The balance in life isn't always about time or taking away from other things. More important is the attitude you give to what time you have. Writing is rarely going to be the most important thing in your life. It can't be for people with jobs and family and all the commitments that go with them.
However, here is something odd I've noticed with a lot of writers: I see them say they are balancing life, work and writing, but they really aren't. They are shoving writing in to the last, dark little corner they can find and doing everything except write, even when they have a choice.
The point isn't how little time they spend with writing, because sometimes people do have far too much on their plates. The problem is the attitude they have towards the act of writing. It's not important enough to forgo an occasional television show even they think is inane. It's not important enough to them to make time.
Some people don't try to balance. They convince themselves writing is the least important thing in their lives and treat it as such. That's fine, if you really don't intend for writing to be more than an occasional pastime. But don't pretend to yourself it's anything else. I know people will an incredible amount of stuff going on in their lives who make what time they can and get words written when they're able and who take their work seriously.
Do some of you talk more about writing than you write? Blog more about it? Tweet, chat, etc. and discuss writing, but rarely get around to doing the work? Maybe some of you need to think about change.
No change of this type is easy, but sometimes a person has to make a little extra push if the writing really is important to them. The push is more in attitude of how you treat writing as part of your life, and not always in actually giving it much more, if any time.
Attitude is far more important than many people think when it comes to writing. If this isn't something you make important, that you treat as an honored part of your life, then how can you write your best?
But then we come to me. I'll be honest. Writing is so natural and so much a part of my life that I sometimes make things too easy to write. The good side of this is that when it comes to it, I still have material I can edit and make better, while those other people have nothing.
Oh yes, I often let 'real life' hang while I write that extra chapter, but I'm in a position where it's not going to matter if I don't get dinner on time or the dishes done until two in the morning.
I do have work, but it is of a sort that allows me to write around things sometimes. The harder I work on my paying job, the faster I can get it done and the more writing time I have. A person doesn't often get so lucky! The work work I do -- Forward Motion for Writers, Vision: A Resource for Writers, A Conspiracy of Authors -- are things I usually do for other writers. I enjoy doing those things, but I can let any of them slide or a day or so if I want.
If you want to get to read about nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Be sure to read tomorrow's post by Sharon Kemmerer