I love my planning calendar in January. It’s so fresh and clean, bursting with possibilities and innocent of goals that will be unmet by the end of December.

This year I am determined to find balance in my life. I will write smarter, not harder and produce more work. I will take better care of my body, get into shape. I will enjoy life: laugh more, sing more, eat less bread and more beans. I will climb out of my troll cave and enjoy a hobby. I will not binge-eat Ramen noodles and cake during book deadlines.

Sounds reasonable, right? But it’s clear my goals are at war with each other. Here’s one example:

My love of making bread battles with my desire to get into shape. Who can resist a slice of warm bread right out of the oven? And why should I resist such a wondrous thing? Aren’t I trying to enjoy life more? Plus, there’s a certain amount of exercise involved in making bread, right? Plus, it relieves stress.

You see my dilemma here.

As I ponder these goals, I’m getting more and more confused. A song pounds in my head: Wagner’s “Song of the Valkyrie.” Sounds like a war song to me. If it doesn’t ring a bell, rest assured you’ve heard it. Think Elmer Fudd.  “Caught a wabbit, caught a wabbit…caught a wabbit…” Yes?

Anyway, cymbals are crashing in my head, and I’m already craving those noodles. Am I being too hard on myself? But here’s the thing: those of us who’ve written an entire book know in order to accomplish it, we must constantly drive ourselves.

We want to push ourselves, but not over the edge.

How do we balance our myriad goals? All we writers can do is take one day at a time. Let’s forgive ourselves when goals fall by the wayside, when one goal outweighs the other. We can try to do a little something to balance our lives every day, even if it’s way less than what we wrote in our planners. Some days we’ll feel like a warrior, beating our own odds, and some days we’ll feel more like Elmer Fudd, never getting that wabbit.

Most of all, remember this: the merms and mermaids at SSRA are here to encourage and support each other. Have courage, comrades-in-arms.  2016 is going to be a great year.

Jennifer Taylor

Jennifer Taylor

Secretary at SSRA
Jennifer Taylor is the award-winning author of the historical romance, Mercy of the Moon, Book One of the Rhythm of the Moon series, published by the Wild Rose Press. Jennifer uses music on a daily basis to inspire her heroes and charm her heroines, and can often be found singing at her desk.

She spent her childhood running wild on an Idaho mountainside. Although she’s lived across the U.S., she is still an Idahoan at heart and a notorious potato pusher. She has a degree in Human Services and worked as a roofer, a hoofer, a computer data entry operator and a stay-at-home mom.

Music has ruled Jennifer’s world since birth. She shimmied out of the womb with a bad case of Boogie Fever, but soon fell in love with the lyrics, how the words fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. Jennifer has dreamt of writing romances since reading Wuthering Heights at the tender age of twelve, and now lives that dream, using music on a daily basis to uplift and inspire her writing. It’s no coincidence that Ian, the hero in Mercy of the Moon, uses music to win heroine Maggie’s heart.

She lives in rural Florida with her husband and Great Dane puppy, and enjoys frequent visits from her three grandchildren and three grown children. She feverishly lobbies for the return of breeches and would really love to see her husband of thirty-five years in a pair. Jennifer can be found online at: JenniferTaylorWrites.com
Jennifer Taylor

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