Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Balance Is The Key

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?



Snow said...

You're so right, Lori.
It is hard not to obsess when you've become so use to doing it.

But like a monkey, if you take away his banana for a while, hold his hand, and just be a friend, he will begin to change his obsession for that little yellow fruit.

Eye opening post

Lorrie said...

You said: How can we write about the world and its characters if we never take the time to observe it?

So true. And something I struggle with. I only leave the house whenever I have to and lately, this very comment of yours has been beating in my brain.

I'm glad you shared, and I'm glad I read.


Cheryl said...

You are right on the money. I am actually just addicted to my computer. I have forced myself to get away from it, which is one of the reasons I picked up a regular reading schedule again.

I could probably spend all day pounding away on this keyboard while life passes me by. I sure don't want that to happen.

Thanks for the great post!


Anonymous said...

Many, many moons ago I became obsessed about writing. To the detriment of my family, job and well all of my relationships They all thought I had lost my mind.

During Victorian times we women writers would all have ended up in the "upper room", locked away, branded as too senstive to deal with life. And no pen and paper either...can you imagine?

I learned the hard way (no, not from being locked away lol) to give myself so many hours in a day to write and research and whatever else I want to do at this keyboard, and the remaining hours are for living life, rather than just writing about living it.

My prayers are with you Lori...just make a deal with yourself and your loved ones and stick to it. Even if it means *gasp* turning the puter off for a bit.

I figured if I didn't spend time doing something else my family would abandon me and if they do, who will be there to celebrate with me when I sell my first novel?

Hang tough girl, you will get passed this. If I can, anyone can.

Love ya,