Balancing It All- Work, Writing, Life.

This short article speaks about the writer's struggle with balancing work and writing, life in general.

BALANCING IT ALL- WORK, WRITING, HEALTH 

By Oluwatoyin Odunuyi

I just recently started working, and it’s everything I have ever imagined. Stress. Let me say that again. Stress. But come to think of it, what in Nigeria isn’t really stressful? The 9-5 life isn’t for me. I am fully aware of that. My mother would always say, “It will be nice to have colleagues, Toyin. You can link up with them and have fun”. I do want colleagues, but I also want to write. Am I crazy for wanting to stay home and just write? Maybe to my mother and some others, I am.

Anyone who knows me is aware that writing is a big part of my daily routine. Right now, things have changed. I have a job, and it’s not the same anymore. I don’t make as much progress as before. One constant thing about life is change. Change is inevitable. I’m human, and one thing I must adapt to is change. Balancing work and writing has been tough for me, I wouldn’t lie. It can often be tiring for writers who have the 9-5 work life to get out of work after a very hectic day and pick up their laptop or book and start writing. How can I grow my writing career while simultaneously working a 9-5 job? Where’s the time? Where’s the energy? It seemed impossible to balance. In the past, when I had no job, I would usually go on a five-hour writing streak. I know, it sounds weird and stressful, right? No, it wasn’t. It was a perfect life.

Frankly, it was the highlight of my day. A day with me with my laptop, locked up in an imaginary world that I created. I love playing creator, having tons of fate in my hands. The feeling is exquisite. For five years, I’ve kept that habit going. But now, the routine has changed. I’m getting up by 6:30 am, preparing for work, and finally arriving at the office. Going through the first week of my new job, writing seemed tough. I didn’t have the “ginger” to write my novel(s) anymore. After work, I would always tell myself, “you have to write when you get home.” Returning home, I would stare at my book draft, somehow hoping the words from my head would magically appear perfectly on the computer screen. It’s not magic. It’s not jazz. I was zonked out. I didn’t have the inspiration to continue with my writing anymore. 

Some days, I push myself to write, “suck it up, Toyin. Write the darn book.” Although feeling overwhelmed, I would push myself to write and try to encourage myself with thoughts like ‘’you have to write, your mates are writing, your friends have made it do something.” It’s draining and not healthy to overexert myself.

I knew that I couldn’t continue to neglect my book projects, so I did something about it. First, I had to be flexible. I had to take on writing any time of the day, 9 am, 12 pm, or 4 am. I understood that I was no longer teeny-tiny Toyin with no responsibilities. I am an adult, and it sucks. Yes, oh Lord, being an adult sucks. I have responsibilities from work and also from home. I also have a social life. So, I felt the need to balance everything. How many people find it hard to write during the weekends? Not much, I guess. Some people have the opinion that weekends are for turning up or unwinding; I usually spend my weekends locked up in my own bubble, furiously typing hard on my laptop. 

I also figured out that there’s always a barrier to writing each time. At work, I’m too occupied to do so. At home, it’s my mother, my brother, my sister…. Basically, everyone in the house. I put on the laptop, crack my fingers, ready to write, and what’s the next thing I hear? “TOYIN!.” My name is followed by a request or command coming from my father or my older sister. 

There will always be a barrier. I’m fully aware. Sometimes it’s not always external; it could also come from me. I’m going to tell you something I always tell myself. It’s also important to take a break. Yes, I love writing, but I also love linking up with my friends. It is mandatory to catch a breath. Exercise, meditation, and other stress-reducing activities are highly recommended. Sure, you want to work hard to achieve your goals? What good would it be if it costs you good mental and physical health? Take a break. Be sure to nourish and refresh your body and mind on a regular basis. You’re not a machine. 

Make a to-do list and make it a practical one. Don’t write down things that aren’t so important. Start small, and don’t push yourself too much. Do not give attention to any time-waster in your life; it could be anything_ a person or a habit. My time-waster is Instagram. I would sit for hours and scroll through my feed, checking out my followers’ stories or posts. Sometimes, I’m just out for gossip. Your writing time is very valuable, don’t waste it. 

Progress to some people is writing ten pages per day or even more. Too, I have grown to realize that writing a sentence a day is progress for me. I’m one step closer to my masterpiece. I don’t need to rush so much. Yes, I don’t write every day now. I do other things that could help me with my writing career. Is it re-reading an old draft? Marketing my books? Networking with a fellow writer? It all applies.

My advice to you is to calm down and take a deep breath. You’re a writer; you write the most amazing stories. No one would ever be able to write the stories that you do. Maybe they have the same storyline, but not your words or the unique fonts you use. You’re perfect, and you got this.

9
261
View all 9 likes
support@nairapen.com
+14047026965
.

Create An Ad Like Th...

Give your skills and business more visibility with NairaPen Ads. We'll...

View details
Dr Abiodun Anifow...

More from Oluwatoyin Odunuyi

Dealing With Procrastinat...

Procrastination is something we all engage in knowingly and unknowingly. Unfortunately for...

1652082430.jpeg
Oluwatoyin Odunuy...
1 year ago

Choosing The Right Career

I'm not sure I'm the only one struggling with choosing the right career. Here are a couple...

1652082430.jpeg
Oluwatoyin Odunuy...
1 year ago

What I Didn't Know

This is a first chapter of my novella "What I didn't know"Fiiiiiireeeee!’’ I shuddered whe...

1652082430.jpeg
Oluwatoyin Odunuy...
1 year ago

We've Had Enough

We've had enough is a short story about police brutality. This is a snippet of the short s...

1652082430.jpeg
Oluwatoyin Odunuy...
1 year ago

My Nigeria

This is a hilarious short story on our nation, Nigeria and what makes us unique as Nigeria...

1652082430.jpeg
Oluwatoyin Odunuy...
1 year ago

You may also like

If The Foundation Be Dest...

This writeup was extracted from my book titled "If the foundation be destroyed " It's a te...

1652032905.jpg
John Caesar Ugbob...
1 year ago

You Just May Need An Upda...

Life is always prompting us to do updates... An update of what? You ask - A beautiful ques...

1655220650.jpg
Akpobasa Julius A
1 year ago

God Gave Me A Second Chan...

God never gives up on His own. He gives more opportunities if we will look to Him with sim...

1700394462.jpg
John Onyekachi
1 year ago

Blind Revenge Part One (1...

Blind Revenge is a short story about someone who killed almost the entire family one by on...

1676204242.
Umar Ismail
1 year ago

Dateless Love (chapter 6)

Who is Mangasi?...The twenty-five-year-old Brian Moses, popularly known as Mangasi was the...

1682666384.jpg
Morah Victory
1 year ago
Comments (3)
Support this Writer
Secured Payment in Dollars

$