Monday, September 28, 2015

The Balancing Act

September is almost gone, which means that school, whether it's high school, college, university, or teaching, has started. Our days of lounging on the couch and writing when we feel like it are gone, because we are just too busy. If I'm on the couch I'm either watching TV, feeling my eyes glaze over, or face-planted in the cushions taking a nap.

So how does one find the right balance of work, school, activities, and writing? Some people have said become a morning person. Great! I am a morning person! But I'm not just a teacher, I'm a coach. And I coach sports before school starts, which means I'm on the field at 6:30, getting up even earlier. And I can't function before 5 am.

Because I get up so early, I also go to bed early. I mean 8:30 early. I read for 30 minutes before I go to bed, because it helps me decompress.

So when can I write?

For me, I would like a good chunk of time to let the suck flow. At least an hour, preferably more. That means I'd have to start at 7 pm, which is just after dinner time. It's a tight schedule and it means no procrastinating! I try and get all my homework (aka grading) done in school, so that I don't take anything home. Because if I take work home, I have no time for myself.

I also need to learn to write in those stolen bits of time. Maybe I've finished my lunch, already made my copies for the week, planned out my lessons for the next few days, and finished grading (ha!), so I have some extra minutes to write. Or maybe I haven't made my copies, but I don't need them til tomorrow, so I "have" a few extra minutes to write, outline, or brainstorm. It's those stolen minutes that will add up down the line.

This tight schedule also means weekends are key, as are school holidays. Sometimes it's hard to force yourself to write on the weekend when all I want to do is be face-planted into couch cushions (see above), but I know I'll feel better if I've accomplished some writing during the day.

How do you balance your every day life with writing? Do you have any tips or advice?

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