THE BALANCING ACT

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I’m a teacher. I stretch my salary over 24 pay periods so that I can take my summers off for writing. Once mid-June rolls around, I fall into my “writer routine.” I’m an early riser, so I’m generally up at 6:00A.M., and have my first cup of coffee in hand by 6:15. See, when I don’t have to go anywhere, I can stay in my jammies as long as I like, which during the summer months, ends up being until lunchtime.

Once I have that coffee, I sit at my computer and write, taking breaks for breakfast, lunch, social networking and usually calling it quits for the day at around 2:00P.M. It’s a sweet life. I know it’s a sweet life, and I’m very lucky. But that luck took hard work and planning. I wasn’t able to take summers off until after I struggled through my masters program (2 year program took me 4) while being a single parent and working full-time. My children are now grown and on their own. I’m done with school, and this time if MINE! So, I write.

At the end of August, my lovely routine comes to an abrupt end, and I go back to the daily grind. Work. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job as a teacher, but my time no longer belongs to me. My routine changes drastically.

Sometimes I think life would be easier if I worked year round and didn’t have to go through this mental/physical shift each year. It takes me about a month to adjust, and then I’m measuring my year by the breaks when I can get another taste of that freedom. Freedom to write, to work for myself and no one else. Nothing is sweeter than that.

Realistically, most writers work other jobs to support themselves, unless they’re fortunate enough to have a spouse/partner whose income enables the writer in the family to just write. It’s a balancing act, managing our lives in ways that allow time for everything and writing. When do you find time?

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