We hear about the work-life balance. Dedicating enough time and energy to your job without giving up too much of the time and energy you want to spend actually living.

Most people just have to balance the two. Working too much? Your life suffers. Living too much? Your work suffers. Live to work? Or work to live? It’s a tough balance for anyone to maintain, of course.

As wannabe published writers, we have it much, much worse.

We writers have another chunk in there: our writing. It’s not quite life, because it often feels like work, and it’s not quite work, because (at first) we’re not getting paid for it. And if it’s fiction we’re writing, there’s a painfully good chance we never will.

So somewhere between work and life, we have to carve out what moments we can for our writing, adding another variable to the balance equation, another master we hope to serve.

We want to be writing. Our hearts and our minds drive us to. We feel best after a good session, a finished work, and that only contributes to our enjoyment of life.

We also want happy, fulfilling lives, because we can use them to fuel our writing, to give us the positive and creative boost we need to keep going. Plus it just feels good to be happy. Mmmm…happy.

We also need to survive: food, shelter, clothing, and all the things Maslow said come right after that. Unfortunately, that’s why we work.

Very few of the writers I know find much fulfillment from their job-type jobs, even if it involves writing. Yet not one of us has figured out a way to avoid it, short of a trust fund, a sugar mama/daddy, or a winning lottery ticket.

Work is a necessary obstacle, and a rigid one at that, demanding a majority of your time and typically the best hours of it. Which generally leaves us only “life” to cut from to make time for writing.

That makes it twice as hard to do. Harder.

So hard, in fact, that our writing often gets shifted, or shafted, or flat-out trumped when life’s demands simply won’t let go. For every great story idea, or turn of phrase that comes to us, there are blizzards, and taxes, and flooded basements, and car repairs, and illness, and stubbed toes conspiring against us.

Our writing suffers; our spirit suffers; our lives suffer; eventually our work suffers.

It’s not fair, I know. But we’ve got to suck it up. Make time to write. It’s the only way we’ll ever find that true satisfaction.

Work is work, and it always will be. We’ve got bigger plans than the bloated egos, shortened deadlines, lame policies, and office politics that surround us there. Work-Life? That’s not the balance we need to be focused on.

To hell with the cliché; for us, it’s write to live, live to write.

Write on.

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