IWSG 94: The So-So Delicate Writing Balance


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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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co-hosts

Kim Elliott | Melissa Maygrove | Chemist Ken | Lee Lowery | Nancy Gideon

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION:

It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

First and most importantly:

Let The Fourth Be With You! Star Wars Fans.

Back to the post:

The times—good or bad—of my life differ greatly from my writing life.

The Good Writing Times

I’ve lived with depression since the beginning of this century. Worked my way through the spectrum from profound to occasional waves. The quote below captures my life today.

“… when the rain comes, it rains, but it doesn’t stay. It doesn’t stay long enough to immerse me and drown me anymore.” Jim Carrey on NME

Deep depression led to hours, and hours of writing, so good writing times.

Shorts were published. As was a novel until the publisher bit it.

The Crappy Writing Times:

My crappy writing times came in waves between depression and feeling okay. This bumping back and forth left me empty. No source material, I’m guessing. I could manage a short story when the mood hit, and the stars aligned. Like lightning strikes, I never knew when or where.

I learned to hang on to those strikes and stretch them out into writing a short. 3k when I was lucky.

These shorts gave me hope, and my everyday life was good—mostly.

The So-So Delicate Writing Times

My life is manageable now. My writing life—so-so. I’m out of practice. *sigh*

But I meet most of my daily goals and—like I wrote in last month’s post—I’m writing every day. Getting my long project done. I hit the halfway point just the other day.

Very excited about that.

I’ve finally found that so-so delicate balance I’ve been fighting for.

Now, a question for you

It’s nothing personal.  🙂

How do you hang on to your balance between writing and everyday life?

50 responses to “IWSG 94: The So-So Delicate Writing Balance

  1. It can be a struggle when you suffer with depression. I’m glad your writing has helped you through your hard times and that you’re meeting your goals now. And it’s good that you’re not feeling like you’re drowning in depression. When I feel bad now, I realize that it’s a passing moment and soon I’ll feel better. It helps getting through the hard times.

  2. Hi,
    Most of the time being out of balance means I’ve been caught on my blindside. I didn’t see it coming. Yet, I have to deal with it. I find myself praying by writing in my journal to look at the issue or issues and get heavenly enlightenment.
    Have a lovely month.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  3. Living with depression is a delicate balance, one I’ve been living with for decades. It’s a tricky line to walk but I don’t find I’m able to write at all when deeply depressed, but fortunately get a massive creative surge once a dark patch is behind me. I’m yet to achieve a good regular fiction routine, but I do write most days now – if only blog posts.

  4. Oh & I should have said, visiting today from
    Fiction Can Be Fun

  5. Dealing with depression is such a challenge. Sending hugs your way.
    That balance between writing/life is also a challenge. When my kids were at home, I always waited until everyone was in bed, now they’re grown and moved out and I have a lot more time for the words 🙂

  6. spunkonastick

    Hitting the halfway mark is good.

    When I’m not drowning in DLP duties, I can write. So, it’s not very balanced.

  7. You should be proud of hitting that halfway mark. Good for you!

    And I am the last person to give advice about balancing anything. 🙂

  8. melissamaygrove

    Balancing my writing life with my day job isn’t easy, but now that I’m settled in my forever home and have an almost-empty nest, it’s getting easier. The next goal is early retirement. Wish me luck! LOL

  9. Excellent post! Knowing my writing time would be battered by interruptions this past month (medical stuff & family visits), I made myself a promise: every day I would open my WIP and add to it. And I have–some days adding a thousand words, some days adding 30. As long as the story’s bubbling along in the back of my brain, I count that as a win. I wish you happy writing in May.

  10. Balance is everything in life. Congrats on finding yours. Now your task is to hold on to it.

  11. Depression is a beast that lies to us. I’m glad you’ve found some balance, delicate though it may be. My answer to keeping balance is always wine.🍷🤣

  12. mlouisebarbourfundyblue

    My balance between writing and everyday life is terrible, Anna! I tend to binge on one or the other. Terry came upstairs about 7:30 last night wondering what happened to dinner. Oops! He saw I was in post writing mania for the IWSG, so he threw together sandwiches out of some leftover Swiss steak. I was typing and cramming the sandwich into my mouth. And that’s just a post! lol

    I sympathize with you about the impact that depression has on your life. I’ve dealt with it for sixty years at least. In the end it was medication that helped me level out the manic and depressed episodes. I loved the mania because I felt like Superwoman, but the profound depths and suicidal urges always followed. I appreciate being on an even keel most of the time, even if it takes drugs to keep me there. I think the best we can do is manage depression. I am truly glad that you are at that point. Wishing you fulfilling episodes of writing!

  13. I definitely still struggle to find and keep that balance. Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, life throws me a curve ball. But, I adjust, and move towards balance again eventually.

  14. Well, I usually have a fixed time for writing. It’s mostly the first thing I do in the morning. On days when I can’t, I sit for an hour or more after lunch. I don’t spend more than an hour or two on writing everyday but that doesn’t include the planning/plotting. That’s just the serious writing. I also join writing groups who get together twice or thrice a week and write for a stipulated time. All this helps.

  15. Congratulations on hitting the halfway mark with your project.
    I don’t know if there’s balance between my life and my writing life. It’s a lot like walking a tightrope, my arms are always akimbo and I’m leaning either this way or that. Sometimes I fall off too.

  16. Wow, what a big journey you have been on, Anna. I’m glad to hear your life is more manageable and congratulations on reaching the halfway point with your book. Huzzah! I think striking the balance between one’s writing and daily life is one of the hardest things to achieve.

  17. I have no idea how to do “balance” either. I always swing too far one way or the other. Let me know if you figure it out.

  18. Congrats on reaching the halfway point! I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to try to stay on an even keel while dealing with depression. My daily life and writing life have never been in balance. There are just too many things in my daily life that take precedence. Maybe someday I’ll have more time to write, but for now, I take what moments I can get and keep plugging. And as a Star Wars fan forever – May the Fourth be with you, as well.

  19. Steven Arellano Rose

    It’s good that you keep writing even through the hard times which is what a real writer does. The best way I can answer the question you left us with at the end is that I write my fiction in the early mornings before going off to my day job, my non- fiction and work in the marketing and promotion of my work in the evenings. Then on Saturday I focus on my blog. Sundays if I’m burned out then I’ll rest by sleeping in, reading and maybe work for a half hour on my fiction if not then I’ll write a journal entry at the very least. But I make sure I write something every day no matter insignificant it may seem.

  20. Steven Arellano Rose

    Oh yes! And May the Fourth be with you too!

  21. Finding that balance is necessary for all of life, but especially for writers who depend the muse to create the words. Hopefully you can maintain that balance for the rest of the year.

  22. All the best to you finding that balance emaginette. That fulcrum we teeter upon is an exceedingly difficult balancing act, and seldom truly accomplished. Life, by its very nature is so dynamic I find the “tightrope of time” a very unsteady one to balance upon. My biggest roadblock to writing was not being able to say NO to people who viewed me as their go-to resource, just wanted to talk, or were truly in need of physical assistance. I became depressed, exhausted, and angry. Not long ago, I acknowledged my own needs. I’ve now established two DND time-zones. No FB. No TV. No Audible. No doorbell. I tuck my phone out of earshot, while I dive into a WIP in the morning and editing another after dinner. It’s working so far, touch wood.

  23. It’s great that you’re meeting your writing goals! That’s really all we can do, the best we can. Of course, I am constantly trying to find that right balance with real life and writing life.

  24. Loni Townsend

    I’m glad you’ve found your balance. That’s amazing to hear. I only manage my balance by getting up early to write. If I sleep in or my son gets up too early, I don’t get my writing time in and then I’m frazzled and frustrated all day. So I try to get to bed by 9 PM, so I can get up at 5:15 and have some time for myself.

    Sorry for taking so long to visit for IWSG!

    • No worries, happy you found the time. 😉

      No children underfoot at my place, however, I do remember a time when I went through the same thing. They grow up so fast. 🙂

  25. It is difficult to strike the right balance between work, life and writing. Like you, I’ve suffered from depression, and writing was my way of managing the ebbs and flows. I set a time frame for writing after work and time for family, not easy but it works for me. I am glad to see you are managing and have found a way to balance life and writing.

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