Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Finding Balance

Good morning, everyone. I'm still basking in the lovely experience that was my first conference. After seven years of writing for Love Inspired Historical, I finally felt like a "real" author. Was it seeing my name on the RWA badge? Enjoying an elegant lunch while listening to the wonderful keynote speaker Susan Wiggs? Getting free goodies from the swag room? Or was it simply talking with fellow authors who share my dreams and frustrations?
My writing journey has been a solitary one. I have never been part of a critique/writing group. Never had an agent. I went after this dream alone and achieved it alone...with God's help and guidance. God directed my path and has enabled me to do this job that I have such a passion for. Attending conference taught me something personal. Everyone needs balance in their life. It's okay, even necessary, to do something for yourself now and then.
I've been a homeschool mom for many years. My oldest is entering 11th grade. My middle son is entering 6th and my youngest 5th. I'm blessed to have been able to stay home with them. But I've failed in the area of nurturing my own needs.
Finding balance when you wear multiple hats is a challenge. Going forward, I'm committed to doing a better job of it. 
I'd like to hear from you. Can you identify? How do you juggle life's responsibilities?




 

27 comments:

  1. Hi Karen! Balance is key. We can't give to others if we're depleted. I renew during my time with God, long walks, and spending time with friends. Quilting is also a great counterpoint to the writing life. Fellow writers have been crucial in my journey. I'm amazed you made that trek alone. Congrats on enjoying your first RWA Conference! You are definitely a "real" author!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christine. :) I am already missing the experience.
      So you're a quilter? What a wonderful creative outlet. I made one log cabin pattern quilt for my niece's high school graduation. I'd love to take it up again. Maybe in the future.
      Long walks sound like a great way to get in some exercise while also giving yourself a break from everything.

      Delete
  2. Finding balance can be very hard at times. We can get tugged in different directions, and it's hard to go in different directions at one time. Priorities have to come in play at those times.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh do I relate to balance. What a thought provoking post. Going to Nationals is definitely a way to fill the well and connect with fellow authors. I still remember my first. I was unpublished and staring out the window at the Harlequin bus that was taking authors to their party. Are you already saving for Denver?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was wonderful to connect with other authors in person. And I learned so much from the various workshops. I've heard that ACFW is in Nashville next year. That's only 3 hours from my house, so I'm thinking I will go that just to compare. Who knows? Maybe I'll fit in some smaller conferences, too. :)

      Delete
  4. Hi, Karen. It was so wonderful to finally meet you in person. I had a great time hanging out with you at conference. And I totally agree with you about getting that RWA badge. It makes me feel "official" every single time. It is difficult sometimes to find balance as an author and mother and wife. I have a daughter in college who is spreading her wings, but at the same time she likes having me at her beck and call. And as a mother, I find myself answering the call even if it comes at a time when I'm swamped. That's how I roll as a mother. I'm getting a little bit better at saying no to my kids when they want something immediately. It's hard for them to understand that when I'm at the computer I'm working. Even though I work at home I'm still working. I try to get massages and pedicures and go out to lunch with my girlfriends. That rejuvenates me and reminds me that I need self care. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed spending time with you, too! It was nice to have a lunch buddy. :) I understand what you're saying about working from home. Since my kids are home with me, interruptions are common. That can make it a challenge to be productive. I need to get better at setting aside quiet times. It sounds like you're already working on guarding your writing time.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Karen, it was such a joy to see you at the RWA Conference. I got so much out of the workshops and felt the entire event was warm and welcoming. Hope you enjoyed it as well. Conferences fuel my writing fire. I always come home ready to work.

    For balance, I make time for prayer each day. That special time with the Lord makes everything else run more smoothly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debby. I enjoyed seeing you, too! And I appreciate you checking in with me at the Harlequin party. :) You looked great on the dance floor! Like you, I've found that starting the day out with prayer and Bible reading helps tremendously.

      Delete
  7. Karen, we're so glad you've traveled the writing journey...it's to our benefit to read your lovely books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very kind, Leigh. I appreciate it.

      Delete
  8. With my writing and an adult special needs son we're trying to help become more independent, balance is something I have to work at. I too often ignore the need. I do an evening devotional, but lately I seem to need more. So, I recently registered for a three-day writers retreat in the Catskill Mountains near us, sponsored by my RWA Chapter. I hope I come home as rejuvenated as you sound.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you have a wonderful time at the retreat, Jean. I'm glad there are many options for us.

      Delete
  9. I stink at finding balance, especially since hubby had the double stroke last September. I'm feeling the pressure at becoming the only breadwinner in the household. I do keep a solid prayer time every evening when we close down for the night, and Sundays are sacred worship and nap time. We also take weekend jaunts twice a year to see our favorite singing group, which is probably the only time I really take off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, I can only imagine the pressure you've been under. I think keeping Sundays as a day of rest is more important. I know I've pushed myself in the past, writing every day without any time off. I wound up getting burned out. I hope your husband is getting stronger every day. I've been following your posts.

      Delete
  10. Karen, it was such a pleasure to meet you and get to know you better at RWA. I think we can all identify with that search for balance and we all just keeping praying and doing our best. I agree with what Leigh Bale said - we are glad you find time to write your books, however you do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same, Donna! It was a pleasure. And thank you very much. :)

      Delete
  11. Hi Karen, I loved sharing the conference through your FB posts.

    I went to the San Antonio conference literally days after signing my contract with LIS. Emily made a special point of getting it to me quickly so I could be included in the Harlequin events.

    Of all the RWA conferences I'd been to (and there had been quite a number because of GH finals or because they come to NYC every few years anyway), this one was most special. I got totally choked up when I got to switch my badge from Pro to PAN. I was kind of surprised by how hard it hit me (and I'm tearing up again now just remembering). I had worked SO hard (for so many years) to get to that point, that suddenly it was all just overwhelming - and yes, real.

    As for balance, because I teach full time, writing sort of is my balance. Hah! Not exactly relaxing.

    I'm hoping for Nashville too, so maybe we'll get to meet in person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an amazing experience that must've been, Cate! A dream come true. :) I admire your ability to work full time and write. You definitely have to be choosy how you spend your time.
      I hope we can meet then, too.

      Delete
  12. I have a bad balance between work n social but am working on improving it. It is easy to retreat from the world when personal circumstances cause u to not want to engage in it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree!! Finding balance can be difficult.

      Delete
  13. Karen it was so nice to meet you. I hope I wasn't too grumpy with my swollen hand. I'm trying to find balance between all the busyness of life. I admire your dedication to homeschooling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grumpy? You were the dancing Queen at the H party.

      Delete
  14. Ouch, Terri. I'm so sorry your hand is still bothering you. Hope it feels better soon.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It was really wonderful meeting you Karen! Just got back from Florida today, and can't remember the last time I took a whole week off writing. It's hard juggling kids and writing. But converting the guest bedroom into a writing room this Spring really helped, because now I have a door I can close. I hope your kids give you the space you need and that they're very proud of you! You're setting a great example for them by pursuing your dreams.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Balance? I have a rule that I try to stick with--always put faith and family. First, I pray. A lot. Then I try to focus on my family and talk to them. That doesn't always work if I'm in my office and in the middle of a scene but I try and they know when to interrupt. I always take the holidays off, unless I have a tight deadline. But I try to stop and enjoy the little moments. Writing is not my life. It's a part of who I am, but I have a life outside of writing. I try to honor that. Do what you can when you and try to roll with the punches.

    ReplyDelete