When you're retired, even if in name only, the work-life balance blurs. And when you're a writer, everything on both sides of the line runs together. Writing is only part of the deal. There's promoting and submitting and getting yourself out there on social media and in the real world, whether it's doing a book event or a presentation on work-life balance.
Sadly, I must confess that a week after posting my NaNoWriMo intentions, no actual writing on my stalled project has occurred. The last two weeks have been more like work binge/play binge than work-life balance -- so much so that tonight, I'm actually missing my critique group's monthly meeting just to catch my breath.
I first started writing seriously twenty-three years ago and although I didn't realize it at the time, even then it wasn't all about the writing. I was writing articles rather than book-length fiction, so there were submissions to be made, tracked and followed up on and market research to be done. There were topics to be cultivated, drafts to be written and critique groups to attend. Writing books seemed out of reach to me, and that was even before I knew about marketing and speaking and long before social media.
Writing, like most other jobs, is a multi-faceted endeavor. To do it well, we need to immerse ourselves in the work, but to do it right, we must immerse ourselves in the culture. Striking a balance between our creative selves and our promotional personae is challenging enough; doing that on top of jobs and lives that are full before the writing starts can feel downright impossible.
And so another week of NaNoWriMo has slipped through my fingers -- or, more accurately, through the tiny cracks of the unassigned waking hours in my schedule. I can whine and moan and complain, but that's both fruitless and a waste of energy -- energy that I need for writing and promoting and juggling all the other aspects of the life that feed the craft.
And the writer.
Maybe next week will be better. Or maybe I'll get to December with an undone NaNoWriMo in my rear-view mirror. Either way, the new month will bring both new challenges and new opportunities, and I'll just need to keep my balance.
Or hang on for the ride.