I’ve never been a fan of “balance”.
When I gave up on the government-recommended “balanced diet” and instead ate an unbalanced diet that consisted primarily of vegetables and meet, I lost weight, gained muscle, felt healthier, and performed athletically at a higher level.
That’s just one example of why I’ve always believed obsessive focus and dedication is the secret to success, not the much touted “balanced approach”.
I’ve learned the hard way, however, that obsessive focus has its drawbacks, and the more I teach writing, the more I find myself urging authors to find balance in their work and their lives.
Here’s some of the things you’re going to need to balance:
The established elements of strong story structure vs. The unique story you want to tell
The importance of learning your craft vs. Fully embracing your creative spirit
Taking your work seriously vs. Having fun as an artist
Working hard on your writing vs. Spending time with your family
Committing yourself to long hours of in front of a computer vs. Getting exercise and healthy movement into your life
Plain language vs. Stylistic flourishes
Your day job vs. Your creative work as a writer
Dialogue scenes vs. Narrative prose
Group scenes vs. Intimate scenes
Big set pieces vs. Personal character arcs
Following your unique vision vs. Writing to market
The list goes on and on…
As it turns out, becoming a writer is a lot like taking on a career as a tight-rope walker.
Finding balance isn’t just recommended, it’s essential.
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