Monday, July 8, 2024

3 Disciplines that Help Writers Maintain a Good Work-Life Balance

by Larry J. Leech II @LarryJLeechII

My wife often calls me a goober. And I’m good with that. While I have been accused of being too serious at times, I can be silly. More importantly, I love to make my sweetie laugh, to hear that cute little giggle of hers.

Being serious. Being a goober. It’s all about balance.

If a person doesn’t have it, they could end up being a workaholic. Or just the opposite—a lazy employee who wants to goof off all the time. Neither is good. 

I learned three disciplines that have helped me maintain a good work-life balance.

One, and I have written about this before, I have a dedicated workspace and routine—either at home or at my branch office. At home, I work in one room only—my office. I do not pound away at the keyboard at the dining room table, on the living room couch, on the back deck overlooking our yard and wall of trees that line the edge of our property. When I step into my home office, my brain kicks into ‘work mode.’ At the branch office, I prefer to sit at the same table and have a routine that gets my brain ready to work. 

Two, writing, coaching, and editing—is a business, not a hobby. When I first left the corporate world to become a freelancer, I kept weird hours and didn’t have routines or boundaries. That chaotic approach kept me from taking my ‘job’ seriously. I became more productive when I switched from a ‘hobbyist mentality’ to a ‘business mentality.’ I now do my best to keep strict business hours—usually from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. I mention usually because I am a freelancer and fortunately can adjust my schedule. I also take weekends off. But, if I take time off during the week, I might work part of the weekend to make up the time. 

You may not be able to adopt this type of schedule. But you can create a business model that suits your lifestyle. For instance, you might be able to set aside one hour a day, five days a week for your business. Or maybe you can make time for two hours, three days a week. Whatever you decide, I encourage you to avoid working seven days a week. I did that in my youth. Wore me out more times than I care to remember. Now, I want to enjoy life. Make memories with my sweetie. Sometime in my early thirties, a newspaper boss said to me, “I don’t live to work, I work to live.” Wise words to live by.

Three, I stay connected with other writers and editors. I discovered years ago that I don’t do well sheltered in my home without communicating with others. Just doesn’t fit my personality. I cannot stress the importance of getting plugged in to a writing community—either in-person or online or both. 

Back in the day, yes, I am old enough to remember those days, being connected with other writers took a lot more work. Phone calls, snail mail, and in-person conferences were our only options. 

Today, we have a plethora of options—email, direct messaging on social media, video chat, online writers groups, in-person writers groups, accountability group. 

Get plugged in. Please, don’t try to figure out this writing business on your own. Find an in-person or online writers group. Hire a coach. Find an accountability partner or group. If you’re not sure what to do, ask a friend in the writing community for a suggestion. Or ask a faculty member you’ve met at a conference. We’re always willing to help. 

These disciplines have worked for me. You might have other suggestions or ideas. If so, I’d love to hear them. 


Editor-in-Chief at Bold Vision Books and writing coach of award-winning authors, Larry J. Leech II has spent more than forty years writing and editing. He started his career as a sportswriter in southwestern Pennsylvania where he covered prep, college, and pro sports, including the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers. 

In 2004, after 2,300 published articles, Larry moved into the book publishing industry. Since that time, he has ghostwritten 30 books, edited more than 400 manuscripts, and coached hundreds of authors through the writing and publication process. You can find him online on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


  1. Excellent advice, Larry! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Excellent message. You continue to inspire me. Thank you Larry.

    1. Larry J. Leech IIJuly 8, 2024 at 9:59 AM

      Thank you, Melissa. And I always appreciate your kind words of encouragement.

  3. Larry,

    Excellent insights for every writer. Our publishing business is not easy but it's one with great opportunity if you cover the basics, never give up and keep learning. Thank you for putting this article together.

    author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success (Revised Edition) [Follow the Link for a FREE copy]

    1. Larry J. Leech IIJuly 8, 2024 at 8:11 PM

      Thanks, Terry. I love you tips: cover the basics, never give up, and keep learning.

  4. Great advice, Larry. I have the good fortune of having a room that I call my office where I can work every day. It helps remind me that I'm in the business of writing.

    1. Larry J. Leech IIJuly 8, 2024 at 8:12 PM

      Thanks, Kay. I think I would struggle with discipline if I didn't have a home office.

  5. Being a "goober" can be a great thing, brother. The first three words to me from my wife, Diane, were, "You're a Moron!" To this day, I do my best to hear that word at least once a day. I smile and chuckle, knowing that she's smiling inside, while shaking her head. Perhaps it's our way of showing each other how much we're still in love with one another. Through it all, I pray I remain her "moron" and she remain my "Gracie" (as in Allen). Finding that elusive balance is ever important as I grow older. I wasted too many years working eighty-five hours per week. Investments in my family would have paid much better returns. Thanks for the great reminder, my friend.

    1. Larry J. Leech IIJuly 8, 2024 at 8:13 PM

      So, you're a goober too? Well, moron, I guess. I knew I liked you. :)