Why Writers Need to be Tightrope Walkers

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.

grey backKevin T. Johns is an author, writing coach, and ghostwriter. He has helped hundreds of writers from around the world get ideas out of their heads, onto the page, and into readers' hands. Get your free copy of his short guide for authors below.

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