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Friday, August 01, 2008

 

A NEW BALANCE!


As many of you know recently, I started working on opening a new business. We are the proud owners of a new tea and coffee shop called: The Sweet Stop. We sell, high end coffees and teas with baked goods. Today, is our third day in business, we opened on July 30, 2008 at 6am.

So far, life has only been the shop, but alas, we are determined to be able to still have "a life" I only hope that we can find some way to balance everything.

One of my biggest passions is writing. Lately, I have missed being able to sit down and write. For the most part, its been because I'm to tired to even punch the keys on the keyboard. Renovations of our shop, kicked my butt rather hard.

As I stand here at my new counter, I have started to think of ways to incorporate all that I have to do or want to do with our new business. Mind you this isn't going to be easy, as I'm finding out. And we haven't even really advertised that we are open. A few small words in the local news paper. Which is great, it helped drag a few people in to check us out.

No matter how much I love my new shop, I truly want to find a way to be able to get all the other stuff done in my life, so please any suggestions! I need them in a major way.

Right now our hours are a bit hectic, at least for this month, we are working from 6am-4pm Monday through Thursday, Friday 6am-7pm, Saturday 7am-7pm and Sunday 10am-3pm. We hope that this will help us find out where we are the busiest and help us to manage our time a bit better for the shop so we aren't trying to kill ourselves.

My concern however, is right now, how do I fit the time that I need and want in for my writing? Well one obvious at the moment, is by standing at the counter with my laptop in hand as I wait for the next round of customers to come in to enjoy a cup of coffee and a muffin.

But, now I start to think about other things that I also need to fit into my life, the laundry, shopping for groceries (need these for 3 growing boys!), cleaning the house, etc. The kids have been wonderful by picking up some of the slack already at home, but, we can't expect them to do it all, they have lives too, they want to be able to do sports and stuff. So,I need to make sure that I can contribute at home as well, right now, I feel that its just impossible. So, alas, I am struggling to find my new direction.

Hopefully, with some wonderful help from my WOW friends, and a sanity check on my part, I can find my balance.

We all have so much going on and so many changes, that who knows, maybe some of these will help our many other readers too.

Happy Writing everyone!

8 Comments:

Anonymous Holly the helpful homemaker/student/mom/writer/... said...

As a writing mom of four active kids, part-time student and part-time employee, I can understand your plight. While I still haven't been able to get done everything I'd like to, I have a couple of tips.

You've started out well with having your laptop handy to work on things during the lulls. I have something to write on and to write with at all times. You might go one further and have one or two works in progress (WIPS) with you to focus on during those times.

I find multitasking works, too. Mundane chores like vacuuming are great for mulling over the perfect hook or closer, or sticky plots. Many times the perfect hook comes to me when I'm in the shower or driving, which becomes sticky in itself! However, my kids have become great little secretaries while I'm driving - or if they aren't with me you can see me writing frantically at a red light or as soon as I park at the grocery store!

Don't forget to take advantage of mini spots of down time. For example, while waiting for my kids at the bus stop or at the doctor's office I either study, write out study cards, or work on some bit of writing. If I forget to bring something I want to focus on I write a haiku or some flash fiction. You'd be surprised what you can accomplish in 10-15 minutes.

Finally, I also sneak in writing time while I watch movies or evening television. Most often it is light hearted entertainment, and my brain can handle doing both at the same time. If it is a more intense movie, I don't usually do both and choose one or the other to work on.

Hope this helps!

7:19 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Holly,

Thanks for the advice, I greatly appreciate it.

Unfortunately, not even having the time to do housework has been an issue, hopefully, that will all change though, so I can't even go back to the way I was doing things, which was grabbing the little bit of time that I could here and there.

It is amazing how stumped that I feel right now with my time. It's like my brain has turned of certain parts. LOL.

Thanks again......for the advice, I appreciate it. :)

Happy Writing!
Carrie

9:47 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

Hey Carrie!

I think we all find ourselves in this position of having a lot to do and so little time! I write here - there - and everywhere, but I try to keep the family as a priority too. It doesn't always work. Sometimes things get over looked or are left undone, but in the grand scheme of things, it's okay.

And those boys picking up the slack...that's okay too. They are part of the family and a family is a team.

Hang in there!

10:50 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Hi Carrie, The Sweet Stop sounds like such a comforting place. Coffee & muffins! It seems like it's still all brand new, and once a known routine settles, you'll be able to have a regular time for writing. Congrats, on keeping your passions in your life.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Delighted Scribbler said...

You may want to check out Zen Habits at http://zenhabits.net/ I've been reading it for a while and have gotten quite a few good life-simplification ideas there.

Congratulations on The Sweet Stop and happy balancing!

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Chayah said...

While working on my memoir I oversaw a massive remodel with a not so honest contractor, less than commonsensical subs, and nosy neighbors itching to thwart our progress at every turn with their complaints. It was very easy to get sucked into the "drama" of it all and allow my time for writing to be sucked away by everything. What I realized I had to do was turn my cell phone off and land line off during my scheduled writing time so I wasn't interrupted. I would suggest making a deal with your kids and husband that for a certain period of time on designated days that they promise not to call you unless it's a real emergency. Schedule your writing time like everything else in your life and be disciplined and stick to it. Works for me. Good luck with The Sweet Shop.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Hi Everyone!

Thanks so much for your responses, they have been wonderful!

For so long, I had it together, it wasn't until we got into full renovations with the shop and now with it open that I felt that I lost my mind and my way when it came to my writing.

I am so glad that so many of you have such great ideas! It helps out so much.

You will all laugh, I am now finding myself stealing the down time at the shop to get on the computer to do research and to write. :) It has been going great so far.

Business is starting to boom for us! We are starting to see regulars already. :) You might say we are becoming a popular hangout for a ton of people. Which we are so excited about. :)

We have actually had a few writers come in the past couple of days, finding their "cozy spots" sitting down with either a computer or a pad of paper, nursing a cup of coffee and writing away. I smile at them, knowing that they are working on their goals too.

Happy Writing!
Carrie

6:27 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Carrie,

That's awesome that you already have regulars!! I know your business will be successful because it has your wonderful personality at the helm. :)

I'm so proud of you!! Write-On sister!

Love,

Ang

1:51 PM  

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