Balancing Work Life and Writing by Anna Belfrage – Writing Tips
Balancing Work Life and Writing by Anna Belfrage – Writing Tips
Our new segment for 2022 is for new authors/writers and written by published authors, titled – Writing Tips. These posts will be shared with you every Wednesday.
Our latest post is from author Anna Belfrage on the subject ‘A Reflection on Balancing Work Life, Writing, and Life in General‘. This post contains affiliate links.
A Reflection on Balancing Work Life, Writing, and Life in General
When I first started writing “seriously” (after years and years of stealing a moment here, another there) it offered me a delightful escape from all the other responsibilities in my life. Four children, a sequence of demanding jobs in various multinational companies, a large home and garden—time was always in short supply.
At first, that was all my writing was: an escape. I tried to keep my expectations on my writing down. I was doing this for fun. It didn’t matter if I only sold 38 copies of my book, because this was for me. Except I sold more than 38 copies, and look, there was a wonderful review and there was a horrible one-star review and OMG, I had to do better!
The competitive nature that served me well in my professional life bled over to my writing endeavours, and suddenly it was no longer about escape. It was about achieving recognition as a writer, about delivering a product. Gah!
I was still working my 60 hour weeks and there were days when I toyed with the idea of quitting my job to concentrate on my writing, but that was not an option as I needed a recurring income. Plus, I liked my job. Things happened and I was suddenly in a position to take a sabbatical.
“At last!” I thought. “Now I can finally concentrate on my writing and get that career off the ground.”
See? My pastime had become a secondary career… Thing is, when I had all that time on my hands, my muse went mute. I sat in front of my laptop and tried and tried, but Ms Inspiration sourly informed me that if I was on a sabbatical, so was she, and could I please stop bothering her?
My sabbatical ended. I had a new exciting job, and just like that, my writing was back in full force. I have since attempted to analyse this, and I think my creative efforts feed off my desire to escape the structures and demands of my job.
Many successful writers tend to tell newbie writers that their best advice is “don’t quit your day job”. I believe that is very good advice, as less than 5% of all published authors earn enough to live off writing. Plus, my experience is that my day job is not only relevant to keeping me fed and clothed. It is also fundamental in keeping my inspiration going, because it is when I approach my writing as a bubble of self-indulgent escapism, that my fingers begin to fly over the keys. So these days, I remind myself frequently of the fact that I write because I LOVE to write, because it offers me moments of utter joy and contentment.
My advice to all other aspiring writers out there is the following:
– Accept that your writing will never be your primary occupation.
– Indulge yourself when you write—write what you want to write (and like to read) not what you think might sell the best. After all, you’re not writing to put food on the table! (Plus, writing what you think might sell is always problematic as the market is fluid and while vampires may be just the thing one year, the next they’re dead in the water)
– Remind yourself frequently that you write because you love to write – and on those days when you don’t, take a break and do something else. Your writing will still be there when your desire to write returns. That’s the good thing about writing as a hobby: you can generally set the deadlines yourself.
– Balance is important! 60 hour weeks at work followed by 40 hour weeks writing will erode your stamina and health. Exercise, spend time with friends and family, enjoy life. Because while writing can always wait, life is a precious, precious gift that should not be squandered.
About the Author
Had Anna Belfrage been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients.
At present, Anna is hard at work with the next instalment of her “Castilian” series. Once again, she returns to the medieval world. In His Castilian Hawk, she transports us back to Wales during Edward I’s conquest. In The Castilian Pomegranate, the reader is invited along to medieval Castile and Aragon, places rife with intrigue and betrayal. The next book is as yet nameless, but is set in England.
Anna has also recently published a new time travel novel, The Whirlpools of Time. Join Duncan and the somewhat reluctant time-traveller Erin on their adventures through the Scottish Highlands just as the first Jacobite rebellion is about to explode.
All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals, several Discovered Diamond awards and has also won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.
Publisher – Timelight Press
Pages – 390
Release Date – 11th June 2021
ISBN 13 – 978-9198405422
Format – ebook, paperback
He hoped for a wife. He found a companion through time and beyond.
It is 1715 and for Duncan Melville something fundamental is missing from his life. Despite a flourishing legal practice and several close friends, he is lonely, even more so after the recent death of his father. He needs a wife—a companion through life, someone to hold and be held by. What he wasn’t expecting was to be torn away from everything he knew and find said woman in 2016…
Erin Barnes has a lot of stuff going on in her life. She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour. Besides, whoever Duncan may be, she can’t exactly deny the immediate attraction.
The complications in Erin’s life explode. Events are set in motion and to Erin’s horror she and Duncan are thrown back to 1715. Not only does Erin have to cope with a different and intimidating world, soon enough she and Duncan are embroiled in a dangerous quest for Duncan’s uncle, a quest that may very well cost them their lives as they travel through a Scotland poised on the brink of rebellion.
Will they find Duncan’s uncle in time? And is the door to the future permanently closed, or will Erin find a way back?