Guest Blog by Jordyn Redwood
I’m honored to host a guest blog by suspense novelist and pediatric emergency nurse, Jordyn Redwood. Along with writing fiction and working in an ED, Jordyn runs a wonderful blog called Redwood’s Medical Edge (http://bit.ly/K44ykk) designed to be a resource for writers in need of medical details for their work. Well worth a look.
by Jordyn Redwood
So much of our lives as medical professionals is spent helping the body stay in balance. We draw blood to see if the various cells and electrolytes are in the right parameters. When things fall outside these values, something is wrong with you and we have strategies to help fine tune these levels to help you feel better.
The writing life is hard to keep in balance, particularly if you are seeking publication or writing under contract. Now, you are duty bound to put these words onto paper. People are depending on you to fulfill your contract.
Problem is most writers are working their “real job” to support themselves and/or their families. Imagine being under a multi-book contract (a true blessing!) where you are marketing one book, editing another and writing the third. This is the current position I find myself in at this time while working 24 hours/wk.
How do I accomplish work, writing and managing a family? First, I should confess that I’m still learning to find balance in my writing, working, and family life. Unfortunately, while at home, the computer is always calling. When I leave my nursing job—the patients stay at the hospital so I can’t bring my work home with me. There is a definite boundary.
With writing, this is harder to accomplish but these are some strategies I’ve tried to implement to keep my life in balance.
- Set goals: Since I am under contract, I have to get the writing work done. I do look at the writing I need to accomplish for the year and set up weekly and monthly writing goals with a few months cushion for emergencies. This helps me to stay on track and not have a hurried 12 hours of trying to write a whole novel before it’s contractually due. Doing little bits every day will get you to the finish line.
- Set a cut off time: You do need rest and you should set a time, just like coming home from work, where you are no longer writing but spending time with family. I knew I was in trouble when my husband started calling himself an “author’s widow”. The writing life can be fleeting so don’t abandon personal relationships. I’m still working on having a cut-off time every day.
- Reward yourself: If you make those goals—reward yourself! Do something fun that is not writing related. After all, the writing life is a lot of hard work but you need to have fun along the way because most of us won’t be making James Patterson type income.
What about you? If you’re writing and working—how are you finding and keeping balance?
Bio: Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. Redwood’s Medical Edge is her blog that is designed to help contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her debut medical thriller, Proof, deals with the real life possibility of DNA testing setting a guilty criminal free. You can learn more about Jordyn at her website: www.jordynredwood.net.