December 14, 2012

no. 9: find balance

Blogger's Note: The 12 Days of Writing continues, today, with Kathleen Kole. After "meeting" on the Twitterverse last year we bonded over my fear of mice and her love of cartwheels. We've been buddies ever since. I'm also pleased to say I like her books (read my reviews here and here), which makes me even more excited to have her here, today. Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win a swag package.

No. 9: Find balance.

By Kathleen Kole
Author of Dollars to Donuts, Breaking Even and Favorable Conditions

When Laura invited me to be a part of her “12 Days of Writing”, I was thrilled! What a lovely offer and what a great opportunity to “chat” for a moment with readers.

What to write about; however, was swiftly the question. You see, Laura also kindly gave me carte blanche as to my subject and, let me tell you, there are so many things that pass through a person’s mind when that happens! Whew!

The winner? Balance. A subject that is dear to my heart and, I believe, especially pertinent as we wade into the holiday season. 

Balance can be defined in many ways. In fact, when you look it up in Webster’s Dictionary you quickly discover a multitude of definitions categorized by noun, verb, adjective and so on. I’m not sure of your personal definition, but for me I define balance as a state of harmony between mind, body and spirit. I know, I know. Often not an easy state to achieve.

For a writer, balance of mind, body and spirit really does have an affect on the quality of his/her work. When things get out of kilter, boy oh boy, does it reflect in what happens on the pages of the screen! (At least, in my own experience.) Too much time sitting at the screen and the body starts to protest. Shoulders get achy, eyes get tired and the writer gets cranky. Not enough time spent at the screen and the writer’s thoughts go into overdrive thinking about their current work and how they need to get back into their story and... the writer gets cranky. (Yup, a theme.) And, finally, not enough time spent with real people (as opposed to the fictional folks on the screen) and the writer starts to feel out of touch and devoid of human contact - which causes a bit of nutty, instead of cranky! 

So, what does a person do when faced with the challenge of keeping things level? Take it one day at a time. Breathe. Be easy. Try your best to keep things simple. Stress a lot less and laugh a lot more. Throw off a few of those metaphorical hats you press down on your own head every day.  And, finally, remember that life is a step by step, moment by moment journey.  Again, I know, I know. But, truly, I feel the effort is worth it. Life is a whole lot more fun when we take it a little less seriously.

And so, as you tread through the holidays waters in the next couple of weeks, I wish you many, many moments of harmonious balance. Cheers to you and yours in the New Year!

(And, a huge “Thank You!” to you, Laura, for allowing me to be a part this adventure!)

About the Author
Kathleen began storytelling in grade school.  She has many fond memories of passing summer afternoons out on the swing-set in her childhood backyard, creating tales to entertain her neighborhood friends. Many years later, too many talk about without seeming rude/nosy, Kathleen has traveled to a new backyard with a breathtaking mountain view and channeled her imagination to the pages of her novels. She spends her free time with her beloved husband, adored son and sweet dog. Often she tells them stories and they always laugh in all of the correct places. She's lucky and she knows it.

For More Information About Kathleen

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  1. Kathleen, this is timely and not just because of the season. My DH worries about how much computer seat time I log each day. Partly because of my health, I know, but still I wonder about what that means for me. I see friends, I fix meals, I read so what is balance for me? And who gets to determine that? Thanks for a thoughtful post!

  2. Excellent post! I've been so unbalanced lately - marketing my new book like crazy, but I'm taking the day off today (mostly) and cleaning. Deep cleaning - stuff I've been neglecting for months. And it feels great!!

  3. Great post and very timely for me too. Like Libby, I've been spending a lot of time marketing and not enough time sleeping. Thankfully, we're going on vacation next week so I can catch up, along with quality time with my family.

  4. I think this is applicable to everyone, whether you're a writer or not. I find myself getting cranky when I don't get enough balance - or try to balance too many things! Great post, Kathleen!