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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Finding Balance

My office abounds with motivational sayings. Some are phrases: Believe in all you do. A place for everything and everything in its place. Relax, God is in control. Others are single words: inspire, create, simplify. Over my computer desk are the words: dream, wish and hope beneath the phrase, Once upon a time . . ..

I chose one word as my focus for 2008: balance. While shopping one day, I found magnets with the word emblazoned on their shiny silver fronts and bought several, which I sprinkled liberally throughout the house to serve as constant reminders.

Balance doesn't come easily to me. When I sit down to write, the rest of the world has been known to fade from view as the creative flow gushes forth. How can dishes and laundry compete with the thrill of capturing my characters' stories? They can't. All too often overflowing sinks and hampers are clear evidence of my struggle.

But struggle I do. As much as I delight in writing, I have a real life with real people in the here and now. I fight the sometimes overwhelming urge to neglect all else in favor of getting one more scene, one more chapter or one more book finished. It isn't easy, but I do my best.

When I succeed in prying my fingers from the keyboard, I am often blessed. I'll enjoy an enlightening conversation with my husband or daughter, a delightful lunch with a friend, or a lively Toastmasters meeting, after which I return to my writing refreshed and recharged. I'm the first to admit that I have not achieved my goal of being balanced, but I continue to get closer. I will persist.

If you struggle with balance and have learned lessons along the way that have proven helpful, I'd love to hear from you.

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