Balance in our lives is very important, because when we are out of balance we start to feel overwhelmed; that overwhelmed feeling can lead to other disruptive and destructive feelings, as well as stop momentum.
The notion of balance is a personal struggle for me. My wife says for me it is all or nothing - and that can be great in some instances, but to maintain balance, we have to be able to create separation in our tasks to allow for other things to take our time.
In My “Brick and Mortar,” back in October 2014, I was asked and even encouraged to work twelve hours a day. I would go in at 5:00am and work to 5:30pm with a half an hour lunch. Because I am a bicycle commuter, I would get up at 2:45am and I would get home at 6:30pm - eat dinner and go to bed by 8:00pm. I had only an hour and a half with my family.
My balance was off.
In January I started showing signs of burnout. I became a true hot mess. I was not doing well at all, so I took some time off and went back to eight hours a day, now I am back to working the 12 hour days. However, I did something different back in January. I started writing again.
I needed to do something else to create equilibrium: I recognized I not only needed to do something different, but do something to express my creativity.
What if I like doing, will I still get burned out?
I have heard that if you do what you like, you will never work another day in your life. To some extent I agree with that sentiment, but it begs the question: If you drank chocolate milkshakes all the time (or whatever you crave all the time) will you get sick of it?
I submit that even if you are doing exactly what you want, you still need to keep equilibrium.
For a writer, this can cause a problem with Writer’s Block. The movie “Not Another Happy Ending” with Karen Gillian and Stanley Webber shows what happens when your equilibrium is thrown a skew. Jane Lockhart (Karen Gillian) has writer’s block, and she tries to do anything to get over her writer’s block: Now the story is just that she wants to have a, more than working, relationship with Tom Duval (Stanley Webber).
So what should we do? We love writing, the fun, the challenge the ability to weave a story and create images in our reader’s heads. The high - the thrill, plus seeing our “baby” on the shelf or our words being recognized by our peers. We should still push the chair back, get up and do something else - let your mind change gears for a while.
Writing is important, but don’t let it get you unbalanced.