Finding balance is a challenge for me. I’m an obsessive type and when I start something new, I go at like a monkey with a banana. Nothing stands in my way.
That worked well when I wanted to loose 50 pounds but I drove everyone else in my life nuts. It was a tremendous help when I walked the 3-day 60-mile walk for breast cancer. I spent every waking moment preparing for that walk and drove my loved ones nuts helping me to raise money for it.
Now with writing I find myself obsessing again. I cannot hold a normal conversation that doesn’t involve writing. While the other person is talking, I’m thinking of ways I can turn the topic to my current project. My brain screams stop; don’t say another word, but my mouth takes over and gabbers away. I see their eyes glaze over but I'm helpless to stop.
Just as good writing requires balance there needs to be balance in my life too. Writing is my work and I take it very serious but to continue to love it, I cannot work at it with my old obsessive ways. There is a whole world out there that I’m missing because I keep myself glued to this computer.
To find that balance I’m forcing myself to shut off the computer at a certain hour every evening to spend time with my husband, going for a walk, or watching a movie together. We’ve been married a long time so he knows it’s a struggle for me not to obsess but that doesn’t mean I want to take him for granted.
Someday, I hope writing is so natural that I don’t feel the need obsess, but I cannot count on that so I’m making strives to find balance now. Yesterday, I almost succeeded. I went to lunch with my sister and I listened to her talk about her family and other things going on in her life, I even responded with true interest. Sigh…I only brought up writing at the very end. Nobody gives up obsessing without a few setbacks.
If you’re obsessive like me, try to make time for the world around you and in the end I think we’ll find our writing is better for it. How can we write about the world and its characters if we never take the time to observe it?