There are three things I know for sure:
1. Never choose the food challenge on Amazing Race
2. Beer before liquor, never been sicker
3. Do not talk about Fight Club
But balancing work, writing, and family? I haven't got a clue how to do that. If I knew, I'd be doing it. This has become all the more clear to me since having a baby in January. I haven't slept more than 3 hours at a time since... November? Possibly earlier? It wasn't easy to sleep during pregnancy, either, so it's possible I haven't had a truly good night's sleep in a year. Anyway. What was I saying? Where am I? How did I get here?
As someone on Doomsday Preppers would say, balance means having a stockpile of food and a weapons cache with which to defend it. If only life were that simple.
I think any kind of balancing act is a myth. No one can have, be, or do it all, just as no one can be the perfect wife, mother, employee, author, or friend -- and definitely not at the same time. But that's okay, because I think perfection is overrated -- especially for writers or any other kind of artist.
Perfection is boring. And perfection won't help you when something goes wrong in your life.
Anna Quindlen said it best, in her book BEING PERFECT (p.47-48):
"Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere: a berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at Sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: you will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be."
Sarah Skilton grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated with a TV/Radio degree from Ithaca College in upstate New York before moving to sunny Los Angeles, where she's worked as a production assistant, a TV extra, a film reviewer, and a script analyst. She has also studied Tae Kwon Do and Hap Ki Do, both of which came in handy while writing her martial arts-themed debut YA novel, BRUISED, due out Spring 2013 from Amulet Books.