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Welcome to Episode 017 of the Write Now podcast, my lovelies. I am so glad you're here. Today we're going to talk about your work/life/writing balance.
Where are you putting your energy?
If you go out to iTunes and check out the Write Now podcast "about" info, you'll see it says:
"A weekly podcast for aspiring writers looking to find a healthy work/life/writing balance."
Sometimes, I feel like three separate selves trying to work together, instead of one self trying to find balance: my work self, my life self, and my creative writing self. And they don't always get along:
Work self: This is your professional side -- the one that is paid to meet & greet clients, counsel people over the phone, make sandwiches, pour concrete, teach math, serve lasagna, balance the company budget, and lead a team.
Life self: This is the "home" you -- the part of you that takes care of and hangs out with your family & friends, washes the dishes, binges on Star Trek: TNG reruns, volunteers at the animal shelter, and loves chili dogs.
Writing/creative/passion-project self: This is often your most personal or secret self -- the you that loves, desires, and needs to create. The you that stays up until 2:30 a.m. drinking coffee and hammering out the next chapter of your novel (or bemoaning your writer's block).
Think about how much energy you devote toward each of these three realms. (Not how much time you spend in each! Time and energy are different.) This can be per day, per week, per year -- however it makes sense to you.
Work = 70% of my energy
Life = 25% of my energy
Writing = 5% of my energy
Don't judge me too harshly, please. Next, I'd like you to think about what it would take for you to be balanced or more satisfied with how you're prioritizing your life. Please be aware that balance is different from equal. A healthy work/life/writing balance doesn't mean each one should get 33.33% of your energy.
It means that you need to determine what a satisfying, healthy balance would be for you, and be very intentional about living that out.
For me, that healthy, ideal balance would look like this:
What is your ideal balance? How does it differ from the balance you're juggling right now? And what can you do to balance out the energy you spend in each realm?
The book of the week.
This week, I gave in to my curiosity (no puns about cat-killing, now) and read what I had long viewed as a member of a weird fringe genre of literature -- cat mysteries.
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun is the first in one such series (dubbed "The Cat Who..." mystery series).
I was a little disheartened that the cat (named Koko) was not the main character -- rather, he plays supporting actor to newspaper reporter Jim Qwilleran as the latter finds out who kills a local art critic.
Notably, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards was published in 1966, so there are no mobile phones in characters' pockets, no computers in the newsroom, all newspapers are printed on paper, etc.
And honestly, that just made this cozy mystery feel all the more cozy to me. There's just something about reading a paper book or newspaper by the fire with a cat curled up in your lap that's incredibly comforting. Despite, you know, all the murder that keeps happening.
This is a sweet-natured, cozy murder mystery that pokes fun at the pretentious nature of the art world while elevating the pretentious nature of cats. I liked it, much to my surprise. But I'm not incredibly sure it's worth your time.
Keep up-to-date with my reading exploits on Goodreads.
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