Tag Archive for: two careers

Does Work Life Balance Exist?

by Sparkle Abbey

If you follow us on Facebook, you know we just returned from
our first NINC (Novelists, Inc.) conference in St. Petersburg, FL. We had an
amazing time exploring beaches, enjoying local hangouts, and learning from our
fellow authors. We returned to Iowa with dozens of seashells and major brain

We attended workshops on business, marketing, and
creativity. We learned that we need to do a better job of cultivating our
mailing list (sign up here), how to
create engaging Facebook ads, new strategies for a launching book #9 (we’re
still kicking around titles so if you have one, please share it!), and
discovering new readers. We also attended a workshop on balancing two careers
by speakers Dr. Debra Holland, Heidi Joy Trethaway, and Dr. Jennifer Barnes.

Since we both still have full-time day jobs, we’re always
seeking ways to stay sane while writing the best books we can, and still giving
one hundred percent at work. It’s hard enough managing work-life balance with
one career, but add a thriving writing career in the mix and all bets are off. Thankfully, all three authors offered
practical advice on following your intuition, self-care, and weighing the cost
of taking on new projects.

Heidi Joy offered a super easy tip that resonated
with us. She suggested that if you’re going to add a new project or task, try
and subtract one that you’re already doing. What a great idea! We took it a
step further and added that if we can’t subtract anything, then maybe we needed
to say no. Now, that’s easy in theory and much more difficult in practice.
We’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to participate in special writing
projects, speaking engagements, and book fairs. We hate to say no because we
love it all, but the whole idea of subtracting before adding is a great starting point.

They also talked about being kind to ourselves, which is
something many of us, not just writers, overlook. We get so caught up in being
there for others, meeting deadlines, and multi-tasking to stay productive that
we forget to set aside time for ourselves. Or we obsess about what we did wrong
that we fail to acknowledge what we did right. If you don’t even know where to
start here are 17 ways to be
kind to yourself
. Let us know what you think.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given or have given on
finding work-life balance? 

Sparkle Abbey
the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They
are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery
Series. The pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue
pets–Sparkle (Mary Lee’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). If you want to make
sure you’re up on all the Sparkle Abbey news, stop by their website and sign up
for updates at