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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Mahalia Levey

Balancing Life and Writing

This is a topic that is never ending. It’s a constant struggle to make sure you cover the bases with the responsibilities of being a writer and making sure you don’t forsake your family for your passion of your craft.
I don’t like setting limits but I do favor setting reasonable goals as long as it’s positive no matter the outcome. One would be a minimum and maximum amount of writing you’d like to personally do in one day. The minimum for me is five hundred words; the maximum is three thousand words. These two goals are only enacted if I’m not working on edits. I’ve found the day I’m least productive is to work on promoting my work both online and in my community through different mediums. The day I do promoting so far is Monday. Just getting the kids back to school and the man off to work is tedious enough.   

Since I work from home right now, I have from seven in the morning to three in the afternoon to write and take care of the house. I plan dinner early and find that writing first thing in the morning works better for me than in the afternoon. 

I get on line a bit each day to check on my sites, update my website and speak to the readers who email me or are on loop. I find maintaining a relationship with the public is just as important as promoting. 

Family Time

Explaining to your loved ones that a good portion of individuals you need to contact a few times a week at the very least is difficult, especially when they don’t understand why the individuals weren’t available during the daytime, therefore the computer and/or IM must remain on or you must have a chance to contact them. To avert teenage angst in my household… I’ve come up with the following plan:

1.       I go to every home game to support my children

2.       When the heathens of mine walk through the door, I leave the computer to inquire about their day and chat. :-)

3.       Dinner Time is Family time!

4.       Twice a week is family board game night. No electronics or cell phones allowed by anyone in the family.

5.       One night I sit and watch an hour of TV with them all

6.       We have one hour of leisure reading a night and once a week we discuss together what we’ve read and what we’ve liked and disliked about it.

7.       Since my fiancé works for AMC we normally go see a movie at the theater for free :-)

8.       When I have edits, I say, "I love you but I have a deadline and must disappear; don’t think I’m ignoring you, I’m not; just like your homework this has to be in on a specific date." Gives me validation without guilt and them an understanding of my time management.


Becca Dale said...

Good plan. I am about to switch over to working from my home and I am setting a schedule much like this. Glad to know it works.

Hales said...

It does you know but you have to remember real life hits sometimes and that you might be drained or just too busy to do your normal amount of work. I think when that happens just roll with it, once you're mind is clear the characters will be demanding once again to be written. It seems either my muse or the characs know how I'm feeling so in times of duress they remain silent but once a semblance of calm comes over me again they're like never ending toddlers with 'can we now?'