Learning to balance by Janalyn Voigt

Learning to balance life

Literary Wayfarer Journal

When I was a child of seven, my father taught me to ride a bike. I’ll never forget the time I went hurtling down the sidewalk only to hear him call out from a little way behind me. He’d let go without my knowing.

How could balance come so easily? I felt duty-bound to fall. You see, I’d built riding a bike into quite a mountain to scale.

Now that I’m older, I’m still climbing mountains, and one of the highest is learning to balance life. At times, it seems impossible. I don’t want to believe how easy it can be because that wouldn’t fit my belief system. Maybe, even, learning to balance life would force me to face certain fears.

What does it even mean to live a balanced life, and by what time frame do I measure it?

Trying to work in a little of everything I need to do as a writer, as a wife, and as a Mom every day would leave me with ten minutes for each category. (If you must know how I arrived at this estimate, it’s by an unscientific calculation also known as a guesstimate.  I’m an artist not a mathematician.)

Moving the time frame out to a week gives a little more time for each area but not enough for immersion.  Monthly might work better, but that’s a lot to keep track of.

Does anyone ever attain a balanced life? And if so, who is that person,  because I have a hand to shake. I suspect no one does, that those of us looking for balance are all on a crazy snipe hunt.

I want to engage in life, not check it off by rote. I gave up strict scheduling because it often put me out of touch with myself. I still mark portions of my day for different activities, and days of the week have focuses. If I were to do whatever I feel every single moment, my goals wouldn’t happen.

There’s a gritty truth for all of us. Sometimes you just have to do what needs doing.

Lately, I’ve been evaluating my less desirable tasks and figuring out what I can eliminate or automate. I can’t get rid of them all or I won’t attain goals important to me.

As a writer, I understand the value tension brings to a story. That seems to be true in my life story as well. I can picture myself holding attaining my goals in one hand and engaging in spontaneity in the other. Somehow, some way, there must be (dare I say it?) a balance between the two.

What I’m Writing Now

Book Projects

Western Historical Fiction

I haven’t heard back yet on the proposal to write a novella for a collection.

Medieval Epic Fantasy

I considered writing this update later in the day so I could announce that I was finished self-editing Sojourner, Tales of Faeraven 3, I’m that close to being done. There are only six (count ’em) more pages to go, and then some continuity checks, before I submit it to my publisher.

Romantic Suspense

I moved Deceptive Tide into Scrivener, a software program for writers, and that’s made a huge difference in helping me sort out the complex plot and character arcs that a romantic suspense novel requires. I’ve made some progress on the word count, but not as much as I’d like. My next investment will be in voice recognition software that converts speech to text. That should help my productivity, depending on whether I can talk a book as easily as I type one. I won’t know until I try.


I haven’t abandoned this book-in-a-month competition, but adjusting my goal is difficult until after I see how the voice recognition software effects my productivity. In a perfect world, I could keep my original goal, but I know there’s a learning curve while getting used to new software. Using Scrivener seems to be helping, but I don’t know how much yet. My original goal for this competition was to write the entire first draft of Deceptive Tide, book 3 of the Islands of Intrigue: San Juans. I’ll keep you posted on how this turns out.

Creative Worlds of Janalyn Voigt

I added 10 Intriguing Facts About the San Juan Islands to  Mysterious Worlds, a subscriber-only area of the site.


For Live Write Breathe, my website for writers, I ended the series on conflict in fiction with Reactions to Conflict in Fiction, and I released Readership Challenge #7 for subscribers.

Learning to balance life by Janalyn Voigt | Literary Wayfarer Journals

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Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

As an author I love to escape with readers into creative worlds of fiction in three genres: medieval epic fantasy, historical fiction, and romantic mystery. My aim is to make this website an immersive experience for readers. Care to join us?

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