I thought it was tough to find balance when I was on my own, but this week has given me a glimpse of what writers go through when they have husbands and families.

I was on vacation this week, and I spent it with the Boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong: It’s been great. But my writing productivity has gone way down.

When we were home together, he wanted to play. When I was here alone, I had time to write … but about the time I hit my stride, I had to stop to cook or answer the phone or do a load of laundry or run to the grocery store.

Anyway, I’m tipping my hat to you writers who juggle family responsibilities and still have time to create the stories I love to read. Maybe someday I’ll get better at doing the same.

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It’s nearly 1:30 a.m. and I’m ready to leave work (after spending an hour playing Bejeweled and generally wasting time online).

Figured that if I post that I’m going to go home and write, I’ll actually do it. Right?

I actually had a great idea for an extra scene in “Blind Date Bride” on the drive up from the Boyfriend’s this morning. It was writing itself … and it’ll extend the post-black moment, pre-reunion part of the story that feels rushed every time I read it through.

So the plan is to head home now and start writing it. I don’t need to go to bed until 3 a.m. anyway! 😀

I also need to send out a couple of queries that I didn’t get around to doing on Monday.

Writing fell victim to necessity today: I HAD to shovel snow and then get to work early again. Then, since I was actually home early, I HAD to watch Conan’s last “Tonight Show.”

I did, however, spend about an hour writing after the show was over. Added 315 words to Meg & Matt’s story — and hit nearly 5,000 in my Word Count Countdown bar.

Unfortunately, I’m no longer on a roll. Getting those words out of my head and onto the screen was like trying to get a cat to do tricks.

I’m off from work all weekend. Hopefully, I’ll be able to recapture the roll — maybe a trip to Starbucks will help.

Again, I went to my NARWA meeting … and again I was inspired by a great speaker. Jennifer Ashley talked about how to finish that manuscript and get it published. And as usual, I had to come back to Flagstaff and head straight to work when I wanted to go home and write.

Agents and the business of writing were on the table, but the most important take-home point for me was this:

Treat writing like it’s your day job and it will become your day job.

It sounds like such a simple concept … yet I’ve been guilty of writing only when “I feel like it” or when I’m inspired.

What I need to do is get in the habit of writing every day, whether I feel like it or not.

Hmm. Now that I think about it, discipline is a big problem in other areas of my life, too. I’m trying to lose weight, but I don’t always stick to my Weight Watchers plan — I do it when I feel like it. (That’s probably why I’m having trouble taking off the last few, eh?) …  All too often, I feel like eating something I shouldn’t, like gooey, cheesy Italian or Mexican food.

But that’s another blog! 😀

Now, let’s get back to the subject at hand: writing. For the next week, I’m going to try something different. Every day, I’m going to spend at least an hour writing — preferably before I do anything else. (That includes hopping online, one of my biggest distractions. Darn that Bejeweled on Facebook! I pull up the screen to play one game and end up playing for an hour …)

I’m also going to finally finish my query letter for “Operation Snag Mike Brad” and start looking for the agent of my dreams. I got some great feedback from out chapter president and will be using it to polish up my query.

It’s time for me to make writing my day job.

I’ll be logging in nightly to report how many minutes I spent writing, so please keep checking in to keep me honest.

I want to know why I seem to get more writing done at Starbucks than I do in my own home.

I guess it’s the distraction factor. At Starbucks, the TV is not on (though there is music), so I don’t get sucked into the lives of those poor hapless guests on “Jerry Springer,”  and there are no dogs running around trying to sniff my keyboard every five seconds, so I’m not constantly yelling at them to behave.

Plus, there’s no Internet to distract me from the real reason I turned on my computer. I have gotten better about working first and playing later, but I still let the siren’s call of Facebook get the better of me from time to time.

With the Golden Heart deadline looming and lots of work to do, I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a lot of time at Starbucks. I know I’ll be there Wednesday. It’s my birthday, and some of the gals from NARWA are having a write-in for me.

I can’t wait!