The Word for 2015? Balance

thSo yesterday, I called Dhonielle all in a panic — after making her PROMISE not to beat me up — for a pep talk and a bit of the state of the union. That is, my union with writing. As you may know by now, I tend to be a Master Procrastinator. That means, in November, after Book Two officially kicked my ass, instead of going hardcore on my WIP like I had sworn to do, I let myself slide. Big time. I guess, mentally, I needed the break. But it sure put a dent in my timeline. So I called D threatening to pull out another work-in-progress and wrapping it up, just so I could finish something. (And let’s be honest: put off having to take on more freelance.)

She talked me down — as I knew she would — because a) we’re got revisions due Feb. 15, so with what time would I be able to tackle said WIP? And b) I had other, bigger goals for this year — including the WIP abandoned in November. Didn’t I want to really focus on those goals? Plus, if I tried to add that project to already crazy schedule, I’d be drowning.

And let’s face it: I already kind of feel like I’m drowning. I have a lot on my plate workwise, and even with the baby in daycare, life-wise things are HECTIC to the hilt. Who knew two kids were like eight times the work? (Why doesn’t someone warn you about this?)

All of this is my long, meandery way of saying this: 2015 is all about balance. It’s something D and I have been talking about for months as business partners. Running our own company — and I do think most writers, if they’re practical about it, are doing just that too — we tend to be on 24/7, trying to hustle and get this never-ending to-do-list (held on the magical Wunderlist APP — a must-have!) down to a manageable scale. But the work will always be there. First steps and first teeth? Not so much. So this year, D reminded me to make a concerted effort maybe not work so much on evenings and weekends — the Second Shift, as it were. And while I sometimes (usually) have a hard time sticking to that idea, it’s a good one. Because sometimes you really do want to cuddle up in the big bed with the littles and the husband and read Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (or Harry Potter in Spanish). And in the grand scheme of things, that could be even more important than eeking out an extra 500 words at midnight.

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An entertainment and lifestyle journalist published by The New York Times, People, ABC News, MSN, Cosmopolitan and other major national media, SONA CHARAIPOTRA currently curates a kickass column on YA books and teen culture for Parade.com. A collector of presumably useless degrees, she double-majored in journalism and American Studies at Rutgers before getting her masters in screenwriting from New York University (where her thesis project was developed for the screen by MTV Films) and her MFA from the New School. When she's not hanging out with her writer husband and two chatter-boxy kids, she can be found poking plot holes in teen shows like Twisted and Vampire Diaries. But call it research: Sona is the co-founder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book development company with a decidedly diverse bent. Her debut, the YA dance drama Tiny Pretty Things (co-written with Dhonielle Clayton), is due May 26 from HarperTeen. Find her on the web at SonaCharaipotra.com or CAKELiterary.com.

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This article has 3 Comments

  1. YES! Spend more time with your family. I always think about that when I’m deciding between work and kids. The deciding factor is which will I regret not doing more on my death bed. Then it’s kind of a no brainer.

  2. Now that I’m past the frenzy of the first book year, I’d really like to re-balance my life. No kiddos, but the time does tend to drain away on its own. And all I have is the second shift, unfortunately. The first shift pays the bills. Good luck!

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