Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin
I’ve thought a lot lately about the balance between my writing life and my personal life. After all, creativity doesn’t own a clock and the obsession to write is strong. Amen?
Today begins a once-per-month series in which we learn one thing a particular author does to keep life in perspective. Hopefully, you’ll be encouraged to find that balance in your own life, whether you obsess over work, a hobby, or deal daily with something more serious.
Welcome, Dawn Kinzer!
Why Investing in Relationships Balances My Writing Life
His eyes light up and a grin spreads across his angelic toddler face as he watches me approach the house through the picture window. He jumps up and down, and I don’t need to hear the words to know that he’s yelling, “Nana is here!”
My almost three-year-old grandson’s exuberant greeting makes it worth the hour drive through heavy Seattle traffic every Wednesday morning. That’s the day I devote each week to spending time with him (and now newborn sister) while my daughter and son-in-law are away at work.
I don’t get home until 8:00 in the evening, so the venture to my daughter’s home ends up being a long day, but that time set aside has played an important role in having a close relationship with my grandson and my son-in-law, and it’s allowed precious time with my daughter over cups of coffee before she heads out the door. It’s become valuable time for us to share our lives together.
That time also helps stir my creativity as a writer. While playing with dinosaurs, stuffed animals, and trucks —making up stories as we go—I experience the joy of a child’s imagination. I have an excuse to once again read delightful children’s books—the very thing that sparked my passion for reading. And some of my best ideas come to me while on the road to and from, alone in a quiet car.
Added bonus—time with my grandchildren has helped me keep balance in my writing life.
Why would I need help?
I’m a first-born over-achiever. Anything less than straight As during my academic career was hard to accept. I was also raised in a home where my parents owned their own business, and they often worked six to seven days a week. Their example and work ethic was a huge part of my life. I was also taught that my homework or assigned responsibilities around the house had to be completed before I could “play.”
Here’s the potential problem with that. As a writer and freelance editor, my work is never really done. There is always something more to do—stories to write, blogs to post, social media to update, business-related pieces to tend to, marketing, editing for clients, networking, e-mails that should be written and/or answered, etc., etc., etc. As an over-achiever (who is also an introvert), I could easily hibernate and work seven days a week.
But you see . . . a long time ago, this potential work-a-holic made a promise to God and myself that I wouldn’t put work, ambition, or goals ahead of people. It never made sense to me to write Christian books with the hopes of making a difference in people’s lives if I wasn’t willing to make a difference in the lives around me.
Investing in family relationships and friendships is how this writer keeps balance between real life and the writing life. What about you?
Dawn Kinzer’s work has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Backyard Friends, The One Year Life Verse Devotional, A Joyful Heart: Experiencing the Light of His Love, and featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home.
A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, cinnamon, popcorn, strong coffee, good wine, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre. Readers can find her at www.dawnkinzer.com.
Romance. Heartbreak. Scandal. Secrets. Second Chances.
Sarah McCall is waiting to leave for the mission field when the man she once loved steps back into her life. Abandoned as a child by her mother and gambler father, she strives to overcome a tarnished history she didn’t create and a heartbreak she can’t forget. Peter Caswell returns to his Wisconsin hometown a pastor, dedicated to his four-year-old daughter and new congregation. But no matter how hard he tries to move on with his life, he can’t forgive himself for his wife’s death. Although ten years have passed since he left Riverton, Peter hopes Sarah still cares enough to give him a second chance. They shared a past, but can they share a future?