Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Balancing Act?

I've come to the conclusion that having it all really is a myth. There's only so much time in a day and even the best multi-tasker can't be in two places at once. You have to decide what is most important to you and prioritize.

Often, I meet people who say they always wanted to write, but don't have the time. Then they proceed to voice regret. Here's the deal, if they wanted it badly enough, then they'd make the time to write no matter what they had to sacrifice. The trick comes when people want two opposing things. They want to be writers, but yet they don't want to give up time with their families and friends. You know what? There's nothing wrong with choosing family and friends over some dream. But they need to realize it is a choice and stop beating themselves up for not pursuing the dream.

Many times my writing students ask me how I manage to balance it all. Guess what? I don't. Because I spend time on writing, reading and teaching, that automatically limits the hours in a day available to me. There's been many a holiday I've spent alone in front of a computer. Sometimes it is lonely, but I have to remind myself this is the life I've chosen and let go of the myth that I can have it all.

What about you? Is there some dream you've been harboring? If you really want it, why not go for it? And if the thought of all you have to sacrifice is too daunting, then just go ahead, let go of the dream and be happy with the world you have created for yourself. You are in charge of your destiny. Seize the day and make it the way you want it to be. No regrets.


  1. I was raised to know you can't have it all. My mom's always maintained it's a myth that, if perpetuated, leaves women feeling guilty and like failures on all fronts -- work, home, family, and personally. And hr advice on regrets was this: look at every choice and ask yourself this, "What can you live with for the rest of your life?" and then do what your conscience demands.

    So far it's been pretty darned good advice. The road hasn't always been easy and the choices haven't always been pretty, but when I look back, regret isn't one of the things I feel. I know I did the right thing for me.

    Writing's been a source of friction for me lately because I, while I have a bunch of projects I'm working on, several of them are all in different directions. They're all romance, but different genres, different lengths (category vs. single title), and I feel very at-crossroads-slash-directions with it all, but sooner or later I know I'll have to make a choice. I think it'll wind up being a leap of faith more than anything, so I'm hoping it'll be the right one and things will work out. :)


  2. Lots of things are going through my head at the moment. But I don't know which one I would choose..
    I know sounds like a copout, but that is what my life is like. too many irons in the fire.

  3. Julie,

    Your mother is a smart woman.


  4. I would love to have it all, but it isn't possible. So, I focus on what I really want. To write, family, friends, and weird stuff in between.

    I think of the line from The Big Chill: Nobody said it would be easy. Life isn't. But to achieve something worthwhile, it isn't going to be which makes the results the better to savor.