I spend a lot of time working on pacing in my writing. I focus on storyboarding, sentence and paragraph structure, and slowing or speeding up certain scenes to make the story flow properly. Then, eventually, I work on it all over again during edits. I bet you do too, but how much time do you spend on pacing in your life?
I’ve spent the past year trying to find a place of balance between my everyday life and my writer life. *Spoiler Alert* It isn’t easy.
When I started writing my first book, I was obsessed with everything writerly and publishing related. How did my friends and family feel about this? What friends and family? Oh yeah, them. Right. They weren’t terribly happy, and to be honest, I burned out for a bit. So, I swung in the opposite direction and took some time off between manuscripts to spend time with real people and emerge from behind my computer long enough to remember what the sun felt like on my face and the wind in my hair. And now, I’m enduring a gap between book releases because of it.
What’s a bad girl to do? Balance that pacing!
I’m currently on a deadline to finish the developmental edits on my next release, THE INFAMOUS HEIR, while I begin writing book 3 in this series, THE WICKED HEIR. Both projects are due soon. So what did I do this holiday weekend? I worked on some household repairs with my family, AND I worked on the edits. For me, avoiding writer burn out and holding my everyday life together requires some time spent away from my computer. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Here are a few ways I’ve found to help balance the pacing in my writing life:
- During designated writing time—actually write. Looking at pretty dresses online should be a reward for work already done, not what you set out to do.
- Be present—when you walk away from your manuscript, do it intentionally. When you choose to spend time in the real world, put the cell phone down, and participate in life.
- Balance that workload. You can neglect the laundry in favor of writing. You can’t write instead of picking your kid up from school. There are some things in everyday life that must be done first, but it doesn’t all need to be done before you can write.
- Write as soon as you are able. Don’t make empty promises to yourself of writing time or before long, your computer will be cast aside like a piece of trendy exercise equipment in your basement.
- Jump on the opportunities life hands you. You will always be writing a manuscript. Don’t let that stop you from meeting up with your high school BFF who’s in town for the evening.
- If something has to give in your life, let it be social media—not your friends, your family, or your writing.
Go write words! Or go do something fun with that friend you haven’t seen in a year and write tomorrow—it’s all about your pacing.
Do you need to work on the pacing in your writer life?