(Sunrise in Maine, August 2013)
A new day, a new year. My warmest wishes for all your new beginnings! I hope you enjoyed very happy holidays and that 2014 is off to a great start for you!
My husband and I spent the holidays quietly, mostly working, but this past weekend, my good husband surprised me with a big Birthday Bash. And there was nothing quiet about that! Surrounded by friends and family, I had a great time chatting, eating, drinking, singing, and playing charades well past midnight with my die hard party pals. And so I enter my new decade ( do I really have to tell you my age?) and new year fortified with good feelings of love and encouragement.
As always, I will be working a lot, but it is work I love so that makes it a lot better. I have two picture books coming out- one in Fall of 2015 and the other in Fall of 2016. Illustrating is the most time consuming part of my work, and some books take longer than others. The one I am working on now has taken over five months for just the dummy sketches. (I will tell you about this book and share artwork in the near future.) There are lots of characters and complex scenes it, so it is taking much longer than usual. In another few weeks, I will start the final paintings, which will take me another five or so months.
I put in long hours at the drawing board, but my goal is to find a balance, to set a limit, to leave some time for writing and other endeavors. Maybe if I discipline myself to sketch/paint for seven or so hours, then use the remaining hour or hours (I have worked 12-16 hour days!) to write? I know it will be hard to pull myself away from the artwork, as I really get into it, but if I don’t, I will never, for one, finish the memoir I have been working on for over four years! I am now in the revision stage after my agent’s and other early readers’ feedback. Still a good deal of work to do…
And then of course there are school, library, bookstore visits, conferences and book festivals, office work, blogging and social media, everyday life chores, exercise, voice lessons and practice, time spent with my husband and friends, and I just volunteered to be a tutor for a local literary agency. What was I thinking? Actually, I am very excited about it. It will be good, rewarding work.
But I will be busy. Wish me luck in finding a balance!
How about you? I know I’m not alone in having a full, sometimes overwhelming life. How do you find a balance and maintain sanity?