If you read this week’s log post, then you’ve already been acquainted with one aspect of living well in relation to being the most productive indie fiction writer you can be.
What is “living well”?
It’s not just about making sure you hit the gym regularly and eat clean as much as possible, although exercise and diet are certainly part of it.
Living well, rather than simply pursuing optimal health, is a balance of work versus everything else. It’s not necessarily an even balance. For you and your circumstances, working twelve-hour days may not impact your quality of life, while other writers find six hours a day of writing and writing-related business is a strain.
You may need more personal downtime, or more sleep than others. Or less.
Writers are an introspective bunch, generally, so our need for social contact is usually less. But you might be an extrovert whose energy is increased the more you hang out with other humans.
A good life balance is personal, unique to you. It also changes over time–often fluctuating with the seasons, and shifting over years as your circumstances change.
What the ideal balance gives you.
A good balance gives you energy, joie de vivre, an up-and-at-’em attitude. You love more, laugh more, and life just feels good.
The ideal balance will be easy to maintain, because no one aspect of your life is screaming for attention. Everything gets looked after, sooner or later…and in its time. It is the least stress-inducing ratio of all things in your life.
A good life balance will help you write more.
Even if your life balance requires you spend less time writing than you would really like (again, see this week’s log post for more on this aspect), you will end up writing more in that time than you would if you’re sick, unhealthy, unhappy, or constantly fighting with loved ones for the time you need.
The minimal stress of a good life balance enhances your energy, your creativity, your concentration and your motivation, which all speed your writing along.
Writing more will help your life balance.
The more you can get written in the time you have to spare for writing, the happier you will be about your writing and life in general.
If you can increase your hourly word count, then you can choose to spend less time writing in favour of hanging out with the kids, exercising, meditating or other life interests.
Writing frequently and faster means selling more. Making more money directly affects life quality and can take the pressure of having to get more books out…giving you spare time.
There are all sorts of subtle advantages to writing faster/writing more and they all feed back into living well.
Living Well is a process, not a state.
If your ideal ratio of work/not-work changes across seasons and years, it can’t be a set-once-and-forget-it process, even once you have found the ideal balance.
Just finding the right balance for you can take years of thinking and tweaking. Every time you have a major shift in circumstances, you’ll have to figure it out all over again.
But it’s worth the effort.
Becoming mindful of how you spend your time will start the process.
Begin by asking yourself what are the essential elements of your life. Are there any you are not including in your life right now? Can you adjust your time to include them?
And so begins the process…
As you can see, writing more leads to selling more, which leads to living well.
This is the last definition for now. Next week, we’ll get down to brass tacks: How to write more, sell more and live well.