Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance

by Saralyn Richard

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash


I was recently asked in a video interview what my work-life balance looked like. I had to laugh. I’m sorry to say I’ve never perfected work-life balance, and I’ve never really tried. While I’m a perfectionist in many things, anything that requires me to pay attention to time is a lost cause.

As a disclaimer, writing, for me, is not actually work. Being a writer is a long-deferred dream come true, so now that I have dedicated myself to telling stories, the work is joyous. When I’m working, I give my all to my work. If I’m writing a scene, I am lost in the zone of that scene so thoroughly that I don’t notice where I am or what time it is in the real world. This quirk has gotten me into many difficulties when I start writing close to times of appointments, meetings, or social engagements. I have to restrain myself from sitting down to work within an hour of any of the above.

The same is true when I’m spending time with friends or family. I give my full attention to them and strive to cherish every moment. Having been deprived of social interactions for so long, due to the pandemic, I appreciate in-person get-togethers more than ever. I don’t check my phone for messages or daydream about possible plot twists. I don’t lurk on the fringes; I jump into the middle with my whole heart.  I listen, I share, I laugh, I cry. I try to emulate my sheepdog Nana, who gives herself over to her people, completely.

If work and life end up being balanced, that’s a happy coincidence. So how about you? I’d love to hear how you address work-life balance.

Saralyn Richard is an educator and author of five award-winning mystery novels and a children’s book. Visit her at and sign up for her monthly newsletter.

12 replies
  1. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    My work and life priorities seesaw a lot. When they clash, I feel like I’m neglecting one for the other. Instead of stressing over it, I try to live in the moment and enjoy whichever is currently occupying my attention. A balancing act, for sure, Saralyn!

  2. Anne Louise Bannon
    Anne Louise Bannon says:

    I with get into a zone when I’m writing, but it’s not an easy thing for me to do. In fact, any kind of concentration is tough for me, but once I’m concentrating, bombs can go off…

  3. Kathryn Lane
    Kathryn Lane says:

    Saralyn, I LOVE this post! I’ve always wanted to balance my work and personal lives and to date I have not achieved it though I keep trying! I also focus completely on what I’m doing whether it’s visiting family/friends, vacation, or work. And all of these aspects of my life are important to me! Balance? Maybe someday!

  4. Donnell Ann Bell
    Donnell Ann Bell says:

    Saralyn, we must’ve been separated at birth. You describe exactly what my problem is. I’m being tugged with so much family responsibilities I don’t enjoy being tugged away from my writing! Excellent post!

  5. Lois Winston
    Lois Winston says:

    I’m afraid I’ve never managed to figure out the secret to work/live balance. I think it’s because my characters are extremely demanding, and they often resort to blackmail. If I don’t spend enough time with them, they threaten to kidnap my muse.

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