Random Ramblings: Juggling it All


Dear Readers,

Monday through Friday from about 7-3, I’m a high school English teacher. My freshmen are analyzing the beautiful tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, while my sophomores are horrified by the catastrophes present in Of Mice and Men.

Wednesday nights from 7-10, I teach an ENG101 class at a community college. I also instruct an online remedial English class for another community college.

I’m a wife and a dog mom to the cutest fur baby in the world.

I’m an author.

I’ve published six full-length novels since May 2013, and I’ve written a novella included in an anthology that came out in August.

I’m almost done writing my next series, Vintage. I’m trying to hammer out the blurb for that one. In total, the series is over 115,000 words right now. The end is in sight, but there’s a whole lot of plot I need to tie up before I get there!

I post a daily inspirational quote to Instagram. I chat with the beautiful women on my street team and with the amazing authors who are in my favorite author group.

So how do I juggle it all?

My favorite answer to tell people is that I don’t sleep. That’s not really true. I sleep… but not much.

I’ve found the best way to manage it all is to focus on one piece at a time. When I’m at school, I dedicate my attention to school-related tasks. When I’m at home before my husband gets home, I dedicate my attention to marketing and chatting on Facebook. I try to write a few words somewhere in there, too.

I find having a schedule helps, but life happens and things come up, and it’s not always possible to stick to a schedule.

So I write when I can. My New Year’s Resolution was to write a minimum of 100 words a day. This was really more to stay in the habit of writing every day. One hundred words is very low pressure for me, but I needed something there to push me to ensure I’m writing each day, because between marketing and interacting and just plain old exhaustion, sometimes it’s hard to sit down to write.

I also have learned how to prioritize.

My husband and dog always come first. Every night, we go for about a half hour walk where we can decompress and talk about our days. Cell phones stay home because this is family time. Most of the time, our talks turn to plot. My husband is incredibly supportive, and he seems to instinctively know when I need to write. (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I tend to get crabby when I don’t write. I don’t know what it is, but it’s something I physically need to be happy. Isn’t that weird?)

We’re all busy. I’m not busier than you—and I’m not a fan of the “who is busier” game. Everyone has important things going on in their own lives. Since this is random ramblings and I don’t really have a point, let me offer one little piece of advice so this feels like it had a point.

Quick story: When I tell someone I’ve published a book (or six), I’m often met with the same response.

“I’d love to write a book, but I just don’t have the time.”

If you would love to write a book, do it.

If you would love to write a book, make time for it.

If there is something else you really want to do, do it. This isn’t specific to writing a book.

It’s a good time to stop making excuses and get out there to accomplish your dream.

Many authors don’t have time to write, either, but because it’s a passion, we make time. I have to write because, like I said earlier, I get crabby if I don’t. It’s part of who I am, and if I leave it out for even one day, my world is slightly imbalanced.

I sometimes miss my characters. Have you met Jesse Drake? He isn’t based on anyone I know. He came out of my imagination. But I actually sometimes miss him. I reread Separation Anxiety because I wanted to spend some time with him. I have another series that’s fully written (but I’m going to rewrite the entire thing… a huge feat considering it’s over 300,000 words), and when I’m not in that world, I actually miss those characters.

If you want to write a book, I encourage you to do it. There are tons of resources out there to help you. It’s hard work. It can be grueling. Marketing can be a bitch. This is true of any dream. There will be obstacles in the way.

But if it’s part of who you are, you’ll find your way. You’ll make time.

I did, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.
 
XOXOXO,
      

Proof that I have the cutest fur baby:


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That is the cutest fur baby! Looking forward to Vintage.

Balas