"All Good Things In Moderation" is definitely a healthy philosophy to follow, in my humble opinion. It just makes sense. Doing a little work for a set amount of time, taking time to rest, taking time to eat, taking time to relax and be with your family, sleep, rinse and repeat. Easy, right?
Unfortunately for me, no… Not so easy.
If you're the type of writer who is able to juggle all of that in perfect harmony, then I have nothing but admiration for you. One day I hope that I, too, can achieve that sense of balance in my life.
But if I'm being honest with myself, I'm terrible at balance. Since I was a kid, I've always been either 100% committed or 0% committed to anything: tasks, chores, work, rest, food, family, you name it. I was either focus on ONE thing, or NOTHING at all. My brain can't seem to stretch itself any further than that.
So when I fell in love with writing, I spent the next decade writing non-stop for hours at a time, sometimes even days or weeks or months... I sacrificed a lot of sleep, I forgot to eat more times than I care to admit, and more often than not, I even forgot I was in the real world at all. This was my routine, for years. It became a habit.
Now throw a baby into the mix (not literally, please!) and that routine went straight out the window real quick (not with the baby).
Sure, pregnancy helped ease into new routines... sort of. They didn't last very long, but it did help break out of some habits I'd been struggling to free myself from.
Now, I know it probably wasn't the best idea, but I was determined to reach a deadline for one of my novellas, Princess of Shadow and Dream, so for the last two months of pregnancy I wrote as much as I possibly could, knowing I wouldn't be able to get as much done when the baby dragon was born. But between the sudden naps that made me drop everything to sleep on the couch to the terrible back pain that forced me to lie down anyway, I didn't quite finish before the baby... but the baby slept so much, I was actually able to finish in the next two weeks between sleep and feedings.
Turns out, newborns weren't exactly the disastrous hurricanes I was expecting. All they know is feeding, sleeping, pooping, and cuddles! Yes, they keep you up every two or three hours (which sucks away your memory, which is honestly why I don't remember writing a word of that novella despite knowing that I did write it!) but I was lucky to have a wonderful husband to share the night shift with. I was doubly lucky to have him considering I'd undergone an emergency C-section (our baby dragon had lost a LOT of blood during the birth and almost didn't make it) and I needed help getting around the apartment, getting to the bathroom, getting to the baby, carrying the baby, and even lying down and sitting up again... He had to pull me up and ease me down just to get me in and out of bed. He never complained about it either, so he was such a trooper while I was pretty useless for the first six weeks of mom life. They literally cut me open, so major surgery takes time to heal (but I have an awesome battle scar now, so that's pretty badass!).
After I healed up and my husband went back to work, we enrolled her in daycare so I could go back to work myself. We didn't have much of a budget for it, so we could only afford a month of it, and my parents (wonderful as they are) offered to pay for another month so I could finish up the last book in the NecroSeam Chronicles.
Now that it's done and she's out of daycare, I had to learn a new new routine to fit in some writing while having a one-year-old. I'm getting bits and pieces in, but hey, it's something! Get done what you can, right?
But I never say no to cuddle time!