As I sit down to write this blog, I ask myself the two questions I often have to answer. The first, do I want to do it? The second, do I have time? The response I generally come to is this…
If I want to do it, I’ll have to make time!
Like so many authors, I have two careers. By day, I am a lawyer. By night, I am a women’s fiction and romance author. If only it were that simple! When my legal clients require attention late into the evening and at weekends, and being an author requires almost round-the-clock attention, the demarcation between my two careers is not so clear.
But, hey, there are 24 hours in a day, right? Minus sleeping. Minus life’s daily chores and rituals. Minus spending time with my husband, taking care of our dog, and trying to keep up with friends and family.
1 + 1 – 60,000 = NO TIME!
My writing journey began years ago but my first publishing contract with Harlequin came in 2015 and my first novel was published in March 2016. Since then, anyone who meets me (and may consider befriending me) should know the following:
- Remembering birthdays is, for me, a thing of the past (despite the list of important birthdays I have typed and stuck to my fridge!).
- Turning up on time to non-work related appointments is something I am atrocious at.
- Turning up to non-work related appointments within ten minutes of the agreed start time is something I am reasonable at.
- I will immediately sign into Wi-Fi on arrival at any café, restaurant or department store, before placing an order and/or searching for the women’s apparel floor.
- If you stop talking to me for more than 1 minute, I will post on social media.
- I look for a photograph opportunity everywhere I go (see 5).
- Sometimes, I am so exhausted my sentences no longer make sense (applies to both the spoken and written word).
- Occasionally, I lose my s*!t over small things.
- I will love you dearly but I will show it sporadically.
- I often feel like I am failing at everything.
But would I have my life any other way? No.
I have a career I studied hard for. I have a passion and a dream. I have a loving, supportive husband and amazing friends and family. So, I guess I have it all.
Did I think that ‘having it all’ would have been easier than it feels sometimes? For sure. What little girl doesn’t dream of having it all and how wonderful that would be 24/7?
The reality is, ladies, it isn’t easy to have the things you want in life. Far from it. It’s damn hard. And where I have a husband and dog to consider on a daily basis, I can’t even imagine how those of you with children and other dependents manage.
But you, me, and every other woman out there…we’re made of strong stuff. We can do it!
What you have to do is ask yourself, what do you really want from your life?
(Refrain from hoping for a money tree at the bottom of the garden. From experience, despite all the wishing in the world, this is one thing you CANNOT have.)
What you have to know is, no one else will work as hard for you to achieve your goals as you will.
You will find your own way and my only advice is to keep to-do lists and try to plan your time. It won’t always go the way you expect but it’s something to help get your day started.
Here is a typical mid-week day for me…
|Wake up, check emails, dress for the gym and pack a bag for work.
(Let’s assume this day it is Hubby’s turn to walk the dog)
|6.45-7am||Drive to the gym.|
|7-8.15am||Plug in my latest playlist and wake myself up properly with a good workout.|
|8.15-8.45am||Dress at the gym and head to my office at my law firm.|
|8.45am-12.30pm||Eat porridge and drink coffee at my desk whilst making a start on my to-do list for the morning.|
|Do errands and/or meet a colleague for lunch or coffee. Maybe read a few chapters of my latest book club book.
(Let’s assume on this day I am able to take a lunch hour)
(Maybe later, depending on the day)
|6.30-7pm||Drive home from work.|
|7-7.30pm||Walk the dog.|
|7.30-8pm||Prepare dinner and start author social media.|
|10-10.30pm||Pillow talk with Hubby.|
Like I said, it isn’t easy. I could cry with tiredness sometimes and I often feel guilty for not spending enough time with my husband and other family and friends. But I want to be a successful lawyer and a successful author. And this is the part where I confess, I couldn’t do it without the support and understanding of my husband.
I know there are many women out there in similar situations and probably working even harder than I am. So, tell me your story. And, gosh, if you have hints and tips as to how to be Superwoman, let me know!
Laura Carter is the bestselling author of the Vengeful Love series. She writes from her beach home where she lives with her husband and (gorgeous) dog. She loves all things romance, including paper hearts, flowers, chocolates and champagne (not necessarily in that order). If she isn’t writing or hanging around on social media, you can probably find her watching a romcom with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.
Website and blog:
About BALANCING THE SCALES
“Carter’s writing style is absolutely brilliant.”
—The Romance Reviews
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