Last week, I got some time off to take a much needed vacation. The original plan was to go to Maryland to attend a wedding. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. For starters, we didn’t have the funds to go. Second, the car was–and still is–in need of repairs. A trip that strenuous would probably mean its untimely demise. And third, the week I was to start my vacation, my kids got sick. First, my son, who had a 103 degree fever that lasted for two days. Then, my daughter, who not only had a fever, but came to find out she had bronchitis. So, we had to get antibiotics for it. Getting her to take it was a struggle. It’s bad enough that she’s picky when she’s well; it’s worse when she’s sick because she does not like taking medicine. (Who doesn’t?) I’m happy to report the fever’s dissipated, but she still sounds hoarse.
This vacation didn’t turn out exactly the way I planned. But then again, what plan goes off without a hitch? On the plus side, I did spend some much needed time with my family and I did get some rest. With the work schedule I have, it’s hard finding a balance between family, chores, and writing. I may type a quick sentence in my One Day app, and that might be all I can do. Sometimes, I have to put the writing I want to do to the side for another day. To a lot of writers, that would be an excuse. But it’s a truth I can’t ignore.
I read posts about balance and routines the last couple of weeks from other bloggers. Truth be told, I don’t have a routine for my writing. And if I did, I think being on vacation would disrupt that routine, if I allowed it. But I have to say that it’s nice to take a break from routine. Otherwise, it’s easy to get burned out. Perhaps, that’s why I don’t have a set routine; I worry about getting bored with it. At the same time, I don’t have balance between writing and the duties I have as a husband and father. I think that is where having a routine helps. It keeps you organized and focused on a task at a time. Now sometimes, I will say to myself, “I will write on this given day, on this given subject, for a certain period of time.” Most times, though, I wing it and write whenever I can. I may write in my journal; I may work on a story; I may write a blog post. It depends on what mood I’m in.
That is my two cents on balance and routine. I get that everyone is different, so everyone’s concept of balance and routine is different. It’s easy to fall into the trap of saying, “If I was a better writer, I would have balance. My routine would be this and this.” The truth is that I’m not at that point yet. I’ll get there and the “better” will get there. It’s a process like anything else, and it will take discipline to find a routine that works and stick to it. I’ll reach that point, regardless if I’m on vacation or not.