Work and home life balance

CindyCarrollEFor people who work full-time it’s a challenge to create a balance between the day job and family life. For writers who also have a day job it can be even harder because we have two jobs and family to juggle. The dream for me is to write full-time. But until the writing is paying all the bills with some left over for spending money, a day job is a necessary evil. For three weeks about a month ago I had the good fortune to work from home. It hit home how much I could get used to already being home. That no commute thing was awesome. But now I’m back at work. Driving an hour to the office and an hour home again. Trouble is I’m a night person and don’t get to the writing until later in the evening. Which doesn’t leave me much actual writing time. So I stay up later. And get up later. Therefore get to work later. And the cycle repeats.

WorkStationThe new work spaces at the day job have really motivated me though, to get more balance in my life. To concentrate on the writing and the dream of writing full-time.  We had a big project at work that had a few in my team working over time. I should feel guilty for not staying as long as the others, not worrying as much as the others. But it hit me about half way through the project that it was job. Family is what matters. I also am more eager to do a good job at work. Not sure if it’s spring in the air making me in a good mood. Or the decision to work towards accomplishing my writing full-time dream. I’ve picked a date, a realistic one, to start the full-time writing journey. Now that I know when I can work on getting well written books out there and following a marketing plan. I’ll still stay late at work if needed, but not as long as some other employees.

GuelphStormPart of the balance is not just putting family first but actually spending time with them. Not staying late at work every night doesn’t do me much good if I’m not spending quality time with my family. My fiancé and cats get me most of the time. This past Friday we went to a local hockey game. It was a great night out, one we’ve needed for long time. It was a great way to celebrate the end of a the big project at work. Plus every Thursday me and my fiancé visit my sister, parents and niece for dinner.

I have a new goal starting tomorrow. Get up earlier so I can be at work earlier. If I can get home from work before 6 PM I’ll have more time to write. More time to spend with family. I won’t let the day job take away from my home life. I don’t think any job is worth that. There are solutions. If I need to put in more hours I have the ability to work from home. I can still put in extra hours plus get cuddle time with the cats and my fiancé.

How do you create a balance in your life?

 

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ReflectionsFinal2A road trip goes wrong for a group of friends trying to help one of them get over a break up. They find an inn where the mirrors are cursed and they realize they don’t know each other as well as they thought they did.

A road trip without a plan sounded like a good idea when Lena and her friends hit the road. A mini vacation and support for Steve, recently dumped, have the friends travelling through small towns and back roads. After hours of driving in the heat in a cramped car they’re all ready for something to eat and a good night’s rest. Reflections Inn looks perfect for the group of friends. A little run down, it hides a supernatural horror.

Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1avH00L
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Buy on Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/15oFc4a

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About Cindy Carroll

Cindy Carroll is a member of Sisters in Crime and a graduate of Hal Croasmun’s screenwriting ProSeries. Her interviews with writers of CSI and Flashpoint appeared in The Rewrit, the Scriptscene newsletter, the screenwriting Chapter of RWA. She writes screenplays, thrillers, and paranormals, occasionally exploring an erotic twist. A background in banking and IT doesn’t allow much in the way of excitement so she turns to writing stories that are a little dark and usually have a dead body. When she’s not writing you can usually find her on Twitter.
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13 Responses to Work and home life balance

  1. Cindy, you’ve hit upon a good point about balancing your time to write. Like you, I’ve decided that my family comes first and foremost. I can’t write about the real world unless I take part in it, and that means being a part of your real life. Choose your path and take the first step, and by setting a goal, you will do it. Good post. My one regret about writing is that I didn’t take myself seriously enough when I was younger. You go girl!!!

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  2. Wranglers says:

    I think you spoke about most everyone’s dilemma. Even sort of retired, I have trouble with balance. I find working at home nice, but I keep thinking I need to attend to something around the house before I do what I enjoy and write! I like to proof my writing at a coffee shop. I can focus with everyone else chatting and attending to their business, but I don’t see the housework! Good for you in choosing family. I sell Mary Kay, and their motto for 50 years has been God, Family and Business for an order of focus. I find that helps me with all my endeavors. You are certainly on the right track. Good and relevant post!

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  3. Mike Staton says:

    How do I create balance in my life? 🙂 I took early retirement. Seriously. It took nearly 20 years to write and find a publisher for my first novel. Twenty years. Over that time I had four different professions — daily newspaper reporter, public relations hack, instructional developer and finally a weekly newspaper reporter. I had to squeeze my creative writing into time allotments. Often I was on the road working as a consultant at paper mills; I’d work on the novel in the evening and on weekends. I managed to finish two novels ultimately and see both published. They were the first two books of a trilogy and I began the third book when unemployed during the Great Recession, then I finally managed to get a “desperation” job back in my original profession, news and sports writing. Maybe because I was much older and perhaps slower, I found I couldn’t do both — cover events, write news/sports stories and write chapters. The novel was put on hiatus. But in January I retired at age 62, moved to Vegas to move in with a friend, and I finally picked up “Assassins’ Lair” after months and months of inaction. I’d even forgotten the plot intricacies, the plot weaves, so I had to reread. I’ve managed to evolve from about page 80 to page 183. So that was my solution for my needs — and it’s working. Here I’ve even found a writers group and went to one of their meetings.

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  4. Good article. I write in the wee hours of the morning, during lunch breaks, during my kid’s sports practice. I write fast. I think up my stories in the car. It all works out layers and layer upon layers. It all works out.

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  5. Wranglers says:

    A great blog Cindy, it is hard to get balance in our lives. I struggle with it all the time. (I’m looking a little sheepish here), sometimes when I have extra time I waste it. I’m hoping for more home time this summer. Cher’ley

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  6. I applaud you Cindy, for managing as well as you do with such a busy life. I actually was more productive and took time to rest when I was working full time and writing. My family came first though and I knew that I’d have more time to write when I retired. I ended up having to go on SSD at age 57 due to a back surgery gone wrong. That has given me lots more time to write but I have to schedule it carefully. If not, other things overtake the time and I get nothing done. Balance is a tricky thing and it sometimes takes several tries to get it right, I think. I’m at a good place now. I sincerely hope you get the opportunity to write full time and I believe you will. Keep on trying!

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  7. sstamm625 says:

    That’s something we all struggle with, isn’t it? For years, I resented the day job. Now, I’ve managed to reduce my hours a bit, to give myself more time for writing and marketing. And finding that balance has made me much happier. I have even come to realize that the day job is an important part of the balance for me–and not just because it’s the way I pay the bills. It get me out of the house, out of my own head. I like the people I work with, and the work I do calls on a different part of my brain than my creative writing work. We each have to find the balance that works for us. Great post, Cindy!
    Stephanie

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  8. Doris says:

    I Think you are on the right track, balance is the key. I enjoy my work, but it is just a small piece of what makes up my life. I wish you all success and know you will succeed. Doris

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  9. Nancy Jardine says:

    From my last post you might discern I don’t really get the balance right all the time, and I know that when I was a fulltime teacher I could not have managed to be an author as well. My teaching day was a long one, and since my husband travelled around the world on business my daughters got all the rest of my time. Writing came later when they had flown the coop!

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  10. When I was single and sometimes working forty hours a week, it was hard to balance work and writing. When I got married, my husband persuaded me to quit my day job and write full time, saying we could get by on our disability payments alone. I trusted him, and he was right. Now that he has passed away, I could go back to work, but if I don’t have to, why bother? I’m doing what I like to do. My dream of writing full time has become a reality.

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  11. katewyland says:

    Achieving balance can be a challenge even without a full-time job. I write at home, but it is so easy to be distracted by all the things that “need to be done.” I don’t think the problem ever goes away. But do always remember family comes first.

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  12. Kathy Waller says:

    You’re right–a job is a job; it’s not your life. When I worked, I couldn’t write. Days were long and the job was always on my mind. Retirement and a supportive husband have given me the opportunity to write. But I sometimes wish I’d made more of an effort to achieve balance between work and life.

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  13. erinfarwell says:

    When we adopted our daughter several years ago, I went from the primary bread winner to the stay-at-home mom, which I find to be an oxymoron. I loved my job before but always dreamed of writing full time. When Willow came along and my role changed, I found being a parent more challenging than any job but more rewarding as well. The problem is, there is always something, some distraction, that can keep me from writing. Sometimes, like now with the house all torn up, it feels like the universe is against me and my writing. The fact I cling to is that I am happier and feel more myself when I write so I prioritize it when and how I can. Thanks for the great post.

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