I’ve been thinking recently that I’ve not being getting the balance right – then I started to wonder what I meant about getting the balance right. And I realised there were two aspects to this.
|Trying to get the balance right between this ...|
|... and this|
Firstly, there’s my personal life and the balance I was thinking about was about time alone (mostly but not solely to write) and time with other people. I’m an introvert and I LOVE time alone. Moving to this new house has been ideal from that point of view. It’s a long way from anywhere and there is little chance of passers by dropping in, definitely no traffic noise, etc. It would be all too easy to spend days if not weeks without seeing anyone at all.
And much as I love solitude, I do love seeing people, too. And if I want to see people, living out here means I have to make an effort to do that. To organise for visitors to come here, or for me to go elsewhere. After a flurry of visitors over the summer we have very little lined up. So note to self – you need to make this effort. Not just because I enjoy the occasions for themselves, but also because afterwards they leave me with a new view on the world, new information, new ideas for writing. And an even greater enjoyment of said solitude!
Secondly, there’s my writing. Getting the balance right in my writing between my adult and teen novels isn’t always easy. But the most difficult thing is getting the balance right within a novel, that perfect mixture of romance, setting, character, action. How do people manage that? The best books make it look effortless. Maybe it is for some people, but not for me. I’ve been trying to plot my novels more, and, although this hasn’t been completely successful, it has allowed me to keep track of what is happening when (and sometimes, more importantly, what is NOT happening). It’s all about that dreaded word, pace, varying it and – yes – getting the balance right. It’s not something that comes naturally but I think I’m learning some of the tricks that will help me achieve it.
How do other people manage to balance everything in their own lives and work?