A Writer's Life Needs Balance

(reprint of article from 2011)

As I mentioned, writing is something I must do.  I'm writing all the time.  When I'm out and about, I'm gathering information from what I'm doing and often thinking, "How could I write an article on this?"  Or, while working in the garden, around the house, or walking the dog, I find myself writing in my mind.  When I read something online, I want to write my own version, or summarize it, or go off in a new direction from an idea sparked. 

Author Judith Couchman has a quote in her book Designing a Woman's Life, "Many competent women have a difficult time distinguishing between passion and workaholism."  She points out that a passion feeds you while addictiveness devours you. A passion brings out a fuller, happier person while, addiction leads to discontentment and isolation.  She also hints that our passion can interfere with our spirituality when we put it ahead of God and nurture of our spiritual being.

When you become a writer, it's hard to shut the thoughts off when they seem to be flowing from fingertip to screen so well.   I've known dinners to burn because of spending time writing in between cooking.

I've spent way to many nights writing into the wee hours of the morning.  It's hard to say goodbye to imaginary characters or audience for the night.  It's hard to resist sitting at the computer upon rising to do more writing.  

When you become a freelance writer working from home, you need to get the work out or you'll have no income.  The more you write, the more you will sell and the more income you'll make.  It's easy, then, to become tied to your computer.

When you write at home, it's easy to become isolated.  And, as with any passion, it's easy to one day hate your passion for it's inability to give back and meet your other needs.  In other words, made an addiction, it can rob and cheat you.

So the remedy?  Writers must force themselves to build balance into their lives.  They must say no the the computer keyboard.  They must go and visit with their family members.  They must get fresh air and exercise.  They must be more than their writing if they want a balanced life.

How is your balance?

  

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