It happens to every writer, a life event of some form or another. Some are joyous like weddings, babies, new puppy, new home, etc. And of course, there are those that are not; death, illness, injury and job loss.
There are also Life Events that don’t fit into either category but cause chaos. I’ll give you an example.
In 2014 I was part of a team that helped implement a new software throughout my company. It involved training, travel and late nights. This proved to be a wreckage on my writing habits, which were modest at best, and I can’t say I’ve fully recovered.
About this time my family dynamic had changed as well. I went from a mom of two at my peak of productivity to an empty nester.
I thought both events would be advantageous to my writing. I’d have all this time alone while traveling for my job to write. I didn’t factor in the pure exhaustion I would feel when I hit the hotel room and how appealing a bed would be.
I thought once my children moved away I would have the weekends and really add to my productivity. I didn’t factor in how much I would miss them or how their homework and sleep habits played into my writing time.
Life events have an impact on our writing because they affect us either emotionally, physically or both. And often create a rather large writing block for us.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are suffering from a mental illness or trauma, please seek professional help. As someone who has loved ones with SAD and PTSD, these life-altering events should not be taken lightly. They require sensitivity and care, and left untreated they can have devastating effects.
Because of my experience, I look for ways to achieve work/write/life balance. I do this by setting goals. Not just around writing but around my life too. Granted I make more allowances for life because its mine and I can. 🙂
Here are some:
- Writing – Minimum writing of 200 words a day. Mostly because I find once I start writing I usually go to 500 or 1000. But at a minimum, I do 200. This is 200 on anything including this blog. 🙂
- Sleeping – Sleep at least 8 hours a night. Sometimes this means going to bed early, or sleeping in on the weekends, but I try and stick to this as a goal. I find I’m well rested and generally feel better.
- Bum Day – Because I have a day job still, I find Sundays the best day to do this. I stay in sweats all day and generally watch movies or read. Then I feel more like I had time off.
- Date Night – My husband and I try and go out one night a week. Middle of the week works best, but last week we did a play on Saturday, so that was nice. It’s not always so formal. Sometimes its Pizza and TV or a campfire and s’mores. Sometimes we count breakfast after a trip to the Gym, mostly to sit and talk. Reconnect in a way that is important to us.
- Reading – I actually still read romance fiction. I think reading is like filling the creative well, and generally, I prefer a good book over a good TV show. I’ve just started Books on Tape for my commute and I really love that.
- Learn new things – I’ve got a passion to sew my own clothes though I haven’t done it in years, so I bought a book to relearn the skill.
These are just a few suggestions and what works for me right now in my current life. If I have a life event that changes things, I’ll reevaluate what will work then.