Thursday, April 26, 2018

Work-Life Balance for Writers + GIVEAWAY {with special guest Kathleen Y'Barbo}

Hi, friends! It's Laurie. Today I have a special treat for you. I was reading the ACFW email loop a few weeks ago and came across a piece of advice so profound and convicting. When I scrolled up to see who had provided such a much-needed dose of reality, I did a double-take. I should have known those words that hit me exactly where and when I needed them were from my very own mentor, Kathleen Y'Barbo Turner. And today, I'm going to share her with you :)

Y'all, she is superwoman. She has multiple books releasing this year and finished this latest one during. a. hurricane. Superwoman, I tell you. Here's Kathleen's response to a budding author asking about the work-life-writing balance. (Shared with permission.)


At last count, I am nearing 100 published books since I got my first contract in 1999. In 2004, when circumstances caused me to become a single mom (of four kids) with a full-time job, I had four novels published. Thus, the rest of those books have been written while I was either in full-time training to get my certification or working a full-time job as a paralegal in a law office.

Here’s the short version of how I wrote multiple books each year and managed a job and a family:

You do what you have to do. Period.

I had to write, both for the financial side of things and for the love of writing. Even on those days — or weeks or months—when I didn’t love writing, I did it anyway. You do what you have to do. Period.

Even as a newlywed back in 2010, I was working and writing. I actually completed copy edits on my honeymoon! Because you do what you have to do. Period.

Last year I wrote five books while working full-time. This year I’ve got three scheduled to complete and several other indie projects calling my name. As witnessed by what I am doing right now—sitting next to my husband as he channel surfs while I type—things can get done in the limited hours you have each day.

A few suggestions: 

1. Plan ahead, but be flexible. I was a pantser for years, but I know that, when I plot, I write faster.
2. Stop being a diva about where and when you write. Acquire the skill of being able to write wherever and whenever you can.
3. Learn how to write fast. There are great books on the topic. Get one. Practice that skill.
4. Value what you do. God gave you this gift. He will give you the time. Ask Him. And thank Him for what He will do while trusting He will do it.

It's Laurie again. I have been struggling with all of this lately, back in school and juggling work and family and studying and writing. Admittedly, I've been a bit of a diva about inspiration and energy and cultivating the perfect conditions to fan my creative flame. So these words were exactly what I needed to stop overthinking and just get. it. done. 

"Value what you do. God gave you this gift. He will give you the time. Ask Him. And thank Him for what He will do while trusting He will do it."


Pasts Collide in New Orleans when a Treasure Goes Missing

Can a former privateer and a determined heiress find lost treasure in 1725? 

Comment with your best work-life balance tips for the chance to win Kathleen's latest book, The Pirate Bride


Glynis said...

I read this on the loop, too and I thought how hard it is for me to feel motivated to write when I'm not feeling "inspired". How I feel can not dictate my actions if there is a goal I want to meet. This was kind of a kick in the pants for me to sit down and write. Thanks for sharing this with everyone. It's really great advice!

Angie Quantrell said...

My best tip is to ALWAYS have paper and pen on hand. I can't always have my tablet or computer, but I can make sure I capture ideas, fragments, plots, and so on if I have something to write it down. Second tip? ALWAYS write it down! I won't remember, no matter how many times I think it's so wonderful, how can I forget that? But I do forget. Paper, pen, take notes.

Laurie Tomlinson said...

@Glynis - I agree completely! Such a good reminder because we can sabotage ourselves so much in that way!

@Angie - I love the idea of always having pen and paper. I keep some in my car, but now that I don't have a diaper bag to carry around anymore, I need to figure something else out! Thanks for commenting!

Unknown said...

Great advice! I'm still working on balancing work, life, family, and writing too, but one thing that helps me is to keep track of my word count and have a daily goal. Then if am motivated to sneak in words throughout the day to reach that goal (between wrangling twin 14 month olds who are learning the art of climbing and exploring! Ha!). Thanks for sharing, Laurie and Kathleen! Would love to win! Sounds like an amazing book.

Laurie Tomlinson said...

@Janette - I see you and applaud you, friend. I have ONE toddler boy at home and have no idea how you do it with two! <3 <3 Sounds like you are figuring out an effective system!

Unknown said...

YES YES YES!! This is a FANTASTIC article by a 'superwoman' for sure!!!

Thanks for the advice, Kathleen, AND the kick in the pants!!

Laurie - thanks for bringing Kathleen on to boss us around ;-) We needed the added inspiration, right?



Brandy Bruce said...

Great post!

Mary Preston said...

I always think that procrastination is your enemy. A time waster if ever there was one.

Lisa Lu said...

Just do it... i am the worst. But when i put things in perspective... i get it done! Thanks for this post!

Anonymous said...

I find that getting in the word of God first thing helps the rest of the day go smoother.

Melissa Andres said...

Exactly! Just get it done. For me, making a list of each thing I need to do helps. Plus I love crossing each one off and seeing how much I'm getting accomplished!

Debbie Clatterbuck said...

The best plan of action I have for my financial life is to create a budget and stick to it. Granted, budgets need to be updated from time to time as life changes happen, but it's still a great plan.


Caryl Kane said...

Super post!

Nancy said...

I rarely put things off, I just tackle them until they're out of the way. My mother instilled that attitude in me, I guess. I did have a huge task to do, and kept avoiding it. So, I mentally psyched myself up, prayed to God, in Jesus's name, and just jumped in. I kept working at it until I was satisfied with the progress. I still have work to do on it, but I've tackled the major parts of it.

Romans 10:8-13
John 3:16-21