Balancing life and writing
There is no one answer to leading a balanced life. As in any professional pursuit, writing takes dedication, sacrifice and time. It helps if you believe in what you are doing. If you have little interest in the story you are about to write, you are less likely to finish it, let alone publish it as a novel. As a rule, if I feel excited about a project, I go for it! But I’m also clear about what I want to write and why.
One of the advantages of writing as a career is the flexibility of lifestyle it affords you. You get to decide when to write, what to write and even where to write. That gives you a lot of freedom on a day to day basis. But be careful! Your friends can take your flexible career for granted. In the past, many of my friends haven’t seen it like a normal career, often believing that I don’t have to work at all to produce a novel! It is best you educate them about the rigours of a writing career, so that they don’t call on you in the middle of important deadlines. That said, my good friends are very important to me. Writing can be a lonely occupation, so quality time with your best friends help to keep your life normal – well almost!
Even though a writing project has long lead times, it pays to make goals and set priorities both for the short and long term. I don’t overly plan, compared to some, but I do set weekly and monthly goals to make sure that I work consistently throughout the project. I also set regular breaks as rewards for achieving my goals. I’ve always worked better when I feel that I have control over a project and I am meeting or even beating deadlines. Regular small deadlines also break up what is a large project into bite-size bits, as a novel can take the best part of a year to complete. I find that if I work consistently on my novel, writing every day, even for as little as an hour, I get better outcomes. Cramming ever-increasing writing loads into shorter deadlines destroys creativeness for me.
I play to my strengths, too. I’m creative in the mornings, so the first task for the day is to write a first draft with pen and paper, whereas I edit and type my work in the afternoons, when I am less creative. I rarely work at night, as this is my reward for achieving my daily goal, as well as allowing me valuable rest time from the creative process.
by Michael Leon
A naturally gifted ex-national champion and a savant with a computer-like mind compete against the world's best in the 22nd century's most popular sport - CUBEBALL - the chess-like, technology-enhanced, snooker of the future where the world stage is dominated by gambling, drugs and massive audiences.
At that moment Mickey knew he had to play his way and make a shot that would not be forgotten. He called “power-play.”
He imagined the perfect shot in his mind’s eye as he circled the table twice, deliberating his fateful shot. The balls loomed large, but strangely different. The table appeared more circular than a cube as he lowered his chin to his carbon steel cue. The whole shot played in his mind as he drew back the cue to strike the cue-ball with a force that engulfed the whole stadium.
The crack of the cue-ball as it struck its target echoed sharply its warning of an imminent tidal wave of spin and curve that would capture the imagination of every fan in the stadium, or at home in front of their cubebit. In one game changing savage strike, the red ball fell into the pocket as the cue-ball savagely spun into the red triangle, spreading the reds in all directions from the centrifugal force of the cue-ball. Mickey slotted twelve red and black combinations in four minutes, gaining an unassailable lead. He followed that with a perfect defensive stroke, leaving the cue-ball safely jammed behind yellow. Flaveau conceded the game and the match, shell-shocked by the unique high-spin attack Mickey had unleashed. The break was soon nicknamed ‘the pulsar’ and it had secured Mickey the first semi-final win and a shot at the world title.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I worked with national and international organisations as a business analyst in Australia and overseas. I authored many business books analysing the foodservice and food retail industry in Australia, Europe and Asia, as well as agribusiness global trends. I also ran a consultancy business that assisted Australian enterprises to develop new markets in Australia and overseas.
I commenced writing science fiction novels full time in 2009. It was a life-long interest of mine. I have written five novels - all exploring contemporary social issues in future speculative worlds. They are: Shadow Dance; Extinction; Cubeball; Titan Sages and Alive. My novels blend speculative science, new age and poetry. Readers of novels such as Carl Sagan’s Contact would enjoy my novels.
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