Guest Post: Juggling Creativity, Careers, and Family by Jen Matera Guest Posts

Surprise!

For a moment I’m stepping out of my role as Diva; today I’m a writer who juggles many responsibilities while struggling to maintain some normalcy in my life, my careers, and the lives of my family. Sound familiar? I’m sure there are countless working moms who just happen to be authors just like me who know what I’m saying. And if you’re anything like me, your life revolves around schedules, calendars, and plans. It’s fun, right?

Yeah, well, it certainly can be. But then there are days, like yesterday, when all your plans get thrown for a loop and you have to stop and say, “Okay… what do I do now?” Well, you could whine and complain and stomp your feet, hollering to all within earshot that life’s not fair. And then wait around to see what that’ll get you. (Here’s a hint—not much.) I guess when you’ve got no choice but to spend a couple of hours in urgent care waiting on X ‍rays, you take a deep breath and just roll with it. You re-evaluate and look at things from a new perspective, and hopefully you can see all your options. Look at the bright side—at least you’re not whining.

Take last night, for example. I had plans for this guest post. I was going to be witty and interesting and talk about how I struggle to find time to write with my insane schedule and how I balance the stress of two jobs with two very active children and a husband who is busy with his own career. But all my thoughts for this post went out the window with a cry from the yard as Younger Daughter ‘missed’ when starting a cartwheel and hyperextended all four of her fingers on her right hand. As I gathered her up with some ice, my phone, my phone charger, and some pretzels—it was dinnertime, after all—I realized my plans for my post had drifted off into the clouds somewhere and I had no idea if I was going to have time to even write something. And as I began to fret about that, it occurred to me that the situation was out of my control, but everything was not completely out of control.

In place of my original post, this one started to take shape in my head while we waited for the doctor. It occurred to me that all the plans in the world can get shot to hell in a moment and if you can roll with the punches, you can still accomplish your goals. So I went back to the topic of my article for some inspiration and thought of the juggler. Throw some balls up in the air and he’ll keep them up there, doing his thing. But throw a chainsaw in with the balls and the juggler has to think quickly and adapt if he wants to succeed. Can he still juggle? Of course. It may be more difficult and he may do things differently going forward, but he’s still juggling.

And you know what? I’m still writing a guest post about juggling creativity, careers, and family. Maybe not in the same witty and interesting way I’d hoped I would be, but hey, who’s to judge? Someone threw a chainsaw at me, so I adapted the best way I knew how—I wrote about it.

Oh, and her pinkie is fractured across the growth plate. I’ll be calling the orthopedist this morning.

Happy writing!

 

About the author:

 Jen’s not only an editor; she’s also an accountant who has spent sixteen of the last twenty years working in the publishing industry. She has an associate’s degree in business, a bachelor’s degree in accounting and hopes to one day finish her MBA.

Her love of reading and writing, combined with her incessant need for things to be grammatically correct, drew her to editing, and for the last three years, she’s been editing anything from contracts and press releases to short stories and full-length novels—first as a freelancer and then as staff editor for a small independent publisher.

Currently, Jen is CFO and a founding Diva for Write Divas and specializes in manuscript evaluation and development, content editing, and copyediting. As CFO, she oversees all aspects of financial reporting, including budgeting and forecasting, to provide a stable environment for the author and staff alike.

When she’s not crunching the numbers, Jen is a mom to two beautiful and talented girls. Married for fifteen years, she and her family live in the northern suburbs of New York City with one very loud, very fluffy cat and two beta fish. In between dance team practices and Girl Scout meetings, Jen likes to relax with a good book, catch a movie with some friends, and spend time with her large extended family.

Jen has worked on books by such authors as: Alexandra Allred, Lissa Bryan, T.M. Franklin, Jennifer Schmidt, M.A. Stacie, and Mary Whitney.

 

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