July 09, 2010

The Time Juggler

We writers are masters of time. Or at least we should be. Whether we are a full time writer, a stay-at-home-mom writer, or a full time employer-night writer, our time is valuable and we have to manage it well or we won't get any stories written.

I work full time in a school office that is mentally draining, so I come home tired with the normal house chores to do. I don't always fit writing in because I don't have the right balance. I haven't learned to juggle all my responsibilities in a way that keeps a steady flow with no mishaps along the way.

A juggler is like a writer who has found the perfect time-balance to be productive in work, home life, and  writing. Here is why I think so,

  • FOCUS: A juggler must keep his eyes on the highest point in the ball pattern. When a ball gets near the zenith, he throws the next one. 
    • A writer must prioritize his life. Do the most important first, then move on to the next. A writer must focus his attention on the task at hand and not get distracted on the little things (ahem...facebook, twitter, the new book sitting by your bed)

  • BALANCE: A juggler must have good balance. He must rest secure in his position, being able to move back and forth with ease to make sure he catches each ball. He must make his throws consistent in order to keep the balls in the correct pattern. 
    • A writer must balance all his responsibilities in life. If he/she watched TV all day, that would be an unhealthy balance. If he/she scrubbed the house from top to bottom while ignoring his/her family, that would be an unhealthy balance (but oh-so-nice to have a clean house!). All things in moderation.

  • PRACTICE: A juggler must practice many hours in order to be proficient in his craft. He practices the balance and focus, and becomes proficient in his craft. 
    • Ah, so it is with the writer. He/she must continually focus on their goals and have balance in their goals. To focus too much on something other than writing lets your craft fall by the wayside. Spending all your time writing at the expense of all else will burn you out and could possibly create conflict with the other areas of your life.  
So we must become a time juggler in order to be balanced and focused and productive. Has anyone become proficient yet? Could you give me a few pointers? 


7 comments:

  1. LOVE this comparison! Hmmm. My daily page rate helps. Also, I'm a list person. LOVE ticking off the items. Isn't that weird?

    Have a great weekend! I'll be painting my daugher's aptmt!

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  2. btw, that was my "pointer" on becoming efficient, although it hasn't solved my issues 100% ... lol

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  3. Patti....NO, that is NOT weird! A list is a great way to prioritize and stay focused. Ticking them off also gives such a sense of accomplishment. :)

    Jaimie! Of course!!! How could I forget coffee for the productive, efficient writer? lol PERFECT!

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  4. What a great post! I'm nowhere near as proficient as I should be.

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  5. I haven't. Ach, but the balance is the hardest thing. And I think as long as we're wives and mothers and creatives, it'll be a catewampus juggle.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Sherrinda!

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  6. LOVE the picture, Sherrinda! And I agree, it's really a juggling act. Sometimes the writing ball is in the air and I have to focus more on that. Other times the kid's demands must come first. This summer, I'm trying to clean my house, but honestly, if any of the balls have to be dropped, it's going to be that one. If I can't clean all my windows or dust my ceilings, I'll survive! ;-)

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