For the vast majority of writers out there, we struggle with balancing our lives with our writing. Writing can be an obsession, or at least it has been with me in the past. I recall in college being late on more than one assignment because instead of working on homework that night, I wrote a short story.
But now I’m finding myself in a different struggle: trying to get writing in around my increasingly busy life. Woh, I think I just heard a dozen people say “then you aren’t truly passionate about writing.” Anyone who’s known me for more than ten minutes knows that’s not the case.
I didn’t even realize it until today, but writing is so much a part of me now that when I go too long without writing something, I get a little bit cranky and irritable, but more than that, I get really distant. I retreat into my own head, and get distracted very easily. Hey look, a squirrel…
What was I saying? Oh yeah.
Unfortunately things have kind of come together all at once in my life, so when I finally decide to self-publish, things in my personal life will also be super busy. I’ve wanted to get more involved in the blogging community, I still do, but it feels like I never have time to do so, and any time I spend blogging is time spent away from writing.
Yet when I first started this blog, I absolutely fell in love with the community I found. I really enjoyed reading other people’s blog, commenting on their articles, chatting back and forth with them. I’d spend at least a couple hours a day doing so, and all of other writers out there were supportive and kind and really interesting people to chat with.
Then I moved, and changed jobs, and things just went super crazy for a while. I went 3 months without writing a blog article, and I fell out of contact with all of those amazing people.
At the end of December I picked up writing in my blog again, but I feel like I haven’t been able to give you all the attention I want to. I still try to follow my favorite blogs from before, such as Ivy Mosquito, who’s incredible energy is infused in every word of her blog. Or Forgotten Meadows, a blog with some of the most incredible poetry I’ve ever read. And “Coffee. Write. Repeat” a blog name after my own heart, heheh, and a talented up and coming writer.
I want to keep up with them, have those discussions in their comments, and more. I get so frustrated that I can’t, because there are so many great people out there to communicate with! And I’ve learned that being a part of that community is an important part of writing. Writers look out for each other, they help and advise each other, and encourage each other.
Career vs. Writing
Last summer I set out with the goal of being able to live off of writing within 2 years. About 9 months later, I’m not much closer to that goal, so a part of me wants to be disheartened. But I have continued to work, as much as time allows, towards that goal, and I’ve made good progress. I don’t feel disheartened at all, because regardless of whether or not I make it happen, the journey has been worth it. What I’ve learned about the industry, how much I’ve improved my writing and editing skills, and the people I’ve connected with, both online and in person.
However, I do realize and acknowledge that I may not make it to that goal. So that is why I continue to make my current career a priority as well. I’m an IT Engineer, and that means I need to constantly keep up with the latest technology, operating systems, and software.
That further takes away from my time to write stories and keep up with blogs. I’ve found it has become a huge balancing act, balancing my career, my life, and my writing.
In a way, I wish I could just drop the career aspect and make writing my full career, but that is just not something I can do…yet. But there is nothing wrong with that, and that is a realization I’ve only recently had and want to share with everyone: do what you can. Don’t expect to be able to do more, but don’t settle for less.
That realization came thanks to a friend’s recent article about pursuing dreams (Read the article by clicking here, she’s quite brilliant and makes some very excellent points!) So many people have dreams, but then never do anything about it.
So the best advice I can give anyone and everyone: pursue your dreams, but always have a backup in place. Not in anticipation of failure, but to help overcome set backs.
And those setbacks? Think of them as obstacles to overcome. Don’t let them kill your dreams. Keep going. Even if it means your dream takes years longer to realize than you want. Because if it is a worthy dream, it’ll be worth the wait, and worth the effort.
“Dreams Begin Responsibilities.”
Thanks for reading!