Balancing Act by @KristineAsselin

Work. Kids. Family. Pets. Volunteering. You know, Life. Oh right, we’re writers. Add writing to that list.

Lately, my life has felt like a metaphor for balancing these golf balls. And not particularly well, I might add.

I’m guessing some of you have experienced the same feeling?golf balls (1)

This is a picture I actually took. Two is pretty easy.  We did this on my dining room floor in a few minutes.  I’ve been able to balance three before…but I didn’t have the patience today. 

I constantly beat myself up about not writing enough. You know how it goes, “you should be BIC (butt in chair) every single day. You’re a writer, you must write.”

The thing is, we all need to give ourselves a break. Especially this time of year. Last week, I had an end-of-the-year school commitment for my daughter every single evening. Plus her first semi-formal. Plus two writing workshop commitments on Saturday. And then another work thing on Sunday. Every day for the last fifteen days, I’ve had something scheduled outside the house. Not including “the day job.”

Then I remember the golf balls stacked up. And I know that with one fell swoop, they’ll come tumbling down. It takes care and patience (a lot of patience, I’d say) to get complete balance.

When things get a little crazy, and I find myself taking that much needed break from writing, I think about all the ways to “fill the well” while I’m not working. I may be taking a break, but watching AGENTS OF SHIELD with my daughter gives me ideas on character development and story arc. Listening to my Pandora station keeps me in my character’s head. Sometimes just listening to the chatter of girls in my back seat gives me a snippet of dialogue or a plot point. It’s all useful!

By the way, according to a quick google search, Don Athey of Bridgeport, OH holds the Guinness World Record by stacking nine golf balls (without adhesives).

Nine. Try it, I dare you. You’ll find balancing your life much easier.

Things settle down next week. I’ll be balancing golf balls working on my novel with my butt in the chair. I hope you will be as well!

Signing up for Kid Lit Summer School is a great way for you to get your mojo ramped up and roaring.


Click HERE for details.

1425737_10151884607793880_803966058_nKristine Carlson Asselin writes Young Adult and Middle-Grade fiction. Her YA novel Any Way You Slice It (Bloomsbury Spark) is currently available and her debut middle-grade, The Art of the Swap (co-authored with Jen Malone) has recently sold to Simon and Schuster for publication in 2017. Kristine is also the author of sixteen nonfiction children’s books for the elementary school library market. Kris does query package critiques under the alter-ego @QueryGodMother and loves doing school visits for kids all over New England.

To keep up with Kristin, follow her on Twitter at @KristineAsselin and check out her website at

37 comments on “Balancing Act by @KristineAsselin

  1. ptnozell says:

    Thanks for the reminder that we’re all trying to balance so many facets of our lives, but that even when life seems out of balance, we can still catch snippets of inspiration that fuel our writing when we can get BIC.


  2. eightpawswriting says:

    I feel your frustration and my children are grown. Life all by itself gets in the way. After a short break, I do find it comforting to be back in my chair, especially after a long walk with my dogs.


  3. I hear you! Last night, I was all set to watch the Kid Lit Summer School webinar when I had a business emergency come up. I was so frustrated, but perhaps I could use the events as part of a story. Thanks for the post!


  4. kathalsey says:

    Kris, I admire all you do. I agree it’s important not to beat ourselves up when our life is not in the balance we wish for. Find the moments that can add to your craft wherever they are.


  5. Laura Rackham says:

    You have just removed the guilt of finding my balance! Thanks!


  6. The search for balance has been a journey my entire life! Today I write with pen and notebook while sitting in a quiet corner of a fast food establishment. Dropped a grandchild off at her day camp, and resolved to have some BIC writing time. When it gets crowded or my mind wanders, I’ll change my location. Thanks for sharing because it is great to know that I’m not alone in this search for balance.


  7. Deborah Allmand says:

    Kristine, I think at times we’re way too hard on ourselves. I call all those things pre-writing. Helping me straight out plot lines, character development and relationships between the two of those things. Thank you for reminding us we all fight this battle.


  8. marlainagray says:

    I definitely think watching “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” counts as good fill-the-well time. 🙂 Thanks for a much-needed post.


  9. Balancing everyday occurrences is a major feat around my house-LOL Thank you for the encouragement to take time to find those things that can help while you have that BIC.


  10. Kirsten Bock says:

    Yup, pretty much how I am feeling right now! Thanks for this!


  11. JEN says:

    Balancing life with writing is a feat. Thanks for the reminder not to be afraid to take a break.


  12. JEN says:

    When I saw obvious typos in my blog post after I posted, I knew I needed to take a break and avoid submitting typo-ridden queries.


  13. I love Agents of SHIELD and I’m going to take a 2 week guilt-free break! 😀 Thanks, Kristine!


  14. Lori Dubbin says:

    I love the notion that taking a break, reading, watching a TV show, or a seeing a movie is an integral part of “pre-writing” and can get us back to BIC! #lifebalancing


  15. Val McCammon says:

    How true that even when we’re not focused on writing, we’re thinking about writing and getting ideas. Thanks, Kristine.


  16. Thank you so much for this. Overwhelmed is exactly where I am, so I am treating myself kindly and pursuing learning, looking, and listening, so that I’m ready to apply it all later.


  17. Sandy Perlic says:

    Ugh: balance. Life rarely seems “in balance.” But you are so right that even those times that writing isn’t a priority can still provide fodder for our stories at a later date. Thanks!


  18. Maria Marshall says:

    Kristine, so understand. Only gets more complex the older they get! Like Teresa, I’m taking a two week break. Somewhat guilt free. But finally back to Internet access so I can at least touch into Kidlit Summer School and not feel too guilty.


  19. writersideup says:

    Balance is, without question, the hardest thing for me to achieve in my life—ever! And I think I’ll pass on trying to balance those golf balls! lol Excellent post, Kristine. Thank you 😀


  20. Looking at the books you’ve written and published, you’ve been successful Kristine, at BIC and taking breaks as necessary.


  21. Stacey Jacobs says:

    Oh dear god what a perfect day for this post.
    I’ve been looking forward to summer school since the end of last year
    Wouldn’t you know my husband had surgery 2 weeks ago? I was thinking “How perfect! I’ll be able to “escape” a bit, working on my current project and looking forward to our daily lessons in summer school with all the great people here…
    Higher and higher hurdles keep appearing!
    Massive postop infection, a second admission, incision and drainage of the giant wound, and now open wound healing and intensive pain management. Nothing is worse than having to inflict the torture of packing and bandage changing twice daily in a loved one.
    Today, while sitting in the waiting room at the surgeons office, I’m going to read your post BALANCING ACT with especially hopeful eyes!


  22. Amy Benoit says:

    Staying in my character’s head — got it! Playing songs that inspire, listening in on conversations, staying present = work too! Life is all about balance.


  23. Kristine, I understand your *working while doing other things* comment. Since most of my time is spent with kids (with me NOT writing) I am constantly re-fueling ideas in a dark corner of my brain. It’s a great way to work!


  24. donnacangelosi says:

    Kristine, your post could not have come at a better time for me! So little time, so much to do! Balance is key. Thank you for your inspiration, validation and wonderful ideas!


  25. Juliana Lee says:

    Balance is paramount in all aspects of life. Thanks for the reminder!


  26. Mary Worley says:

    Just finishing up the first full week of summer, so this is good timing for me. Balance is always the goal…


  27. Keila Dawson says:

    I will forever look at the balance in my life through stacking golf balls. Some days you can stack more than others. C’est la vie!


  28. Balance. Exactly what I need — in more ways that one (I’ve been having vertigo for almost two weeks). Good luck to you and Jen with AWYSI.


  29. Lynn Alpert says:

    Thanks for the reminder that we can get inspiration even though we’re not writing! We have to stop beating ourselves up when we can’t work a job, take care of our families (and ourselves!!) and write that great book at the same time!


  30. Marge Gower says:

    The minute I start writing the phone rings or someone comes to the door. Now I don’t have many phone calls or company, but they do show up then. I’m going to start working in the den, which is in the back of the house. I’ll turn off the phone and I can’t hear the knocking. hehe


  31. alex borns-weil says:

    Yeah, I find myself thinking a lot about that “oh, if you’re a writer you absolutely have to write every day, keep to a schedule, blah, blah, blah.” But honestly, even though I can be disciplined most of the time, I just find that there are times when life takes over and I have to let it go. And trust that I’ll get back to it. It’s taken me awhile to develop that trust in myself, and to give myself that permission without the guilt trip, but now I see that I can (and do) get back to my writing. I know that it’s going to be hard to get back in gear, but knowing that helps me get over that hump and keep putting my butt back in my chair every time it gets up and wanders to the fridge.


  32. Life truly is a balancing act. And then when I think I am balancing all of the balls, a curve ball comes my way. Thank you, Kristine, for the reminder that a writer can find ideas for dialogue, plot, characters and so forth as life continues to unfold.
    ~Suzy Leopold


  33. God knows I could use a little more balance in my life. Thanks for the post.


  34. Heather H. Rhodes Writer says:

    Summer is so crazy and I couldn’t agree more to everything you have said. All i want to do is write, but when it comes down to it, I have to slow down and take baby steps to get through each day. No excuses for me this go round. Write when you can, enjoy the moment, listen to your kids and you just might learn more than you ever wanted to for that Next. Big. Story. 🙂 Thank you!


  35. Kristen C.S. says:

    Just got back from a 24 day camp across the U.S. southwest trip with my husband and our 6 children. Refreshed and ready to write. Even balance needs a break as you stated so well. =)


  36. Karen Leiby Belli says:

    Besides the great writing advice, I’m getting so validated about my feelings! Thanks!


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