Busyness is a common problem, especially among writers. We are often being pulled in several different directions from marketing, to writing on deadline or simply doing that everyday thing called life. The demands on our time can become overwhelming.
I know firsthand exactly how stressful this life we’ve chosen can be. I sold my first book in 2012 to Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents line, and it changed my life. I went from writing for fun, to writing because I had a deadline. To date I’ve contracted five books with Heartsong Presents. My seasoned critique partners warned me how difficult juggling all the demands on my time would be. Once my first book released, I understood the warning.
How are we supposed to do everything?
Problems are bound to pop up when we are over-worked and stressed out. We must take care of ourselves, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
There is no cure-all to our overly busy lives, but there are some things that we can do to ease the strain.
Take time out.
What that looks like will be different for each of us. For me it means waking up early so I can have some quiet time reading my Bible and thinking about how I can apply what I read to my life. It also means starting my day with a healthy meal. I also incorporate exercise into my day. Most of the time my exercise time is a walk with my husband and dog.
I realize we are often under tight deadlines, and it’s difficult to even consider the idea of working out, vegging out, or spending quality time with the Lord. But, I’m proof that these things matter. I’m not suggesting a huge chunk of time. Take a walk around the block, spend a small amount of time to savor something you enjoy. That may be ten minutes of reading, or a bubble bath or reading in a bubble bath. Be creative. We’re writers, that’s what we do. J
About a year ago, I realized on the days I skipped my morning devotions my writing time did not go well. It took me twice as long to accomplish the same word count as when I took ten to twenty minutes with the Lord. I’ve been known to cut that time to five minutes when very pressed for time, but for those five minutes I was focused on Him.
You are not God
Your time is finite and valuable. You cannot be all things to all people. You are one person. Translation, choose to invest your time only in what you are passionate about. I know we have things that are “required” of us as writers, but if it’s not your thing, delegate the task or skip it if it’s optional.
Learn to say no.
Do not over commit. It is tempting to take every speaking engagement, every blog opportunity, and every contract, but it’s not always the wise and best choice. Remember, we are not super humans. We each have the same number of hours to work with.
In conclusion, before committing to something ask yourself, “Is this something I need to do or want to do, or would it be best to pass?” Be honest with yourself and ask for help if you need it.
A HOLIDAY PROPOSAL
You may contact Kimberly via her website at http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/