Hands up, I can't juggle. I even have difficulty throwing one ball up to catch on it's downward spiral. I'm just not co-ordinated or flexible enough. So imagine the trouble I have trying to do everything I want, or think I should do (and of course avoiding the guilt).

Working part time means I have two days off a week - unless I'm called in - which happens more times than I care to think about. When someone in the youth area goes on holidays for a few weeks, I know I will be asked to work most of her days (because I can jump in and do her Storytime etc) a few weeks ago when someone went on holidays I forgot the art of balance.

There was a writing workshop I was interested in...but it was to be held on one of those days....I ummed and ahhed. Work, as yet, had not asked me to come in, should I book, should I wait a few more days?

Well I waited a few more days  then decided 'no, my writing is important to me and I do get a lot out of workshops,' so I booked. Well attempted to book. The course was filled, no spaces remaining. I had left it too late.

As I said I'm not good with balance. Looking back I should have simply said 'yes, that's on my day off, I want to go and I'll book NOW.'  (on a good note they had so many people interested they are having a second day and I booked instantly for that one!)

I recently had my first writing group meeting for the year (and so inspirational and exciting it was- really makes me want to get out there, write, perform, just do what I love to do). But as we talked and chatted about our Christmas time, it became clear that balance is required for all of us.

Those with young children, and grandchildren, found it very difficult to write or even think about the craft during this time. A few decided that this was family time, a time to relax, recharge and to deny the guilt that looms over our shoulders.

Even though my children are grown the weeks before Christmas was hectic, we were having lunch at our place so I spent the time cooking and cleaning and present buying....writing did not make an entrance.

Then I visited my sister and her family for four days - must admit the long drive there and back does help me think about writing. I had an idea for a junior novel locked in when I arrived, with characters to work on for a series.  But I didn't write while there...too busy socialising, talking, spending time with family.

And then of course January hits. It's manic at work and at the moment we are in a huge 'clean up' at home with a deadline of a few weeks, and then we are going away in April which requires the obtaining of visas and international drivers licences - not to mention other items to be checked off a long long list. Did I mention this list is LOOOONNNNGGGGG?

So writing is taking a back seat.


So how do I find the balance. What is enough writing for me to blast the guilt away and still feel that I've done what I wanted?

Frankly I have no idea. Some weeks I feel that I've accomplished so much. Other weeks when I try to write on my one day off and I have to fit in car services and visits to the dentist on the same day...not much happens.  And I tend to feel a failure.

I don't know how others do it...balance work and family and writing.

Do you have a definite goal each day/ week? Is it a word limit? Time limit? Or even simply a sense of achievement?

For me, I wonder if it's not too late to learn how to least with two balls.


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