Balance: Creating the Perfect Arch Between Publishing and Writing

Filed under: Pondering, Publishing

I’ve noticed, that through a recent plethora of blog posts, articles and conversations, the topic of BALANCE keeps popping up for me.

Sharp Bend

“…an arch made of stone doesn’t even need mortar. The ancient Romans built arch bridges and aqueducts that are still standing today. The tricky part, however is building the arch, as the two converging parts of the structure have no structural integrity until they meet in the middle.” 

Lamb, Robert, and Michael Morrissey.  “How Bridges Work”  01 April 2000. 

<http://science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/civil/bridge.htm>  11 June 2013.


When building a balanced arch, the two converging parts you’re talking about could be personal life and professional life. Or it might be practicality and risk. There are hundreds of combinations of the forces in our lives that need to lean up against each other to create balance. Today I’d like to talk about two major parts of the author arch–artistry and business. Publishing and Writing. I can’t say this enough. PUBLISHING IS A BUSINESS, BUT WRITING IS ART. And you need them BOTH to create a strong and magnificent arch. It doesn’t work until both sides meet in the middle.

Of course, this is the ideal spot in the blog for me to pull out my secret, magical, architectural plans and tell you how to make that perfectly balanced arch. *brace yourself* There are no secret, magical plans. Everyone arrives at balance a little differently because–well–we’re all different. And really, that’s a damn good thing. You don’t want a bucket load of Kimmiepoppins’ running around out there. That would be a problem.

But don’t feel like there isn’t something out there to sink your teeth into. What I can give you, are some tips to help you find your own way.

*Get rid of the GUILT. Most of the time we are not comparing ourselves to real people. The do-it-all super stars that we use as a measuring stick are usually not a complete picture. If we could see the BIG picture it would be a lot more obvious that the “perfect people” put their underwear on the same as us–one leg at a time. They have issues too, we just don’t hear about them until someone’s in rehab.

*Do you really want to be the next old thing? NO! You want to be the next new thing. The only way you can insure that you’re bringing something unique to the table is to bring yourself. This means believing that you’re special, valuable and that you have worth. Easier said than done, right? It’s easier to respect the quirk in other people than yourself, so let your friends remind you of your awesomeness and make sure you’re letting your friends know that they’ve got it going on.

*Slow down. We move too fast. We schedule to much. We think that if we day dream we’re lazy. We don’t take time to walk, talk, savor and explore. We don’t sleep, rest or relax enough. We don’t notice what’s around us. We definitely don’t listen the way that we should–eye to eye and without interruption. Some times less is more. Here’s the thing, if you write a really good book, it will sell no matter how long it took you to write it. I’ve never heard a publisher say, “This is a fabulous manuscript. I love it, but I can’t take it because well, it took you to long to write it.” The work must always speak for itself.

*BUT–put your butt in the chair and write more. Do I need to explain this further? You know I don’t. You can’t go under it. You can’t go over it. You can’t go around it. You’ve got to go through it.

*Stop thinking you can control everything. You can’t. It’s that simple. You can stack the deck in your favor but the lion’s share is out of your hands. Stuff happens. Stuff doesn’t happen.

*Everything is not always as it appears. One day I was getting ready to get on the highway. I had the strong urge to take the back roads instead. Once on the highway, I ran into a very big accident and traffic that was only inching along. I was kicking myself for not taking the back roads. If I had taken the back roads, I would have avoided all of this waisted time. BUT I also may have been hit by someone running a stop sign. I could have been killed. The point is–WE DON’T KNOW. We might think that we know. We can guess. But we don’t know. Ultimately I’ve had to come to a place where I believe that what happens to me is meant to happen to me. That the map, the plan for my life and soul, is way too big for me to be able to read it. It’s like looking at a pointillism painting from an inch away. It all looks like dots. Just dots, until you’re able to step back and see the full picture. Ahhhhh.  I believe it’s pretty damn hard to impossible for us to see the full picture. But I’ve decided that mine is beautiful and I’m going to trust in that. And that folks, is how I build my arch.

What advice do you have for keeping the balance?



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  1. Very Interesting! At 55, I still haven’t figured out how to keep my balance…how sad! I’m still working on it! Good you found yours at a young age! Keep it goin! I look back now and see how my life has passed me by so quickly! I now know, I never allowed enough time for me!

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