Balancing It All and Learning to Say No



I think it's pretty safe to say that all of us struggle with the issue of balance from time to time (or in my case, all the time!) For the majority of us, writing isn't our primary job. We have day jobs out in the world or we have kiddos to take care of at home--or both (to those of you who are working full-time, writing, and being mommy or daddy at night--I bow down to you in true Wayne's World I'm-not-worthy style.)


Then on top of those jobs, we have husband and wives we want to spend time with, a house that needs to be cleaned, meals to cook, errands to run. Add in blogging and facebook and twitter and crit groups and beta reading and conferences and networking and running contest/blogfests and reading other people's post. Well, it can get overwhelming.

For the past year, I've tried to manage it all. I've blogged five days a week, wrote and edited two books, beta read for more people than I can count, been an active member of a crit group, and did all my mommy/wife/human being stuff. Well, okay, my house isn't all that clean and my husband has had to turn his socks inside out to wear them a second time on occasion.  But I've done a decent job.

However, now the stakes have been raised a bit. Having an agent has given me a new sense of urgency and purpose with my writing. I have a tentative deadline on when my rewrites would ideally be done so that I can go on submission sooner rather than later. So I'm working against a clock for the first time with my writing--something I'll hopefully being doing a lot of in the future. :) And that means a few other things have to give.

So I'm having to learn the value of saying "no". I'm a Southern girl--I was raised to always be welcoming, friendly, and helpful. If someone asks you for a favor, you do your best to help them out. Which has meant that anytime someone e-mails me and asks me if I can help them out with something, I say yes.

I want to help. I like helping. When one of you nice people emailed me recently asking for a critique, and I had to say no because I just had too much going on, I felt terrible. But saying yes all the time to others means saying "no" to my own writing, family time, or the other the things I need to do. Therefore, I'm going to have strike a balance and learn how to say no sometimes.

I also have decided to adjust my blogging schedule for a while. Anne R. Allen blogged yesterday about this topic and about "slow-blogging". I'm not moving to slow blogging--I love to blog too much--but I am going to cut back to three days a week for a while. So, expect posts from me M-W-F each week while I tackle these revisions.

So, what about you:? How do you find a balance? Do you have trouble saying no? What balls drop first when you're trying to juggle it all?


**Today's Theme Song**
"All the Small Things" - Blink-182
(player in sidebar, take a listen)