The Balancing Act Called Life (Or: I Still Have A Lot To Learn)

It’s been a while. Goodness, has it been a while.

I’ve missed writing on my personal blog a lot. I don’t even think it has been that terribly long, but I do know that when I log on, I open WordPress, check any notifications and then close right back out of it for enough consecutive days that it’s got me bumming hard. Especially as I still have 12+ blogs in my drafts folder I want to write. Of course, I didn’t choose one of those to get back into the swing of things but instead decided to write a post about why I’ve been so absent:

Life.

I know, not the most exciting answer. And not surprising, either. How often does life get in the way of what we want to do, forcing us back into the mundane and the routine? Yet I’m in a weird position right now where it’s not only the mundane aspects of my life that are getting in the way–like adulting responsibilities–but the things that I want to be doing are also getting in the way of doing other things that I want to be doing, like writing and blogging.

Let me ‘plain.

For the past few weeks, I have felt constantly behind; like I’m always making excuses or apologies to others for my tardiness, my slowness or my inability to keep up with a schedule. Most of that time, I was stressing out about securing a job before I move into my apartment on the 27th. Thankfully, I have one (though due to pay miscommunication, I will most likely have to search for a second one before too long) and can move into my apartment without feeling like I’m going to vomit because all my money disappeared; which I have continually felt in waves, one day feeling financially stable and confident, the next, staring in horror at my bank account and all the looming bills waiting to take a stab at me. Now I’m slowly going through the process of purchasing furniture, figuring out utilities and internet, getting renter’s insurance, all the aspects of actually moving, et cetera.

Aside from adulting, I am trying to balance a couple main things: reading, blogging, book reviewing, editing (personally and as a CP), writing and gaming. Most of these things are normally considered hobbies. But I feel like some of them have transitioned for me to be less hobby-like–though still as enjoyable–and more like jobs in their own rights. And I’m slowly figuring out that I must figure out (ha) how to balance all of the commitments and personal goals that I have relating to these things, on top of other responsibilities in other aspects of my life. Because I don’t want to–and don’t plan to–give any of them up.

In regards to writing and editing, I’m really excited where my life has turned to, as a year ago, none of this was happening. At the moment, I’m working (and getting paid) to assist in editing a client’s manuscript. I’m beta reading a friend’s manuscript. I just turned in a Readers Report on another manuscript for an agency I’m hoping to remotely intern for throughout this semester. I’m also reading another manuscript as part of a trilogy trade (and oh so excited about it *squee*). Not to mention that I will be forever editing Darryn’s trilogy and still have to finish my first round of edits on Grayson’s story before September. I’m so excited to do all of these things, but they are all going on at the same time.

And that’s not all.

I have two books one publishing company sent me to read and review. I just received a box of eight books my dream agent sent me to also read and review. Not to mention the five books I have from the library and the nth number of books on my never-ending To-Read list. I have three letters that are still awaiting replies. And I haven’t even gotten to my own writing I still need to do. I have written in almost a month, so consumed have I been with editing my own work and the works of others. And not creating something new is taking its toll on me. I’m itching for it. Not only to finish Artemis’s story, which I have fallen in love with and miss terribly, but also a new story that I came up with on the drive home from work one day and can’t get rid of. Like Artemis did while I was writing Grayson’s story, this story is starting to knock on all the walls of my brain while slipping sneakily between the crevasses of my heart, trying to pull me away from my current WIP so I can learn about her. I don’t know her name yet, but I can see her face. I am dying to meet her (which, of course, requires me to write). And then I have the short story I want to edit, the other short story I want to write and the premise of another story that I’m not sure what to do with yet, but I know it is worth exploring. And I really want to return to writing my novel-length video game fanfiction.

But that’s not all.

Then we move into other aspects of my life that also take up time. My dog and I have one more week left of our 12 Week Walking Challenge (and then another week before I move out and my brother takes over the helm of walking the 90-pound Golden-Behemoth 2 miles around the neighborhood daily). Once I move out, I want to set up a fitness regime that I actually stick to. I really want to put fitness at the top of my priority list. I want to finish some TV shows I have been putting off for years. I have a family I’m close to and friends I want to hang out with. I have projects at work I need to complete. I’m also part of an international mentoring program at work that starts on the 22nd. Plus things like showering, sleeping, cleaning, cooking, driving; you know, back to the mundane.

Where do you find the time?!

So I’m busy. I have a lot on my plate, most of it self-inflicted since I have a hard time saying no. But I want it like this, oddly enough. Despite the feeling of craziness and being slightly overwhelmed; despite feeling like I’m always behind and that there is never enough time in the day, I love it. I love being so involved in the writing and editing community. Only a year ago, that part of my life was practically non-existent, even on my personal writing side. I love making a schedule and having almost every hour of my day filled with goals and projects. And at the moment, I don’t so much overwhelmed, like I did earlier this month, but moreso like I’m just never going to get caught up. But I try, anyway, and enjoy the ride, as frantic and busy and rewarding as it is.

And I think that’s okay.

Cheers.

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About Nicole Evans

Nicole Evans is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently unpublished and is working fervently to get the “un” removed from that statement. She has five completed manuscripts: a trilogy about destined heroes that fail anyway, a science fiction standalone that pits the natural desire to love against the natural instinct to kill during the extinction of the human race and a new series about a writer who can't get published and gets the chance to live a life that all writers dream. She also has two scripts done. Currently, she is about to start writing the second of a nine book series while planning two more. (If you can tell, she really likes this whole writing thing.) Considering she has run out of space for putting rejections letters up on her wall, Nicole now uses her spare time doing the typical things that nerds do: blogging, dying repeatedly during video games (which she believes is retribution for the characters’ she’s killed), wishing she was the character she is currently reading about and trying to fight off the real world by living in her own head, with varying degrees of success. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies, and works part-time as a supervisor in a library at the University of Kansas. View all posts by Nicole Evans

17 responses to “The Balancing Act Called Life (Or: I Still Have A Lot To Learn)

  • azpascoe

    You HAVE to tell me how you got into editing and reviewing etc. I really want to do some part-time work (or unpaid work experience, I really don’t care which!) in the editing/publishing industry so I can start to build up something to put on my resume when I finish my degree and move home. I just can’t understand how people get started in things – editing, freelance writing etc – and I need help 😛 I’ve tried googling it, but other than sending someone an email and being like “oh hey, I don’t have any qualifications or experience, but I’d love to intern for you and learn ’bout this stuff,” I can’t find anything really concrete :/ Teach me your ways!

    • inkstaind13

      Honestly, I sort of stumbled upon it and didn’t realize what was happening until it already happened! Most of the manuscripts I’m working on now are either beta reading or through critique partners. I found most of them through a Tweet I posted during the #p2p16 contest on Twitter. But a few are simply writers I discovered and asked if I could read their work, when they put out a call.

      As far as the internships go, my senior year of college, everyone was like, “You need an internship,” and I was like, “Why didn’t you tell me this before, I’m about to graduate??” So I googled “Remote Publishing Internships” and that’s how I found Folio’s posting. They emailed me a few weeks later and offered me a position. The potential internship I have now (still waiting to hear if it is official or not!) I actually stumbled upon when they posted a call on Twitter. So I would either look for current posting for internships widely and just apply–it never hurts to try, experience or otherwise–or, search specific agencies that you really like or respect and see if they have any internship spots open.

      Does that help at all??

      • azpascoe

        You’re a lady and a scholar! Sorry it took me so long to reply – wordpress has been hating on me for a few days and not showing up comments -_- Yeah, that makes sense: I’d really like to do something while I’m in the US and do it from a distance, so maybe I’ll try googling that too :p You’re amazing woman! 🙂

      • inkstaind13

        I have never received a better compliment in my entire life. A lady AND a scholar? (And I’m not even being sarcastic.) Not a problem. I hope you find something awesome!! Keep me posted what you do (also, you said while in the US, implying that you’re going somewhere else. The woman filled with wanderlust ((me)) wants to pry on that detail, if you’re willing. :P) ❤

      • azpascoe

        Haha you’re welcome, you’re welcome *bows* Thanks chick! I’ll definitely let you know. Haha well I’m an Aussie 🙂 We moved over here in June and are living here until end of 2018/start of 2019 for my man’s work, then heading home again. Crazy right?! That being said, we do have to leave the country at some point to reset my visa, so no doubt there will be tales :p

      • inkstaind13

        When I read that, I read, “So I’m an Aussie and I’m actually looking for an American roommate to come move in with me back in my native country once my man’s work is done. Do you know anyone that fits the bill?”

        That’s what you wrote, right? Because search no longer, I volunteer as tribute! 😛 😛

        (Okay, more serious: that’s awesome! And what a neat experience. I hope there aren’t any complications with the visa. That process is novel-worthy in itself, based on what I heard from friends’ tales.)

      • azpascoe

        Hahaha you would be more than welcome! I’d just tell him that you’re essential for my creativity and we’re going to take the world by storm with our amazing written work :p
        Well he’s over here on an offical passport on government business, so it’s easy for him! But we’re not married, so it was a bit of a pain in the ass for me :p

      • inkstaind13

        I think that could totally work. Plus, I can clean, so I can offer something to the household. 😛 I believe it!! I’m sorry you have to deal with the painful side of it. 😦

      • azpascoe

        Hahaha okay, it sounds like this is a win all ’round! Like pretty much the best idea ever. I’ll tell James it’s a done deal :p But seriously, you’re always welcome to drop in for a visit, whether we’re in Oklahoma or Aus! Yeah, it was a stressful time trying to get over here, but we were on a really short time frame from an administrative point of view (about 6 weeks) which really complicated everything AND we needed new passports -_- so we’ve come out relatively unscathed :p

      • inkstaind13

        I can also walk dogs or take care of kids or cook, albeit poorly. But I bake fantastically! 😛 I don’t see how this could not work out. Hahaha, one day, if I can afford it, I’m going to travel to New Zealand and try not to return, so if I do, I’ll definitley hop on over and visit you both! I didn’t realize you were in Oklahoma. I’m in Kansas. So close! Gosh, I can imagine. I’m impressed, no matter how many loopholes, that you guys were able to do it!!

      • azpascoe

        Haha well I really want a dog! AND BAKING IS THE BEST THING EVER. That is a fact :p So, it’s settled then! Perfect. But seriously, that would be amazing. NZ is beautiful and you would always be welcome 🙂 If we ever end up travelling to Kansas (I think maybe James has some plans to?) we should catch up for coffee!! And cake 🙂 Mostly cake 😛

      • inkstaind13

        I want 12 dogs, so this is going to work out well. 😛 😛 😛 Gosh, I really hope this becomes a reality one day! So much winning. Yes, definitely! You both would be more than welcome at my place (though bring sleeping bags, as the furniture is a bit lacking, but the town I live in is awesome). And ALL THE CAKE.

      • azpascoe

        We will have ALL THE DOGS! Haha me too :p But you will definitely have to visit us, either in OK or in Aus (or both!) and I’ve already told James it’s happening :p I’m officially excited!

  • Jessica M

    Oh my word, where /do/ you find the time?? I don’t know why we cram our schedule so much. Video games have taken a backseat (like, way, way in the back) in my life now, and sometimes I miss it. Especially that fanfiction aspect of it..! If I’m not doing this, then I have to get to that, and if there isn’t enough time to do that, there’s this that needs to be done. It’s crazy and exhausting — though I do relate with you that it is nice to have all these responsibilities. Makes you feel alive, don’t it? You are adulting just fine (:

    And I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself! There is so much I’d like to do as well, but without being able to create or stick to a schedule (because my life is never stable, whether due to emotions or family), it’s really hard. Which is why to-do lists work better for me. But scheduling it all is a great thing. Just don’t forget to give yourself a day off every week! It’s imperative so you won’t burn out.

    Best of luck with all your endeavors! Looking forward to hearing about your new apartment and your writing life!

    • inkstaind13

      Jessica, every time you comment, my heart is filled. You leave such thoughtful and engaging comments and I just need to express my appreciation for them.

      Anyhoo:I dunno why we do this, either. And some days, I’m totally cool with it and ready to go. Other days, I am overwhelmed with stress. Videogames I have kept on my list, though I think I may have to resort to only playing them on the weekends, so I actually can dedicate time to writing. But Netflix and movies have taken a backseat for me.

      The fact that you said I’m adulting just fine made me so happy, because half of the time, I know I’m floundering.

      I totally understand that. I just made a schedule, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be able to stick to it. And I LOVE To-Do lists! As long as you figure out what works for you, then fantastic! I agree, I didn’t schedule a day off, but I am working on not feeling so guilty when I don’t finish a To-Do list or if I do take a day to binge watch Netflix or play videogames for five hours.

      Thank you so much for being amazing. ❤

      • Jessica M

        Aw, you are too kind! ^^ Well now that I’m just beginning my third decade in life, I’ve come to find that adulting is really about experience and confidence, and staying firm with your morals and standards. It’s always nerve wracking the first time with anything — even if it’s just buying a new car, or signing that loan, there’s always that little voice of doubt — sometimes even a “what am I getting myself into” fear. And that’s totally normal. That is what it is to be an adult: to be afraid, yet be confident and follow through. And when mistakes are made, to forgive yourself and learn from them.

        Of course, ten years from now, my tune might change! These will probably be thought of as the “good ole’ days!”

        Other than a movie here or there every month or so, my movie/tv days have been long gone! I didn’t grow up with much television, so I think it was a sacrifice I didn’t mind making, because reading and writing is more useful and fun. The only downside is that a bad movie will end in about an hour. A bad book takes up much more time… but hey, I guess I prefer reading over watching! And if I /do/ get a spare evening… sometimes I can justify playing Sims. Because building a house for a character I’m writing about is still semi-productive, right?? :3

      • inkstaind13

        “…adulting is really about experience and confidence, and staying firm with your morals and standards.” <— I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. Also, this: "That is what it is to be an adult: to be afraid, yet to confident and follow through."
        Of course, in theory, I'll focus more on writing/editing like I put in the schedule, but in actuality, I'll definitely be fluctuating from it more often than not. *shrugs* But that's okay! Hahaha, definitely right. 😛

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