Getting a good balance between writing, work and my family life is something I've been thinking a lot about this January, and I see other people are too, judging by all the responses to Nathan Bransford's question about balancing writing and life.
For me, it's so hard. Whatever I'm doing, be it spending time with my family, writing, planning lessons, I get intensely involved. That one thing fills up my thoughts and the other ones get set aside. [Okay, not totally, because if I'm writing and the kids really need me, I'm there. But it has to be something they really need me for, not something they can solve themselves.]
Part of my solution is to plan time for everything.
It should work, except writing is greedy. It sometimes eats up more of my time then I want it to (kind of like an addictive computer game). And it sneaks in, even when I don't make time for it. Last week, when I planned to put my writing on hold to work on things for my job, the writing side of my brain got sneaky. Before I knew it, my notebook was filled with scribbles for my new project. And on the weekend, I planned to just have fun with my family. No writing. But if ideas come to me when I'm watching the kids swimming in the hotel pool, it would be silly to sit staring into space instead of writing them down, right? If I leave my notebook at home, I just end up with smeary scribbles on restaurant napkins.
How do you manage to find time for the rest of your life when writing threatens to take over?