The Balancing Act

Dog in Glasses sleeping in BooksThis post is nine hours late. Here’s why.

I try to work on book #2 for four hours a day. Not a problem right? For most people that’s working part time. When I worked in Silicon Valley, where that would be considered barely 1/3 of a work day. But that’s just the writing part and I have to fight for it.

What no one tells you when you’re in writing classes and workshops, dreaming of your novel being published some day, is that the writing is only half the work. There’s the business of being a writer. I’ve said it before here at The Debutante Ball, writing is also a profession.

Being on the west coast is a little bit of a disadvantage for me. Many times I wake up ready to get going on my draft and my inbox is full of emails from people on the east coast (my publisher, my agent, my publicist, people running book festivals and other events I’ll be attending soon.) If I wait until I finish with my writing for the day, it’s the end of their day before they hear back from me. So I try to respond to those first before the writing begins.

So now we’re back to why this post is late. I got up yesterday at 6:00 a.m. and answered email, then took care of the pets, and got dressed. I wrote for an hour, then packed up a box of THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING for a book club who won my monthly giveaway. While all of this was going on, I did two loads of laundry. I had lunch with an editor friend of mine to talk business. I stopped to buy toilet paper, cleanser, and the special dog food that our dog (who is a breed prone to bloat) needs. Then I made it to the post office. By this time, I have two hours to kill before an appearance at a book club mixer at my local bookstore. I update my calendar with book club meetings and book festival events that got scheduled that day on a Google calendar my husband and I share so he can see which evenings I’m working or out of town.

Then, in the coffee house, I look at the time and I have one hour left before the mixer. It’s 6:00 p.m. I’m already exhausted. I look at my laptop in my bag, but I just can’t face it yet. I decided to take 15 minutes to read. And that’s what I did, only I read for a blessed hour. Then there was the book club mixer and a late dinner with my husband who just got back into town and then bed. And, yes, a forgotten post that didn’t get written.

So here I am in bed on Friday morning, Pacific time, writing my post. My cat and two dogs are all snoring. My husband is snoring. I wish I were snoring. I wish I new the answer to the writing-life balance. I don’t. I have a feeling it will always be hard. But I love living a writing life. And when you love something, you figure out how to make it work.

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Shelly is the author of THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING, story of love and books in Silicon Valley. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband, two big dogs, and a disapproving cat.

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Author: Shelly King

Shelly is the author of THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING, story of love and books in Silicon Valley. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband, two big dogs, and a disapproving cat.

One Reply to “The Balancing Act”

  1. Shelly did not mention that her elderly parents live with her and that they have company for a week. Poor lady, life is fun, hard, busy and she loves it. She did a good job on the above post when she was under so much stress.

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