Life is a balancing act. Especially when you are an author. I have written a lot about my life-work balance in the past. I never felt it until I self-published my first book Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, a week ago.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a post from one of my favorite writing communities, FireFly Creative Writing, located in Toronto, Ontario. It’s a community and business that is built on words and people who are passionate about writing. Everything writing. It’s a business model that I hope one day to create. Even a fraction of what Chris Fraser, founder of FCW has created for the writing community.
The heading of the post for the Firefly community that caught my eye: Attention non-fiction writers who are balancing work and art, we have a beautiful opportunity for you.
I am a writer who is balancing work and art and yes I would love to know about this opportunity. I read the article and the Firefly Creative Resident Writer, Simone Makeba Dalton, was offering a mentorship, to read up to 20K of your non-fiction work, conversations, feedback and encouragement to the lucky recipients who were chosen for this program. I went as far as opening the application form, started to fill out the application. Then four weeks ago I was in full swing of my first journey of self-publishing my book. A whole another adventure that requires a lot of balancing of work, art and life.
As my indie-publishing journey began I thought about the Firefly application and thought more about how I deal with my full-time position at the hotel, maintain my loving committed relationship with my husband and writing any chance I can. I have to share how grateful I am for my life. My husband completely gets me when I’m in the writing zone. He gives me the time and space that I need to write. My hotel life provides me with time off (vacation time and days owed) when I really need to take an extra day off to write. And the writing takes care of itself when I’m settled on the page. I also meditate a lot to make space for what is needed to do what I love. I don’t allow my job to consume as I have in the past. I am a manager and I have big responsibilities, however, I know when I need to shut the door on my hotel life and open the doors and windows to my writing life. I have to write. If I don’t write then I am not doing what I am meant to be doing. That is not fair to me or the writing.
My work life balance is a work in progress. There is no secret recipe for how to fit everything I want or many need to do. There are tools to help me through the day. I just have to remember them. That is where my to-do lists help me, even if it for three things, but those three things are big and needed to get done. For example, last week, the day after I published my memoir, I had to set up my author pages for Amazon, GoodReads, and BookBub. Sounds like it shouldn’t take that much time. As a first time author you can’t set up your pages until your book is published, I get that, but having to wait to be approved felt like forever. It takes time to come up with the right descriptions, my bio, what picture to choose (this was when I decided to get head-shots done when all I have are selfie’s to use for my author picture – ouch!) Then a friend shared I had #1 New Release in Travel (I’ll take it, thank you) by Amazon and I should share that on social media, then I should follow up on… and then…. My to-do list started to grow within a blink of an eye and I felt overwhelmed. I mean I wanted to shut my laptop, walk away and hide under the covers for a few hours. There is no way I can hide now and nor do I want to. I am living my dream of being a published author.
Then on Tuesday (my “Monday”) I got up and went to work. I had to shift the focus of my writing life to go to the job that provides me with what is needed to excel in my writing life. There is no doubt that one hand helps the other. I am so very grateful.
Yes, I want to be writing more and I have scheduled the time to write. I will say no to social engagements to sit here in my writing room and get words on the page. No one else is going to write the next book for me. I have a lot more on my plate as an indie-published author and you know what? I am having fun learning and being part of a community filled with creative people, just like me. I have found my tribe.
Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…
My debut memoir, BEHIND THE KITCHEN DOORS, ~ THE SUMMERS, is available now both ebook and paperback. For more information on how I stumbled upon the hospitality life, please sign up for my NEWSLETTER ~ I’ll send you a little gift of gratitude for stopping by ~ Thank you.