Balancing Act

On Monday, I blogged about maintaining good mental health by treating yourself well. We discussed various things we do to feel better, destress, and practice wellness.

One thing that I didn’t highlight enough was finding BALANCE.

I fully believe that balance means different things to different people. Some people are naturally more active while others are naturally less active. I’m not talking Type A personalities versus lazies, but let’s face it, some people are hares and some are turtles.

Another way to look at it is some people are racers and some people are pacers.

For instance, I tend to be a racer. I work at something and work at it hard until it’s done. My dad is the same way. Whether it takes 1 hour or 12, we work at it and work at it and work at it…sometimes regardless of exhaustion or frustration.

My mom, on the other hand, is a pacer. She’ll break down a task into manageable chunks, do some one day, feel satisfied with that, and do another piece the next day, and so on.

Over the past months, I’ve come to realize pacing is much healthier.

Seriously.

Why?

Pacing forces me to:

  • Take my time
  • Give the task careful consideration
  • Not feel the pressure of rushing
  • Improve the quality of what I’m doing
  • Enjoy the process and not just the finished product
  • Avoid burnout
  • Appreciate growth and learning
  • Feel more content
  • Feel more BALANCED

So, what strategies do you use to obtain balance? How do you know when you’re unbalanced?

Check out Deb’s response to genre crushing, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic for this month. 😉

“P” is for Pacing

So, writers work hard to whittle away paragraphs that don’t advance the plot. We strive to create tension in every scene. Varying sentence length, limiting backstory, and keeping the action going are just a couple strategies we use.

I think all these are important parts in pacing, but the pendulum swings both ways. In other words, pacing can be too slow or too fast.

Okay, so we know to look out for the things I mentioned above. I don’t have to tell you that pages of backstory or “telling” can really kill the pacing. So does taking too long to get a character from home to work (if nothing happens other than them hitting EVERY. SINGLE. RED. LIGHT. Ugh, that’s so frustrating).

But what happens when you’ve erased all the “let’s-take-a-breather-from-the-action scenes?” The pace feels way too fast and the reader becomes desensitized to all the tension you’ve worked so hard to create.

My question to you (because I’m still working on this) is:

How do you do the “breather” scenes without them coming off as boring or dull?

One thing I try is creating conflict, either in two characters or within one character (I contrast their thoughts, feelings, and actions).