If you’re a writer, the written word is your craft. It’s what inspires and motivates you. However, if you write as a profession, you’re likely aware that the activity isn’t always so magical. There are times when you need to write, whether you like it or not.
When you throw other activities into the mix on top of your writing work, it can begin to feel overwhelming. Whether you’re talking about another job, furthering your education, or even taking up a hobby, finding a balance between your writing career and your other ambitions can be a challenge.
Here are a few tips to help you find that critical work-life balance.
Organization comes easy to some and less so to others. In either case, it’s a critical part of finding balance.
If you’re trying to balance multiple things at the same time, it’s wise to go over each activity with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that you’re as organized as possible. For instance, you can:
- Organize your writing by decluttering your workspace and keeping your ideas in one place.
- Clearly separate your work and personal lives if you’re working from home.
- Build routines and schedules that help you find time for each of your responsibilities and activities throughout the day.
Organization can be a game-changer. It enables you to stay productive as you move from one thing to the next.
Set Clear Goals
If you’re a busy professional, you don’t want to tackle any extracurricular activities unless they have a clear purpose in your life. One way to ensure that you aren’t filling up your time with meaningless stressors is to set goals for each thing you engage in.
Writing is an easy one, as you need to write for a living. However, if you also have ambitions to write beyond the scope of work, you may need to set a separate goal. This can help spur you on to invest in your own creativity, even when you’re tired from a long day of professional writing.
Composition aside, you should set goals for other non-work activities, too. Take going back to school as a good example. It’s tempting to return to school for a variety of different reasons. However, if you’re going to tackle such a big commitment, you must consider the end-game.
Start by assessing what your end goals are by signing up for classes. If you decide that furthering your education is the right choice, don’t stop there. Create long-term goals while you’re in school, too. This not only helps you stay focused in the busy months and years ahead, it helps you balance your school life with your work and personal ones.
Keep Your Finances in Order
Financial pressure can keep you writing at all times as you try to scrape together enough money to pay the bills.
However, the solution to financial struggles doesn’t have to always be making more money at your full-time writing job. That can drain your creativity and sap your desire to write.
Instead, try to ease the pressure in other ways, such as:
- Keeping a strict budget that helps you live at or below your means.
- Always considering wants versus needs.
- Saving up an emergency fund.
- Utilizing technological solutions like paperless billing and ebook readers to reduce your costs.
- Picking up a side gig as a freelance photographer, a rideshare driver, anything but a writer, as that will hurt your ability to do your main job.
By keeping your finances in good order, you can give yourself more leeway in life. The less financial pressure you’re dealing with, the easier it will be to balance your work- and non-work-related activities.
Take Advantage of Tech
Tech isn’t just convenient. It can also enhance flexibility in your life. This can make it much easier to add certain activities into your schedule with minimal cost or time required.
For instance, to return to the example of going back to school, you can choose a program that offers digital learning as a way to access affordable, flexible education. This top edtech trend has helped many working professionals access education when traditional education wouldn’t have supported it.
E-learning allows you to choose the classes that you need when they fit into your schedule. They are also often less expensive and cut out the need to commute to a college campus.
Of course, that’s just one example. You can also use tech to streamline setting up schedules for work, meet with people online, and even pick up a new tech-focused hobby like animation or programming.
Finding Balance as a Writer
If you write for a living, you’re already doing the activity that many people dream they could do — apart from their full-time job. However, that doesn’t mean finding balance in a full-time writing career is easy.
On the contrary, the creative output required for your day job can be exhausting. That’s why you want to carefully consider how you can find balance throughout both your professional and personal lives.
Use things like organization, goals, and technology to find that perfect balance between writing and extracurricular activity so that you can live each day to the fullest.
Beau Peters is professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he has learned a slew of tricks in the business world and enjoys sharing them with others who carry the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work.