Posted by: Kerry Gans | October 13, 2011

A New Paradigm (Again)

I have talked often of finding a balance between my writing and my life. I have told of new ideas, new routines I’ve made to find that balance, only to share the frustration that comes with life’s interference with those plans.

But I have a new plan.

Seriously.

I’ve been doing the catch-as-catch-can thing for about 2 years now. Coincidentally, that is about how old my daughter is. And I am here to tell you that putting out fires for 2 years is exhausting and spiritually unfulfilling. Certainly I have enjoyed much of what has gone on in the past two years, but the harried, never-get-to-quite-focus mentality has left me feeling both incompetent and fractured. So I sat down to reassess everything.

I found that the greatest issue fueling my frustration was not being able to move all facets of my life forward at once.

I consider that I have 4 major facets in my life: Baby, Husband, Household, and Writing. Baby moves on her own rocket trajectory and moves ahead at warp speed. I try to stuff the other three facets into whatever time and energy I have left over. I found that one always outweighed the other two. When I focused on Writing, the Household and Husband suffered neglect. When I caught up on Household, Writing and Husband stagnated. When I actually pay attention to my long-suffering Husband, very little Writing or Household gets accomplished.

So I always ended up playing catch-up with 2 facets, frustrated that they had slipped in the first place, and then returning to the putting-out-fires method of living. This is not conducive to writing, at least not for me. I need at least an hour to really write. Editing I can do in smaller chunks, but for writing I need time.

My new plan? Move everything forward at once. Set tiny daily goals in each area and meet or exceed them. If I feel like I nothing is stagnating, perhaps I won’t feel the intense pressure of everything I’m NOT doing while I am trying to concentrate on what I AM doing.

It helps that I can now do more things when baby girl is awake. She’s old enough now to want to help or to entertain herself for a while. I can actually do housework, make (short) phone calls, and do email and social media when she is awake. That helps immensely. If I can move most of the Household and some of the Writing into the daytime hours, that will leave her nap and the nighttime for me to have some concentrated Writing time (and time with Husband, too, when he is not working crazy night shift hours!).

Circumstances keep changing, especially as my baby girl keeps changing. So it is smart to sit back once and a while and see what’s holding me back and how I can adjust things to overcome that. I’m hoping that by pinpointing my largest frustration, I can now make a plan that will be successful.

How about you? Do you re-evaluate your writing routine every so often to see if it can be improved? Or have you found a writing design that works for you?

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Responses

  1. As a musician, I too faced these time constraints when our guys were young. Many of my colleagues advised that I hire some cleaning help. This was tremendous idea as my busiest times were around the holidays and I was expected to host my in laws during those times (!!!!). Your idea about taking small steps is a good one, too. My career was fashioned around small church jobs ( when hubby could watch the young one, than ones) and private teaching when they got older. If you could get help with the cleaning, you would have more energy for baby girl and your projects.

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  2. Way to go! I have been struggling as well. My main issue is I work full time which does not allow for a flexible schedule. I have been making small goals too and it is working great.

    Another thing that helps me is to do little things when I come across them. Like the other day I had a hamper full of clean clothes that needed to be hung up. Old me would hace said – I need yo do that… tomorrow. New me hung them up. Bam. Done. It was a great feeling.

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  3. I feel like everyday is a juggling act. Small goals sound like a great idea.

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  4. I constantly struggle with the same things! Good luck!

    Like


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