Today we’re super excited to welcome author Liv Rancourt on the blog! Liv is the author of Vespers, Aqua Follies, and more, and today she joins us to talk about how to balance writing and personal life!
A day in the life…
Thanks so much for having me as a guest! I do love following the reviews here, and since El gave me a blank slate, I figured I’d write about juggling…
Not actual juggling, like with balls and stuff, but the fine art of Getting Everything Done. It’s something most every writer has to deal with: finding the time for the words and the promo and the day job and the husband and family. And, you know, the self, because I find if I don’t carve out at least a few moments for ME, all the rest of it turns to worms.
To start with, I better just come right out and say it. I’m lucky. I really am. Back at the dawn of time (er… 1987) I took a job in the neonatal ICU at Seattle Children’s Hospital. In those days, it was called Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, having only recently changed from Children’s Orthopedic Hospital. You can pretty much date someone’s arrival in Seattle by what Children’s Hospital was called when they got here.
Oops. Tangent. Let’s get back on track.
There’s a direct line from my nursing job in 1987 to my current gig as a neonatal nurse practitioner. Luck brought me to Children’s, and now I can work part time (60 – 75%) and still, you know, feed the family.
Luck. And maybe a little hard work along the way.
The second strategy I use for Getting Everything Done is love. I love writing – I must, because otherwise I wouldn’t dedicate twenty+ hours a week to it. I would rather be sitting at the laptop finding new words or (even better!) editing the ones I’ve already written than almost anything else in the world.
I get less excited about promo, so I don’t do as much as I should. I’m active on social media, though and I’ve met some really incredible people that way. (Here’s a link to my recent SpellboundScribes post on the perks of social media.)
The bottom line is, you have to really want to do something to make the time for it, and I want to write and publish stories. It’s that passion, that energy, that makes it possible to carve out the time for writing.
Now, it’s not juggling if there aren’t three balls in the air, so besides luck and love, the third leg of my act is flexibility.
Here at Chez Rancourt, we’re actually in a state of transition. My oldest is heading off to college next month, and her younger brother will be a senior in high school. The husband and I increasingly spend the evenings alone together, watching reruns of last night’s Colbert.
Sometimes we even go out for dinner! Together! (Gasp!)
I haven’t quite figured out how the change in family circumstances will impact my writing, though ever since I started taking it seriously, writing has always been something I fit in around the rest of my life. I set a rough goal of 1000 words a day, or the equivalent time spent editing, and if I have to sacrifice other activities (like housekeeping, for example) I will.
Hmm… maybe the third leg isn’t so much flexibility as it is a willingness to tolerate drifts of white dog hair everywhere.
So there it is. The secret to Getting Everything Done is luck, love, and flexibility. Luck may have got me started, but it takes love and flexibility to keep going when life throws a fourth ball into the mix – because that will happen. There’s kid drama, or I get asked to cover a sick call the day before a book releases, or the dog starts puking or…
In the end, every writer develops their own juggling act. I recommend a willingness to grab the laptop whenever you get a break in the action, and a tolerance for clutter. Also daily walks (with our without dogs) and the occasional pedicure.
Because pretty toenails make everything else possible.
(Ps… further evidence that I’m lucky… the husband keeps everything going when I’m in the weeds with deadlines, and I’ve got a writing partner – Irene Preston – who’s willing to read and offer comments on my blog posts even when it’s Monday morning when her day job if busiest. 😊 )
Liv’s newest release is Aqua Follies and it’s out now! Natalie calls it “vividly realized… I want to start it all over again!” (Her review is here!) Check it out:
The 1950s. Postwar exuberance. Conformity. Rock and roll.
Russell tells himself he’ll marry Susie because it’s the right thing to do. His summer job coaching her water ballet team will give him plenty of opportunity to give her a ring. But on the team’s trip to the annual Aqua Follies, the joyful glide of a trumpet player’s solo hits Russell like a torpedo, blowing apart his carefully constructed plans.
From the orchestra pit, Skip watches Poseidon’s younger brother stalk along the pool deck. It never hurts to smile at a man, because sometimes good things can come of it. Once the last note has been played, Skip gives it a shot.
The tenuous connection forged by a simple smile leads to events that dismantle both their lives. Has the damage been done, or can they pick up the pieces together?
I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon. I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at work or at home. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.
I can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at my website (www.livrancourt.com) & blog (www.liv-rancourt.blogspot.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). For sneak peeks and previews and other assorted freebies, go HERE to sign up for my mailing list.
Come find me. We’ll have fun!