The last few weeks I've been publishing my Write Naked pieces, all about bringing focus to your writing, but I have discovered I need to be concerned about finding the balance between writing and living.
It is a balance that too many people have difficulties with, we feel pulled between the day job, the writing, the family, the friends, the hobbies, not to mention the must do parts of life like taking care of health, and well-being. So huge intro short, this piece is about coming back to life center.
While dealing with some family deaths I was seeing a psychiatrist. He had me write out a circle chart, I drew three circles on a big piece of paper.
One circle was called "Self," one "Family/Friends," and one "Professional/Knowledge." Then at random I was supposed think of what I did on the average day and write down what it was in those three categories.
I wrote down things like the laundry, dinner, visiting grandpa, working on the house, things that included every waking moment either with or in assistance to my family. I was so terrified that I would leave my family and something bad would happen that I completely stopped worrying about the other two major pieces of my life. I had dropped out of school, and quit my job, I'd stopped writing, I'd stopped art, I'd stopped things I enjoyed to be with my family as much as was humanly possible.
It wasn't until I had everything written down that I realized my other two circles were almost completely empty. I had completely neglecting my self and my professional/knowledge life, and a person can't live like that. Now I am coming to realize that I'm doing the exact same thing with writing. I'm neglecting my family and my friends and my self because I'm throwing everything I have into my professional category.
So this month I'm making a goal to balance. I have already taken a few days to clean the house so I have a good starting place to keep up on, I have slowed down in the morning and fixed my daughter better breakfasts, I have created my husband lunches, I have done some decor things I wanted to do. I have been with my family more in the last 3 days then I was for the last 3 months. And I have still written. I have a piece that is about half done - at least one piece a week will still go out, that's my goal.
I really encourage you to do a circle chart and see where your balance lies. Be honest with yourself, you may be shocked what things go into what category (you get to choose that on your own!). Then make sure you work on "beefing up" your weakest areas. You will be happy you did!