Monday, July 6, 2009


I tried to write this post late at night. The operative word here is, "tried." For me late-night writing is akin to making a perfect omelet blindfolded. It doesn't happen.

With that said, I'll get to my real post. Ha! And you thought this was about the best time to write. Nope.

I've noticed there are a lot of posts around the Net about balance. In fact, I wrote one awhile back. As I've mulled over this concept, it occurred to me that no matter how hard we try to keep things steady something will send the pendulum of our lives to the extreme.

You go to a conference, and (gasp) an agent wants a full proposal. The agent accepts your gem, and finds a taker. Now, things really get crazy. Why is your life off kilter? The big, bad learning curve has swung the pendulum to the extreme.

You eat, sleep, dream, and wander around blathering about POV's, marketing strategies, editorial boards, and release dates. Until you master the process and finish the tasks, balance is a distant memory.

Whether pre-published or published, there will be occasions when you're in that mode. Just like busy times at work or when all 3 kiddos have a championship game scheduled on the same day, your writing life will occasionally demand a chunk of your attention.

So, don't panic and think you've totally left your family and friends in the dust. Explain the situation and get through it. Things will calm down, and the pendulum will swing back to a more normal rhythm.


Jody Hedlund said...

Thank you so much for this post, Susan. Over the past couple of months, the pendulum has swung wide a couple of times. I always feel guilty when I have to devote a surge of time and energy to my writing during those times. But you are so right, the pendulum does swing back! I'm grateful that my husband understands and is willing to pick up some of the house duties during those times. My kids are still adjusting to my work load when the pendulum swings, but they're pretty flexible too.

Jessica Nelson said...


Now you've balanced out my balance issues. LOL! Great perspective, as usual.
I think with balance, it's just giving to different things the weight/attention they need. Some things need less at a given time. Does that make sense?

I hope your Monday is turning out well. :-)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Good advice! And a great reminder, especially to writers, that we all deal with this at one point or another. I, too, wrote a post on balance not too far back in the midst of chaos :D Well, it wasn't that bad, but it did make me reminisce over those days where it actually felt like I had some kind of routine. Even though writing chaos is a challenge, it's still sort of exciting. To me, it feels like progress, it makes me feel like writing is a career, a real job.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Susan, you are so right! There are always extremes and I think sometimes we just have to find the peace while that pendulum swings back and forth!

Great post!!!

Karen Lange said...

Good reminder, Susan! Things always seem to level off, but the ride in between can be interesting:)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

When I'm in the middle of an extra busy time, I tend to forget it's not a permanent situation. Keeping that simple truth in front of us can give us the strength to persevere.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sherrinda -

Thanks.:) I think if we recognize this fact it's easier to accept the crazy times and move through them with joy.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cindy -

I went to Bible School as an adult. It was fun living in a dorm, making new friends, and unpacking all my stuff.

Then school began in earnest. One of my teachers thought I had nothing else to do but his papers. Staying on top of deadlines and getting things done eased the stress some, but it was tough.

When I look back, it's hard to remember the insane schedule. I can't say that I miss it, but it was a year of many blessings.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

"I think with balance, it's just giving to different things the weight/attention they need."

Great comment! You condensed my post into one sentence. Talk about editing!

We tend to think everything must always have an equal amount of time and attention. Yet, real life teaches us otherwise.

I'm finally catching on that I need to go with the ebb and flow of life, and trust the Lord to keep the waves from overwhelming me.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jody -

Although I haven't experienced the wild ride a contract brings, your posts have shown the realities of the writer's life.

Think of all the lessons your family is learning: patience, supporting others, the rewards of hard work as they see you succeed. Your kids are also watching the example of your husband as he supports your pursuits.

May the Lord give you strength, peace, and wisdom.

Susan :)

Terri Tiffany said...

I love your advice best. Stuff will just happen when we get so busy and it is that way with any job!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Thanks. This whole time management thing can take on a life of its own. LOL!

Susan :)

Nancy said...

If I ever get that far, I'm pretty sure that I will be able to handle it and I know my family would understand. They'd be very excited that I am actually "doing something." At least that's what I think they would think.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

God gives us the grace to handle the situations of life, including times where it's extra busy.

I'm sure your positive, upbeat attitude will go a long way in helping you along the writing journey.

Susan :)

Gina Conroy said...

The more I try to balance things, the more I think it's impossible! And I've written a post or two on the subject as well!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Gina -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I'm learning (though I forget way too often) to be flexible and prayerful about daily tasks. When the Holy Spirit brings something to mind, I try to respond immediately. If I don't, I usually find myself in a time crunch.

Susan :)

Leslie said...

I've been questioning this a lot lately myself. My oldest son has been complaining recently that I'm on the computer too much (even though he's hardly home!). I'm off for the summer and have a lot more free time. Once the school year starts, I'll be working in the mornings and have prep work to do for my two classes. I'm praying I'll still have time to write when September rolls around. Writing is what I want to do and feel that God is leading me in this direction, but I don't want to alienate my family.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Leslie -

Welcome and thanks for commenting.
I post here on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Perhaps if you designate a specific time for your writing it will help ease the stress. Some kids need structure more than others.

Susan :)