Sometimes I feel like Clark Kent with his secret identity thing going on. I’m the type of person who gets carried away with the whole superhero idea, thinking that I can take on the world while doing this balancing act of having a full-time job, being an active church member, daughter, sister, outdoorswoman, blogger, book reader, pianist and novelist too.
You see, by day,
I’m a staff reporter and journalist, writing the news for my hometown
newspaper. My secret life begins when I leave the office for the day. I become
a fiction writer, pulling fantasy worlds from my head and living vicariously
through the characters that inhabit them.
Fiction is my
first love, it’s my passion. I love being a story teller, sharing adventures of
made-up people who live in made-up places through the written word. Someday I
hope to be able to write fiction full-time. But there’s tons of other stuff
that holds my interest as well and, in the meantime, I have to hold down a day
job to make a living.
Sometimes, a full-time
job can be a real drain, creatively speaking. But the newspaper I work at is
understaffed and I wear more than my share of hats – as does everyone who works
there. It’s common to work over 40 hours each week. And then there seems like
there are so few hours left over by the time I get off work to do much of
I’ve been told that I’m one of the lucky ones. I get paid
for crafting words, day-in and day-out. At my little newspaper, I already have
readers. And the thing is, I enjoy my work and am fairly
good at writing the news.
Because of this, I
sometimes feel like I get a complex and have a hard time deciding how to
balance everything. When I first started my newspapering job, it was difficult
to get my brain to switch back and forth between the two styles. Even now it
seems that I’m constantly struggling to find the balance.
But it’s not entirely impossible.
I’ve got two tips
for today about figuring out how to accomplish your writing goals.
The first one is:
Write. Don’t quit.
There really is no
secret to writing, no magic trick or anything. It’s simply a lot of work. You’ve
got to put your head down and keep on keeping on.
The second tip is
this: schedule your priorities, don’t prioritize
I feel that there
is always something you can do to make time for your writing, whether that’s
cutting back on the amount of television you watch or getting up earlier and
going to bed later to squeeze in a few extra hours at the key board.*
*But be sure to know your limits and don’t push yourself
too far. I’ll cover this top in an upcoming post.
Whatever you do, you’ve
got to figure out how to shift the balance of life in your favor.
Erica Jong says,
“Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the
dark place where it leads.”
Although I’ve been
writing since grade school, I feel like my journey is just beginning. I’m
trying to learn from my mistakes and am finding that defining what those
mistakes are is sometimes the hardest thing.
It can be scary to
follow your talent, but oh-so rewarding too.
What struggles do you face daily with writing
creatively? Do you know where your talent is leading you right now? Are you
brave enough to follow it to that place of possibilities?