Living/Writing Balance

I sing in a choir.

I would have more time to sing and practice music if I didn’t spend so much time writing. Or vice versa. And if I didn’t spend so much time reading, I would have more time to write. And so on.

I don’t want to give up any one of those things. I don’t think I can. I did go without a choral group for a year–between the end of graduate school and when I auditioned for my current group–and I didn’t like it at all. I could feel something was missing, and it made me tense. As for reading, I never stop reading. Not ever. Reading is the foundation of everything.

I stop putting words on paper or into the computer for periods of time, sometimes long periods of time, but I don’t think I actually stop writing very often. The stories are still composting in the dirt of my backbrain, and little tendrils curl up out of the dirt now and then.

I poke things into the dirt: events from daily life, joy from singing, information from the books I’ve read. If I don’t do those things, I don’t write nearly as well. I need more patience than I have. I need to feel less pressured to produceproduceproduce wordswordswords when I’m in that in-between stage, the fertilizing stage. When I start a big writing project, then I shift over to harvest time, to get all the crops in quickly before they rot.

I’m going to stop before my metaphor bursts and gets pollen over everything!

Related posts:

Zero drafting.

How To Write a Novel in 72 Easy Steps.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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7 Responses to Living/Writing Balance

  1. Sela Carsen says:

    I used to act, but gave it up because it's such a big time commitment over the course of a show. I miss it a lot, though. I happened to be in a theatre for something else recently and that smell…it got to me. Still, I can't balance my life even without acting, so throwing another thing into the mix, no matter how much I want to do it, just isn't feasible. *sigh* I need a clone — preferably one who likes housekeeping.

  2. Victoria Janssen says:

    Housekeeping? What is this "housekeeping" of which you speak?

  3. T.L. Kenworth says:

    I hear you Victoria!! Housekeeping is the last chore on my list of things to do. Lol. I think the key is to be passionate about what we do, do. That's what helps us follow through, in life, in writing, with the family.

  4. Jeannie Lin says:

    I'm a big proponent of feeding your brain with non-writerly activities. It's hard to stay inspired when your butt is in a chair all day!

  5. December says:

    Its hard to find the time to balance things out, I agree.

  6. Pen says:

    Sounds like something I'd post – always juggling, and some part of me is always neglected. This is probably how the myth about women being better at "multi-tasking" got started. I think when God made us, he gave us a variety of interests, gifts, and the drive to grow in all of them. Although we don't have one second more in our day than men do, we expect to magically and efficiently do 10 things at once while they focus on one, maybe two! At the right time, you'll accomplish everything you're destined to accomplish. Don't let past or future goals and expectations steal from the present. Enjoy the process, and celebrate each and every accomplishment, no matter how small. I'm preachin' to myself.

  7. Victoria Janssen says:

    The new thing is that I'm also juggling going to the gym. We'll see how that works out.

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