Burning at both ends

By Katharine Swan On Saturday, September 21, 2013 At 4:25 PM

I have a habit, no matter what I am doing in life, of burning the candle at both ends (so to speak).  When I was freelancing full-time I would take on far more work than I could handle, burn myself out, and miss deadlines.  Furthermore, I would feel guilty any time I was doing any writing projects that weren't earning me money directly -- such as working on my own fiction.

That was part of the reason I took a part-time nanny job.  I'd burned myself out, for one thing, but I was also hoping that having a reliable income would help me make time for my own writing projects without the guilt.

I'm actually not sure much has changed.

Sometimes it takes something like this to make you realize something like that, but last night I was pretty ill.  I think I caught a stomach bug that was going 'round the kids' school.  I usually have a pretty strong immune system, but last week I've been feeling for the last week or so like I've been fighting something off.  Then yesterday I got up early and worked a long day, and that was apparently all that bug needed to gain a foothold.  I woke up late last night and was sick, sick, sick.

I'm not saying I should quit my job or anything.  I love the kids I take care of and I get paid well to take care of them.  Lately I've been missing freelancing though, and I have yet to do any marketing or make contact with old clients since summer (when I'm the busiest with the kids) ended.  I also have realized that I've been taking on more and more babysitting and other side work, so that I'm working nearly every day and always struggling to find time for my writing, my horses, and myself.  I mean, wasn't that why I took some time away from freelancing -- because it was taking over my life and burning me out?

I'm sure I got sick because I got run down and my body couldn't fight off this bug off successfully as a result.  I need to try to find better balance in my life.  Problem is, it seems like I've got too much to balance: work, writing, work, horses, and more work.  I guess something is going to have to go, and I am going to have to make some tough decisions unless I want my writing to end up being a casualty.

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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