Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Writing the Balancing Act

When I decided to dedicate a good piece of my time to writing, it was both a hope and a commitment. It was the hope that I could do justice to the art, to write the way I want and to tell the stories I like, both fiction and non-fiction. It was a commitment to both learn the craft and carve out the necessary hours and days to complete a given task, whether the next 1000 words, the next chapter, or a whole book. Writing novels and books are not sprints but marathons. And at the end of the day did I do justice to the time or did I find distractions or did they find me?

My writing is intermingled with the daily need to run a professional planning office. I’m in early and try to get two good hours of writing done before the phone starts its dance. For the last three years it was somewhat easier, due to this delightful economy we are enjoying, many whole days were devoted to writing, cover art, interior artwork (for my latest novel out this fall), and the hope of building a publishing company around the pages wrought. I once talked to successful author and we both agreed the 3000 word days are the best.

But now the pressure of work, new projects, concept plans and studies is testing my time management skills. The two hours, some days, don’t exist. The book notes posted in the project's  journal have to be reviewed to keep the thread fresh; it takes longer to jump back into the story, but it does come back, and then it’s harder to step away. I am more greedy about my time.

My work is graphics and artwork, planning studies and Photoshop, sketches and InDesign. It’s also staff issues, schedules, city council meetings, budgets, salaries, and due dates. It’s editors, publishing, printing, book orders, and ebooks. It’s two blogs. It’s thinking of professional meetings and writers workshops and conferences all at the same time.

It’s about my wife and family, and it’s about my new family: Howie Smith, Sharon O’Mara, Kevin Bryan, and of course, Basil.

I love it!

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