Don’t Be Balanced
If you’re like me, you’re probably looking for balance, balance in your creative life, in your work life, in your social life. You want to know how to balance your creative writing with your blogging and platform building. You want to know how to make money while also pursuing a career in writing. Oh and you’d like to finish reading a book every once in a while, too.
Balance is About Stasis
The thing is, I’m not sure we need more balance to be more creative. I like what Keith Jennings says:
I don’t believe in living a balanced life. Balance is about stasis. But our lives are dynamic. And full of tensions.
I prefer a life of harmony over one of balance.
Harmony describes a collection of notes co-existing in tension with a root note.
That makes sense to me.
Relationships are a portfolio of positive and negative tensions.
I love that.
Think about harmony for a second. Harmony is when someone is singing one note and you sing a different note that sounds good with their note. Then, they sing a different note and you have to change your note to match theirs.
It changes. It’s dynamic. And the change creates music.
The Root Note in Your Writing
I was talking with a friend who is struggling to find balance between his job, his writing, and his blog. “How do you find balance?” he asked.
I joked, “I mostly don’t!”
But what I wish I had said was, stop trying to find balance. Instead find harmony. Pick a root note, a priority, a center for your life, and harmonize with it. If any activity, project, or social obligation doesn’t harmonize with your root note, throw it out.
What activity, project, social obligation isn’t bring harmony but dissonance to your life? How can you bring harmony to your life?
Who do You Serve
The way Keith finishes this post blows me away:
Writers serve one thing: stories. That’s the root note of their creative life.
Everything else is packaging, performance and merchandising.
What’s the root note of your creative life? Attention, money, art? Who are you serving? Yourself, your audience, your stories?
If you want to learn more about balance, harmony, and creativity, subscribe to Keith Jennings’ weekly newsletter, Root Notes.
No practice in the comments section today. Instead, spend some time serving your stories. Work on your work in progress and give it everything you have.