By day I work 60 hour weeks. At night I am a devoted father and husband to the world's greatest family. Somewhere in the non-existent time between the two, I am a writer. Join me from the beginning as I chronicle my adventures to become a successful published author.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 23 - Hard Knocks: Writing, Family, and Late Nights

Today is the first day the schedule I announced previously is in effect. The general theme is "Hard Knocks: Lessons I've Learned on my Journey." I am at just over three weeks of dedicated writing. I know for many this is a drop in the bucket, and I plan on it being the fist of a bucketful of drops. That said, I have already faced multiple problems: Family illness, a major sinus and throat infection on my part, my ever persistent long work hours, and more.

I've taken a good amount of hard knocks in the past three weeks. Some I learned how to avoid, others how to minimize the impact, and still others very nearly knocked me off my feet. The biggest repeated hard knock I encounter I face every single day: writing/work/life balance.

The reality is I do work more than most. I am okay with that, it suits my abilities. The consequence however is that I don't get home until between 6:00 PM-9:00 PM, having gone in around 7:30 AM every single morning. I am tired. My son goes to sleep at 8:00 PM. My wife prefers 10:00 PM, but no later than 11:00 PM. When I get home, I spend time with me son until he goes to sleep. I want to make it to bed with my wife, but therein lies the problem. If I want to spend time with her, I have 2 hours, which is just enough for some movies. But since I write and blog, knock an hour off. Now there is just one hour to perhaps watch a show or read to each other. Not a lot of time, and it can be quite depressing I might add.

The only solution I have is to add more time to my day. Since I can't slow down the rotation of the earth, I must resort to late nights. Last night I was up until about 2:45 AM. Tonight it's 11:10 PM already and I won't go to bed until about 11:30 PM. That's an early night. Usually I am up until 12:30 AM!

For the most part, I handle it alright. At the moment I am exhausted, and since I wake up at 6:00 AM some days are harder than others until I catch a second wind. So why do I do it?

I do it because I feel compelled to write, even when I don't actually want to at the moment. I know I have the ability to achieve something great, both with this blog and with publishing. Hopefully I will be able to cut back on hours someday, maybe completely. Who knows. But I have a purpose, and I write.

Through this all, my wife has been exceptionally supportive. If every night she was harping, I couldn't do it. Instead, she quietly lets me do my thing, and often goes to bed alone. I hate that part, but am eternally grateful to her for her love and understanding. Since I know she reads this blog... I love you honey. You mean the world to me and more. Thank you for everything you do and for supporting me on this journey.

So work, family, and sleep. A perfect balance is likely not achievable in this life, but I will stay up late trying to figure out how.



Oh Matthew, you are not alone. Just exhausted, I'm sure.

A good hard look at what you're doing and why, then some re-calibration is healthy.

But it sounds like you're doing what most of us do. Forgo sleep. That might explain our reputation for being a crazy bunch. ;)

I love you too!

You are an amazing husband and father. I know that you are very talented and are meant to do great things.

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