The Great Balancing Act

Just typed "The End" on only my second short story of 2011. It feels good, but I have to say that I'm not encouraged by my output at the word processor this year.

That's not necessarily a bad thing.

The pair of stories I've written this year are long. At least there's that.

One checks in near 8,000 words, the other at 6,000. In addition to these tales, which both feel like some of my strongest writing (though not my sharpest storytelling, which is a post for a different day) to date, I've put down roughly 13,000 words on a novel.

If my last three years have been any kind of reliable guide, I'm at about 50% of where I should be. In most years, I compose between fifteen and twenty short stories. I'll be happy to write five of them this year (in addition to getting that novel delivered to Bernadette).

So where does the time go? Well, Lyla was up this morning at 4:30 with nightmares (no more Tales from the Darkside with breakfast for us). The three of us still tried to get some rest, but that was pretty much the start of our day. Logging the daily word count on five hours of sleep is hard. Call me a pansy, a wuss--whatever--but it is.

I've also been teaching myself the principles of book design. It's an ongoing process that is enjoyable for those with a DIY ethos, but it definitely gobbles the hours.

I like to cook and exercise and spend time with my wife and daughter, and that's the lion's share of the rest of the day. Also, I don't want to let my students down or suck at my job, so there's loads of hours there.

I read at night and try to turn in at a reasonable hour (I've only watched the first quarter of two of the NBA finals games--THE FIRST QUARTER!), so there you have it.

But it's a good schedule for me. This is fine, and I don't feel like I'm rationalizing here. Being with Jeanne and Lyla, maintaining my health, and learning things like book design (teach a man to fish and all that) are foundational to the writing. Skimping in these other aspects of life would only make the writing process more difficult.

The one thing that every publishing "expert" seems to crow about that I really haven't made much time to dabble in is social networking. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter, and I only write sporadically in this web journal. My presence on Goodreads or Kindleboards is scant. I just don't have the time to do it, and I doubt that will change in the near future.

Alas, it's all a balancing act, and one I'm happily reconciled to. Now, off to revisions and submissions.

Have a good day, those reading this, regardless of what you're doing (hell, watch some Price is Right and think kindly of me, if you will...)!

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