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  • Cait Marie

Adventures in Writing: Part 15

When discussing everything I’m involved in, the question I get most is, how do you balance it all?

All right, that’s a lie. The question I get most is, when do you sleep?

If you can make a career out of your favorite healthy hobby, I highly recommend it.

They’re reasonable questions. I’m a full-time student finishing my master’s degree, I work part-time for the school, I offer freelance author services and am constantly booked for editing and proofreading, I own and manage a book blog, I work for a different, much larger book website, and on top of it all, I’m a self-publishing author. I get it; it’s a lot. However, I genuinely love what I do, so it doesn’t always feel like work.

Don’t get me wrong, I am stressed a lot of the time and have pretty bad anxiety, but I enjoy most of the work. I mean, I get paid to read books I love, and I get to talk about them as much as I want. That’s like the ultimate bookworm dream. I get to work directly with authors and publishers to edit or promote books. And at the end of the day, I get to write my own.

I really mean at the end of the day too. Let’s jump into how I manage my days and time.

First and foremost, I don’t have a significant other or children, and I don’t have much of a social life besides online. I’m practically a hermit, so I spend all day every day on my laptop, and then I read most of the night. So, remember, my circumstances may be completely different from yours, and please know I understand that this isn’t always possible.

Prioritize. That’s the key.

Whenever I talk about the fact that I read and write at least a little bit every day, one of the most common responses I get is, “I wish I had time to read.” Every time, without fail. Here’s the thing though, most of these people spend their evenings watching TV or movies, playing video games, scrolling through social media, etc. There’s almost always time to read, you just have to choose to do so over something else.

This was really difficult for me to learn. Until 2018, I watched a lot of TV and movies. I mean, it was like an all-day thing every day. I had to consciously make myself choose a book instead for a while. Then, it just became habit. Now, I watch a short show while I eat lunch and maybe a movie while working on graphics and stuff for the week, but even those are usually things I’ve seen multiple times so I don’t need to pay attention. At night, I read before sleeping instead of watching something.

The same goes for writing, or whatever you want to do more of. You need to prioritize it. Now, again, for those with families, I know this is more difficult, so please don’t think I’m telling you to make the time even though you’re stressed and exhausted. That’s not my intent.

As for my day-to-day schedule, I don’t have a set schedule. Due to my physical disability, I rely on others for things like getting in and out of bed, showering, and cooking meals. Therefore, my schedule changes based on who’s helping me that day.

I do, however, use a bullet journal, dry erase monthly calendar, and a daily to-do list. I’m aware it’s overboard, but it’s what works for me; they all serve a different purpose. Each day, I typically start off reading a physical book a little before moving on to social media stuff, sharing or scheduling posts for the week. Then, I work for most of the day, either for the school or on editing jobs. And, like I said, I write at the end of the day. Once I get in bed, I read on my phone usually until 2-3 a.m. Yes, I read multiple books at a time. That’s a topic for another day.

I also like to prioritize certain types of tasks on certain days. For example, on Mondays, I do a lot of my scheduling for the week, set up my bullet journal, and just prepare for the rest of the week in general. Tuesdays and Thursdays are primarily for schoolwork, Wednesdays and the weekends are for my book stuff, and Fridays are for finishing up whatever needs done (school, work, etc.). Granted, I work on all of the above a little bit each day, but these are the things that get the majority of my attention that day other than work.

So, there you have it. No, I don’t sleep much. Yes, I do get stressed. But I love what I do, which makes all the difference in the world. If you can make a career out of your favorite healthy hobby, I highly recommend it. Never did I think I’d be able to do so with my love of books!

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