Thursday, May 26, 2022

Balance is Key: Juggling Author Demands


Blonde woman in dark green dress holding a notebook and pen in hand as she sits before a wooden desk holding a laptop, mosaic vase with large white and grey flowers behind her.
me after my Nebula panel: Writing Through the Pain

Wow is this topic timely. Last weekend was SFWA’s Nebula conference and I'd volunteered to be the sponsorship coordinator. It was a great weekend overall! Yes, there was a kerfuffle surrounding language used by a panelist, but SFWA has done a wonderful job of protecting its members and doing their best to ensure a safe space. 

Beyond the drama, there were some great panels I gleaned helpful tips and writing insight from. I’m thankful for all the volunteers who devoted so much of their time to make this online con happen…which brings me back to our topic: creativity on a deadline and how do we balance art with business demands?

I’ve volunteered for my kid’s various sports groups, so I was prepared—mostly—for the time suck. But the weeks leading up to the Nebulas were consumed by hours on my laptop. And I wasn’t writing. 

And that was okay.

I was prepared to devote time to the Nebulas and write when I could. So when my volunteer time crept into author time and took it hostage, I accepted it and moved forward. I didn’t dwell on ‘lost time’, a negative connotation I prefer not to use, and instead did little happy dances as each sponsorship was completed. I count this past month as a success!

Set realistic expectations (ex. a goal of 10,000 words/day stays in dreamland to keep me out of nightmare world)

Prioritize (the most pressing task gets done first, any energy leftover can be allotted secondary tasks)

Celebrate the wins (doesn’t matter how big or small—CHEER for the WINS)

Give yourself Grace (we’re not gods and we’re not built to accomplish everything in one day)

The Nebulas was fast and crazy and I’m very excited for the hybrid in-person/online conference planned for next year. But for now, I can get back to the word count! 

How do you juggle writing and author business?

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