning IWSG'ers) have experienced the same thing. Retirement means the freedom to write whenever we want. Sounds great, right? But then we find so many other things to do. Being too hard on oneself? Or too easy? Alex is right. Remember why we got into this--the joy of writing.

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  7. Everybody is different. My to-do list may have more or less than yours, but I believe you can gauge if you are pushing too hard when you are going out of your mind with worry about getting everything done! The list is not written in blood. It should be flexible. Especially if you want to enjoy retirement time too. Best wishes.

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