IWSG: Walking the Precipice of Time & Priorities

Me, balancing on "the precipice," AKA a goat track along the Continental Divide.

Over the holidays, I read a blog post via Twitter that hit upon one of my deepest fears regarding writing. (I have, of course, lost the link since then. So, if someone reads this and knows what I'm talking about, please resend me the article and I'll add it!)

Basically, the post was by a published author who shed light on the hard truth that she couldn't have been as successful at writing as she was without the free time and creative flexibility that came with not having to worry about paying the bills. She was wonderfully wise and candid, and emphasized her extreme gratitude toward her husband's work and their life situation that allowed her to write. She also mentioned something to the effect of, "I know what it's like to be overworked and stressed, managing multiple jobs. That was me all through my [20s or 30s], and I never wrote a thing."

Um, yikes! Double yikes because, though I've cranked out several completed novels and drafts, that last bit is pretty much my life to a T.

The hard, diligent work of writing each and every day doesn't bother me. I thrive on it. The rejections don't phase me because they mean I'm getting closer. I work in PR for my day job, so I know what it takes to promote a book (It also means I have a pretty good idea of how many hundreds of hours it takes to do it right, too!). I have absolute faith in my writing skills and my ability to keep polishing them.

But to do all of that, to have all the other elements come together, and still end up shy because I just can't squeeze in the time or energy to truly make a go of it amid everything else life demands?! THAT terrifies me.

I haven't crossed that bridge yet, and God help me, I never will, but, boy, is it a narrow precipice sometimes! Last year, I worked my full time job at a fast-paced agency, did three part-time freelance positions, and finished my MBA. I consider it a minor miracle that I not only managed to finish my latest novel, edit it and start querying, but wrote some of my best scenes to date in the process.

So, that's what I'm holding on to.

Bring it, life!


  1. Wow, well done for coping with all of that last year. It's amazing what we can manage when we actually put our minds to it, and if it's something we really want we'll go that extra mile to achieve it, no matter what else life is throwing at us.

  2. I work full-time too. I do think you can do it all, just not as fast as if you didn't work. And there are times if you're raising a family that the writing goes even slower. But that's okay because your kids are important too. I just accept that my whole writing career is going slower because of this but I still hang onto it and know that there will be more time in the future. I'm sure you'll be able to as well with all you handled last year.

  3. Heather - Yes! Isn't it amazing? That's what I love about it still.

    Natalie - Great perspective. Just because the pace changes doesn't mean we're giving up. ;)

  4. Trust me, it is a juggling act to work and write at the same time. It can be done and you will find a way!

  5. You are a wonder lady. To be able to do ALL of that. Wow. And I haven't forgotten about getting together! I just have to get my life in order...haha

  6. I know a lot of writers who went full time writing only to discover they were far less productive than they were when they were super busy with other jobs. Many went back to work. No matter how much time you have--if it's a lot or a little--it's never enough.

  7. Alex - I've built up some mad juggling skills over the years. ;)

    Kelley - Haha, thanks! Me too.

    Lynda - GREAT point! I have heard that same thing from writing friends. And one of my favorite quotes is: "We don't need more strength or greater ability or greater opportunity. What we need is to use what we have."

  8. Wow! You should be really proud of all you've accomplished while doing all those things at one time! :)

  9. Goodness! I don't know if I'd be able to keep up that pace even if I were given the time. Apparently it's possible, so that gives me hope. :)

  10. While I can see how certain lifestyle factors can speed up one writer's progress over another, it's not impossible for a writer with multiple outside responsibilities to get published. It happens all the time. The pacing might be a little different than someone without some of those responsibilities, but the outcome can still be the same.

  11. Wow' you're kicking some serious butt! I know what you meant though; things can sometimes get overwhelming and it's nothing short of a miracle how anything actually gets done. But by the sounds of it 2014 is going to rock for you :)

  12. Yikes! After reading your post I have no excuse for not doing more. You truly are a Wonder Woman!

    I actually think it's all based more on personality. As for me, the more free time I have, the less I get done, which explains my pre-published status. Maybe I should go back to school and get an MBA :/

  13. Aloha!

    Hey, before I forget - awesome pic... have you posted about *that* adventure? :)

    Now, I'm not blowing smoke up your derriere, but I am in AWE of all you've done in this last year and I seriously think you're being a little hard on yourself.

    You're obviously a driven person, Nicole, so don't you be slowing down or getting too worried.

    I'm calling it for you, too. 2014 is YOUR year.

    So there.


  14. Wow! What a year! Nice warm-up to 2014. ;) Have a great new year!

  15. I think I remember reading that post, but don't know who wrote it. I am in such awe of those who can write through it all-- jobs, kids, vacations, laundry, gardening-- I keep trying, and this year I want to do better at giving my writing the top priority it deserves.

  16. Cherie - Thanks!

    David - Haha, yes...it's possible. :)

    Cynthia - Definitely! Gotta keep believing and wanting it.

    Jamie - Nothing short of a miracle indeed. Hats off to a great 2014!

    Jenn - Haha, let's not be too hasty about that MBA. :) But yes, I do actually tend to get more done when I'm busier. And in an odd way, it helped with the voice and pacing of my latest WIP.

    Mark - I have posted about the goat track adventure! It's part of last year's A to Z. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

    Christine - You too!

    Karen - I know. It is a constant struggle but well worth it.