Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Misha Gerrick on Writing with Balance

Before this awesome post by Misha, I just wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and kind thoughts for my mom!!! She is out of the hospital now. She had pneumonia and a few other small issues, but she's been released to get back to "regular" activities. 
Of course, for my parents, "regular" activities are probably not what their doctors expect for a couple in their mid to late seventies. However, I'm not going to stop them from living life fully (and I don't think I could). 

Please welcome Misha Gerrick on her blog tour for Endless!


The thing about balance

When Tyrean first asked me to write about maintaining balance between life and writing, I winced. For the past few weeks I’ve been having more than my fair share of trouble with keeping all the balls in the air.

See to me, life isn’t a balancing act. It’s a lot like tightrope walking while juggling about ten balls. Or hey. Let’s up the pressure. Let’s say I’m tightrope walking while juggling knives.

Yeah. That makes more sense.

For the past couple of weeks, I can’t honestly say that I’ve been handling it well. Especially when it came to my day-job. It literally took over everything. And while I enjoy the challenge, I’m not a fan of twelve to sixteen hour work days.

Because, you know… it keeps me from writing.

I’m slowly getting back into a good place, though, so I thought I’d share what I’d been doing for the past few weeks.

1) I accepted that sometimes, life will defy all my attempts to control it.

Like my work situation. Sometimes, there will be days where I just can’t stick to regular office hours. The sooner I accept it, the less stressful it will be for me.

2) At the same time, sometimes one just needs to step back and realize that no, you don’t have to do something right now.

I think I wasted a lot of time because I kept hanging around at work past my office hours, for things that I could have done later.

So now I’ve ever-so-gently eased back again as far as possible.

3) I procrastinated.

*screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!* What?

You heard me. I’ve been struggling with a lot of stress lately. It came to the point where I just couldn’t make myself hit my daily writing goals. So I took a few days and binge-watched series whenever I felt like it.

I’m glad I did too. It was just what I needed to recharge.

4) BUT I put a limit on it.

I picked two series and stopped binging as soon as they were done. I don’t want to turn it into a habit. It was important for me to rest, yes, but it was just as important to me to actually write again.

So in short, balance isn’t necessarily about getting everything done. It’s about knowing what is enough for a given situation, and not trying for more. Knowing when to relax is just as important.

What about you? Do you also find that keeping a balance between writing and life is much more stressful than just getting through either one or the other? How do you maintain the balance?

About the Book

First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals. 

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them. 

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless. 

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.

About the Author

Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book.

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:


This had to be what dying felt like. Floating outside my body, waiting for that final link to my life to be severed, only vaguely aware of indescribable pain. More screams than I could count rose up around me. Hundreds of footsteps beat against tiles. I couldn’t open my eyes if I wanted to. Not when it was easier to listen and wait. People shouted for a doctor or an IV, or a thousand other things that made no sense. I listened to all the chaos, trying to untangle it in my thoughts.

Soon, I could go. The peace around me was so relaxing, completely out of place in the clamor I heard. I wanted it. To rest forever in that peace. Why not? There was a very good reason, but I couldn’t call it to mind.

A numb buzz shot through my body and shattered my serenity.

It happened again. Only this time was more of a sharp pulse. The third time jolted like lightning. The fourth…Hell. Suddenly, the screams were coming from me. My heart’s relentless thundering added to my torment.



My chest burned like fire. It hurt to breathe. Cold air drove down my throat and into my lungs, amplifying the inferno in my chest. My skin felt scorched. It couldn’t be. It wasn’t right.

I had to see. I had to understand why pain dominated my existence like this. My eyes were fused shut. My breaths grew shallow, trying to draw air when there was none. I tried to clench my teeth. I bit hard plastic. A pipe. Cold air suddenly forced back into my lungs, out of time with my own breathing. This was wrong. It wasn’t safe. I had to see. The best I got was a little fluttering of my lashes.

A high-pitched beep shot through my head. It repeated again and again. I wanted to reach over and slam my fist into its source. My arm wouldn’t lift. Something kept it trapped. A scream rose up from the depths of my soul, but the pipe jammed inside my throat stifled the sound. I only managed a whimper, trying my best not to gag. More air blasted into my lungs against my will. What was going on? I was trapped in my own body, but why?

I needed to move. I had to move. Now. Before… Even… Even though… Panic gripped me. The beeps increased at a frenetic pace. I needed to move. To be gone. Didn’t matter where. Just not here. Not defenseless. Not trapped.

The air sucked out of my lungs. I gasped, choking on nothing, strangled by invisible fingers. I tried to convulse my body. To twist myself free of what’s holding me.


The air rushed back in a cold flood. Seconds later it left, only to return in the same amount of time.

There was a rhythm to the air. In… out... in… out… The breaths were slow—sleep-like. I concentrated on this rhythm, striving to clear my head. If I wanted out, I needed to think. Calmly. Clearly. Eventually, those irritating beeps slowed. I tried to focus past the sound.

Voices buzzed about me, adding to my need to see, to do something to protect myself. No one seemed to pay attention to me. Good. I could use that to my advantage. 

I centered my every thought on moving my little finger. It finally jerked, but collided against something solid. So the thing trapping my arm was physical and too heavy for me to lift. It was better to be trapped than paralyzed. With luck I could escape my restraints. I tried my other hand, but it was cemented stuck as well. Right leg. Left leg. Damn it! Both trapped. I had to move!


No, I needed to stay calm. I tried to make larger movements, biting the pipe in my mouth against the urge to scream in pain. There was no wiggle room.

Fearing that I might be blindfolded, I focused on blinking. It worked. My eyes opened and the blur faded, revealing ceiling tiles. Why would there be tiles? Where was the canvas of hospital tents? The distant sounds of bombs dropping? The power of their explosions rushing through my blood?

No. That wasn’t right. I wasn’t there.

Where was I, then?


Misha Gerrick said...

Thanks so much for hosting me! :-)

Julie Flanders said...

So glad your mom is better, Tyrean!
I am terrible at finding balance but am working on trying to learn to relax. Not something that comes easily for me but you are right, it is so important for managing everything else. Great excerpt as always, Misha.

Unknown said...

I do the same thing. Sometimes you just need to shut your brain off and watch TV. Not always, but sometimes. :)

Christine Rains said...

Wonderful to hear about your mom, Tyrean! :)

I know how difficult it is to find balance too. I'm getting a little better at being easier on myself, but I am my own worst boss sometimes.

Tyrean said...

You're welcome, Misha!

Crystal Collier said...

Tyrean, I sending cheese and prayers your mom's way.

Misha, LOL!!!! You procrastinated. That's what we do, right? ;)

Karen Lange said...

Congratulations to Misha. Appreciate the insight on balance. I need more of it in my life. :) So glad your mom is doing better!

Connie Keller said...

Glad to hear that Tyrean's mother is healing.

Misha, I'm so thrilled that this novel is "out in the world." I remember reading an early version and I enjoyed it so much!

Juneta key said...

So glad to hear your mom is better Tyrean. Misha congrats on the release.

Loved the summary.
Very wise words, "So in short, balance isn’t necessarily about getting everything done. It’s about knowing what is enough for a given situation, and not trying for more. Knowing when to relax is just as important."
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Anonymous said...

Glad your mom is better, Tyrean!
Misha, sounds like you needed the procrastination! Some days I do really well balancing life, work, and writing. Other days not so much.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Balance is all keeping your priorities straight while maintaining sanity!

Carol Riggs said...

Have fun juggling those knives, Misha! lol Yep, balance can be definitely difficult, but we give it our best whirl. And recharging is soooo important.

I'm glad to hear your mom is doing better, Tyrean. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad your mom is better, Tyrean. And yes, Misha, I agree that there are times when we can't control life. I have had many of these times and have found I just have to accept them and do whatever needs to be done at the time. Balance is a challenge for me too.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I learned to accept that my average day was never going to be average or fit into a schedule. The chaos had to become the balance.

Tyrean Martinson said...

And, I agree, balance is important for managing everything.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Sometimes . . . :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think we are often toughest on ourselves, but thankfully, we have family and friends who help us take breaks. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the cheese and the prayers, Crystal! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Karen!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Connie - thank you!
And I'm so glad you stopped by to support Misha! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Juneta!!!

Misha knows her stuff! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Everyone needs procrastination some days!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Carol!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Natalie!

Tyrean Martinson said...

That sounds like my life. And, my family wonders why I cling to certain routines . . . it's because I need a still place in the whirlwind.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that your mom is better, Tyrean. I was just reading your earlier post about her going into the hospital. Very scary.
I'm still working on finding the balance between writing and family and everything else. Sometimes I think I have a plan. Then life throws in the monkey wrench and it all goes out the door. It's a work in progress and I'm learning to roll with it.

Tara Tyler said...

yay for Misha! i had her at my place too - so glad i got to read this article as well!
procrastinate, yes i do! limit it, yes it's a must!
great advice and awesome sounding book! congrats Misha!
and great to see you Tyrean!

Heather R. Holden said...

Oh, wow, I had no idea that your mom was in a hospital, Tyrean. Can't imagine how scary that must've been. Glad to hear she's doing better now!

And great post, Misha! I always struggle with balance, too. Procrastinating (with limitations) is something I need to keep in mind more often. No matter how much I need to rest, I can't help but feel guilty if I take a break, so I usually end up working till I short-circuit instead. (Haha, whoops.)

Misha Gerrick said...

Thanks Julie!

Misha Gerrick said...

Yeah TV can be a great way to rest, but it can also be a huge time waster if not controlled.

Misha Gerrick said...

LOL I'm also my own worst boss.

Misha Gerrick said...

LOL sometimes. I try very hard not to, though. ;-)

Misha Gerrick said...

Thanks Karen. :-)

Misha Gerrick said...

Thanks Connie. You were a great help in getting it out there.

Misha Gerrick said...

Thanks Juneta. Glad that you enjoyed my post. :-)

Misha Gerrick said...

Same here. Some days, it seems like I'll get everything done. Other days it all just comes crashing down.

Misha Gerrick said...

Agreed. :-)

Misha Gerrick said...

Recharging is super important. :-D

Misha Gerrick said...

Yeah, I just think it's counter-productive to stress out when it's obviously impossible to do everything. It only means we get even less done.

Misha Gerrick said...

Hahahaha I hear you. Chaos is like a constant. But some days it seems like I can just manage it better.

Misha Gerrick said...

Lori it's the same with me. Every time I think I have everything under control, something happens to prove just how wrong I am.

Misha Gerrick said...

Thanks Tara!

I've been tired lately, so I've been procrastinating a lot. Feels so naughty, after spending half a year with my nose to the grindstone.

Misha Gerrick said...

Heather, this post actually happened because I pushed myself too far. So I know exactly what you mean. ;-)

erica and christy said...

So glad your mom is better, Tyrean! Misha, I saw your cover on twitter and had to come and find out more and here's where I ended up. LOVE the cover and the blurb. Congratulations! Christy