That's why my post today is about balance.
I have three children, and for each of them, balance means something different. My older son feels balanced when things go as he expects that they should. If something goes differently than he imagined, he feels very unsettled. My middle child requires a varied sensory diet to feel balanced. If he isn't touching, hearing and tasting enough interesting things, he feels out of sorts. My little girl needs postitive input. She feels unbalanced if I raise my voice, or give only negative feedback. Balancing all their different temperaments feels like juggling.
In many ways, this writing journey feels the same. My first child, my manuscript, needs constant attention for growth. And, it expects growth. Constantly. My second child, my blogging life, needs small bursts of attention and much input from all my senses. It needs me to be varied, imaginative and in touch at all times. My third writing child, my writing friendships, needs focus and feedback. Thoughtful, supportive feedback.
It's a juggling act, but not one that requires me to always have all balls in the air. It requires me to set supportive boundaries. If I need to focus on writing and friends, then I do, and respectfully let the blogging ball bounce by itself for a while. I don't, and shouldn't, have all those balls flying in the air at the same height at every moment. I would lose them all. And, sometimes, when my real children need more of me to keep them balanced, I let all those writing balls bounce for a while. Balance isn't keeping all the balls in the air. It's knowing when it's time to let them fall, and then letting them fall. That's balance.
What balls do you have in the air? What do you do when you're not writing? What's your day job, that you balance with your writing life? Do you feel compelled to keep juggling all the balls, all at once?
And, I would like to invite you all back on Friday, for a fantastic Friday Feature with the amazing Jon Arntson. He is a supremely excellent juggler. He gracefully juggles all the balls that he has up in the air, and is one of the most supportive and respectful people I've come to know in this blogosphere. Come read more about his journey toward publication and beyond. Plus, he always has something up his sleeve. It should be a rowdy time! And, if you've missed any of the past friday interviews, there is some lovely reading for you over on the right hand side of this blog.