Balancing Writing With Big Life Events

Kablam!

That was the sound of my life just exploding.

Don’t worry, it’s all positive.

Pffffffff….. that was the sound of all of my writing motivation and creative focus deflating in the midst of all of this life-changing distraction.

My family has recently decided to move interstate—from Brisbane to Perth, so it’s not only interstate but to the other side of the country, practically another planet. It’s a choice related to my husband’s work so one of those pressing grown up decisions that took months to make.

When we moved into our current place four years ago, it was meant to be the Forever Home. So, having to pack up again so soon after is a bit of a curve ball.

If you’ve moved house, without really expecting to, especially if it involved facing a whole new life on the other end, you’ll be familiar with what I’m feeling right now.

Besides the sight trepidation of what life will be like come January 2018, there’s just SO MUCH TO DO!

So much so, I can’t even think about creative writing right now.

It’s not the worst time for the motivation wheels to fall off for me; I’ve just finished Witch Blade, the next novel in my Guessing Tales series which is ready for my editor.

However, I was trying to work on a new short story yesterday (another in Guessing Tales Shorts) and found I just could not keep my mind in one place.

I could not write.

What’s more, I didn’t care.

balance writing life

I’ve written before about writing when life gets tough, and I’m really having to remember my own advice at this stage.

This is a little different, though. On one side, I don’t want to write at the moment, but on the other hand, I’m a writer who can’t not write.

So, how do we balance our writing when life gets in the way?

Here are a few ideas learned through my current experiences.

Prioritise

What’s taking over your attention is likely to be the thing that matters most at the moment. So focus on that first.

For me right now, that’s finding a new home for my family, coupled with choosing the best school for my kid.

Don’t Write

Some writers don’t have this option. There are agents and publishers and deadlines. I’m hugging my indie author lifestyle right now, where I get to make all of these decisions myself.

Sure, I can write around everything at the moment, but as soon as it starts to feel too pressured, I have to take a step back.

I could force out a story, but it wouldn’t be my best work. I am only interested in doing my best work.

Life can get in the way of writing. Even if your writing needs to pause it doesn't need to suffer.Click To Tweet

Other Writing Activities

That deep phase of first drafting and early editing is exhausting and requires so much more mental focus than what I have to offer right now.

So, I’m switching track to blogging (a form of expressive, creative writing that flows a bit more smoothly than fiction); marketing and tweaking my author business.

Keep Healthy

If I’m sick, tired or burnt out, I’m no use to anyone and can’t do much at all. Right now, I simply can’t afford to be out of action. My family needs me, and to be my best for them, I have to take care of myself first.

I always lead a fairly healthy lifestyle, but I tend to run at max power until exhaustion takes me down. That’s not an option right now, so it’s time to focus on practicing self-care; good food, moderate exercise, and as much sleep as I can manage.

Non-Writing Creativity

It’s essential to keep that creative pump primed no matter what stage of life you’re in.

I find myself seeking to get lost in TV and books a lot more these last few weeks, for obvious reasons. It’s a perfect opportunity to not only escape and relax for a few hours but top up the creative well too.

Remember The Most Important Thing…

This is temporary. Life changes all the time, often unexpectedly. And sometimes, that change needs a lot of work to see it through.

There’s a new life on the other side of change, a new life that will afford just as much opportunity for writing as the previous one. Those words will come again, those ideas will become something, those books will get written.

How do you balance you writing with major life events?

Kate Krake
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Kate Krake

Kate Krake writes speculative fiction and non-fiction. She is the author of the urban fantasy series Guessing Tales. Kate blogs about popular culture, health, wellness and creative writing. She lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband, daughter and two beagles. Find out more on www.katekrake.com.
Kate Krake
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2 Responses to “Balancing Writing With Big Life Events

  • Well that’s exciting news. Please look me up when you get here. Not on FB or Twitter any more but my NaNo profile’s still active (even thinking of participating again this year).

    • Kate Krake
      1 month ago

      Shayne!!! It’s been a long time. I thought you’d been quiet online for a while – explains it if you’re not there anymore.
      Are in in Perth now?
      Won’t be joining you in NaNo this year – I’ve tried to do it mid interstate move before (when I moved FROM WA before – swearing I’d never go back… ha!).

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