I'm a person of extremes. I love winter's fierce cold, and summer's fierce heat, shunning the middling temperance of spring and fall. When I'm excited, or happy, very little can bring me down. But when I am down, I am deep blue, and want nothing more than to crawl under the covers and watch SEX AND THE CITY reruns (and yes, I'm seeing the movie tonight! Opening night of course...no other extreme will do...). I love passionately and wildly, and I can be unforgiving in anger. If I'm exercising, I'm going to the gym every night. If I'm not, then it's pizza and ice cream and lazy naps. Sigh.
The thing is this: I don't think extremes are healthy. Moderation, balance, even-ness is the key to a sane, calm life. But then do you risk losing some of the passion? I've been thinking about this more than ever now as I'm working on my new novel, SEA CHANGE. For all the whole time I've been a published writer, I have also worked a full-time job as an editor. This balancing act has always been tricky--trying to get enough sleep for the workday, trying to leave work early so that I'll have the energy to write in the evenings. But lately this juggling act has been ever harder to achieve. Maybe it's because people grow-- my career has advanced, and my expectations of my writing have advanced, and both demand more of me. I feel stretched thin, and exhausted most of the time. But I don't want to let go of either. I love my day job, and I love writing, and they are both inextricable pieces of my identity.
And of course there isn't just work, but there is life. There is my lovely boyfriend, and my wonderful friends, and my family. There is my darling nephew with whom I would gladly spend a lifetime playing, and there are sun-soaked days that beg to spent in parks and on beaches. There is food to be sampled, and TV shows to enjoy, and books to be read for pleasure. And though all this "life," when I am in the writing trenches, feels like distractions, like trivialities, it is in fact what is most important, most dear--and without it, there would be nothing to write at all.
So how does one do it? I know every writer has her or her own method, own "trick" for making the right sacrifices, achieving the right balance. I guess as I continue to grow, I'll hit upon mine. In the meantime, I'll be living and writing and working, and most of all, trying to get more sleep.