If you’ve been pursuing the writing life long, you know the need to constantly balance both parts — the writing and the life. And really, the word “balance” is too tidy. The constant tension between life and writing is more like a tennis match that continues on and on, tied in perpetual deuce. First one takes the lead, then the other. But neither wins or loses. Everyone just grows weary.
I’ve written on and spoken about and lived through this reality of writing + life a lot over the past few years. And though the circumstances change, my general advice to myself and others always boils down to this two-word question: what’s sustainable? Because no matter how much you tweak or finesse either the life part or the writing part, in the end you’ve got to be able to live with it. And if you want to be a writer for the long-haul, then you’ve got to be able to live with it for a long time.
Which leads me back to my own writing life. Over the past three years since I quit my full-time job to wrestle down a freelance writing, editing, and coaching career, I’ve been engaged in one of those epic tennis matches I described above. Sometimes, writing pulled ahead as I launched a book or worked toward a big deadline. Other times, life seemed to eek out a lead, like this past Spring when I moved my mom into town and celebrated our oldest son’s graduation from high school.
But in the last couple of months, it began to look like life was going to take the two-point lead and beat out writing altogether. Trying to balance several clients, multiple workshops, a variety of deadlines, and caregiving responsibilities nearly did me in. I couldn’t do it all. So, I let my client, workshop, and writing load dwindle, and I just took care of life for a while.
But writing hasn’t taken the defeat lying down. I may not always know how to do it perfectly, but I was made to write. Writing doesn’t define me, but it does help me understand who I really am. Life plus writing might be complicated, but life without writing sounds unbearable. So instead of letting life take the win — game, set match — I needed to help writing adjust the strategy, change up its serve, maybe even call a time out so I can rest and recover (does tennis even allow time outs?).
So, What’s Happening with Frankfort Writers Center?
Enough of the tennis metaphors. Here’s what I’m really trying to say. As I approach the one-year anniversary of launching Frankfort Writers Center, I have seen the need and opportunity to make some adjustments.
First, I’ll be changing locations. While I have enjoyed having my own office, the cost and logistics of maintaining my own space have outweighed the benefits. Instead, I’ll be dividing my time between my home office and Frankfort’s new coworking space, IronBlock. Among the many benefits of being a member of IronBlock is a handicapped accessible conference room. So while I’ll no longer be available for pop-in visitors, I’ll still have 24-7 access to IronBlock’s work and meeting spaces to meet with clients and host events.
Second, I’ll be narrowing the focus of my work. That means investing a little more time in a lot fewer clients. This will minimize the administrative work while maximizing my income so that I still have time to do my own writing and take care of all the needs that life continues to present. If you are interested in hiring me for coaching, editing, marketing, or public relations work, please do contact me. If I have an opening, I’d love to work with you. If not, I have been compiling a list of friends and colleagues who do similar work so I can refer you to them.
Finally, I will continue to offer a handful of events through Frankfort Writers Center each year, as well as leading workshops and events at libraries throughout central Indiana. This work has never been about building my own empire, but empowering writers, and particularly those in Central Indiana who may not have as many resources or opportunities. So whether the events are here or elsewhere, I’ll be sure to let you know about them. Also, I will continue to expand the Frankfort Writers Center Facebook Page and Website to offer resources and event news to help you grow and develop in your craft and writing life.
Thank you for joining me in this adventure!