When I was a kid, I always wished I could juggle. The art of keeping balls or oranges in perfect perpetual motion simply fascinated me. But try as I might, I was never any good at it. I just didn’t have what it took to master that skill. Boo.
Little did I realize that as a freelance content marketing writer, part-time university public relations writer, and aspiring novelist, I would actually be juggling – just a little differently than I imagined in the days of my youth.
It may seem a little cheesy. But I believe the same tools are needed to be successful in both cases.
Skill and Practice
No one who starts juggling is going to get it right the first time. Of course it takes a natural ability. But it also takes a lot of practice and perseverance before it pays off.
The same is true for a writer of any kind. I’ve always loved writing and I’ve never stopped learning and refining my craft. As a kid, I penned forgettable short stories. When I got older, I learned the craft of storytelling in the form of journalism. I did that for many years before transitioning to pr and content marketing. Even that was a learning process needed to adapt to that form of storytelling. And my foray into novel writing has been an ongoing learning process.
A juggler has to know where every item he or she is handling is at all times. Otherwise, disaster strikes.
That’s certainly true for me, as a writer. I owe it to my clients to be focused on each project I work on in my day job. As an aspiring novelist, I owe it to myself to focus on the story that begs to be told.
A juggler is always going to encounter the unexpected. Being flexible enough to react and rebound without missing a beat is crucial to literally keeping all the balls in the air.
Flexibility is big for me as a writer who works from home. I need to keep a schedule, but also be open when the unexpected happens. I often need to swap my projects around. Sometimes it’s to meet a deadline. At other times, I need to hop on another project if I’m held up for some reason on a different one. Either way, I need to keep going while adjusting to what the day brings.
Suffice it to say, my younger self might be surprised to learn that today my life as a writer is an actual juggling act.