Writing Life CPR: 3 Tricks For Balancing Your Writing And Everything Else

by Jennifer Blanchard

Woman balancing books on her head

Being a writer can be a tough job. Not only do you have to sit down and figure out how to put words on the page, you also have to figure out how to do that and still maintain your family life and personal life and work life, etc.

But there are ways to balance both being a writer and everything else. Here are three tricks:

1. Have A Space You Can Call Your Own–If you’re going to be a writer, you’ll need the space to do it in. A space where you can write distraction-free. So find a place to call your own, whether that’s at home or at the coffee shop down the street.

2. Take Digital Down Time–All day long we’re in our own personal digital world, with our cell phones, televisions and other digital devices. But if you’re going to get any writing done, you need to step away from the digital world for a little while. You can do that by:

  • Shutting off your Internet connection (not forever, just while you’re writing).
  • Let all calls go to voice mail. If you think you’ll be tempted to answer or to respond to text messages, leave your phone in the other room.
  • Use TV as a reward for after you finish your writing session.

3. Learn to Say “No”–Yes, it can be very, very difficult to say “no” and turn people down. But if you’re going to be a writer, you need to learn that sacrifices must be made (for example, I wanted to go to band practice with my boyfriend tonight, but I knew I had to write this post, so I said “no” to practice and stayed home).

This is not to say you have to say “no” to everything. You just need to learn that taking on too much can stop you from writing. So it’s important to have a balance.

Here’s what I do:  On Mondays and Wednesdays when my boyfriend is at band practice I schedule writing time. I have the entire house to myself for half a night so it’s the perfect time to get writing done.

Having a set writing time each week will help you focus on the writing you want to get done and it will give you plenty of time for everything else you want to do.

How do you balance your writing with everything else?

Today’s Challenge: Determine where in your life you need balance, then make a list of steps you can take to have more balance in that area.

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is the founder of Procrastinating Writers. She is co-founder of the Better Writing Habits challenge.

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  • Well being an English major I’m pretty much writing all the time so i don’t necessarily need a set writing time but I do find that I barely have time to work out my personal projects. So I can work on that but even my college work ends up being a personal project so it works out for the best

    • Anonymous

      One thing I did when I was in college was took Creative Writing classes as often as I could so I would be forced to work on my fiction. Made a big difference for me.

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  • Anonymous

    That’s the way to do it! Just pick an amount of hours (in your case 3) and set the time aside when you have it. That’s the best way.

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