Brandy Schillace: Balancing Academic Work and Writing Life

Rogue Scholar. ​I like the image this phrase conjures: the highway white with moonlight, the carriage rattling and banging as the driver nods in his seat…and scholarly rogues riding from shadowed enclaves, brandishing the sharpened steel of academic rigor. It doesn’t quite work that way—but there’s a shade of truth here all the same. Academia can be both competition and battlefield. It requires enormous sacrifice of time and energy, and it steals away hours as deftly as any highwayman. In a dwindling job market, universities demand more and give less, and the PhD lucky enough to land a job finds herself frequently beleaguered. The tenure track leaves little enough time for research—and far less for creative endeavors. How is it possible to balance a writing life in the midst of these other obligations? It’s no wonder some turn to the rogue lifestyle, with more academics seeking “alt-ac” or alternative careers. […]

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Balancing the Tribal

This blog is about… Gardening.

Not really. But it is a blog about balance—the balance of living a life that is comfortable, fulfilling, healthy, full of creativity, full of wonderful words, activities away from the job—or in my case, jobs—and deadlines.

I wrote not too long ago about cutting harmful things and toxic people out of our lives. Yeah, I know, some of those toxic people are family, and may not be cut-able, but most of us can limit the amount of time we spend with toxic people, even family, to improve our lives’ balance.

And most of us make time for the good-for-us (non-toxic) family and friends, and make time to go out into the world in social situations like parties, lunch out, tea or coffee with special people. We remember to exercise (sometimes), pray or meditate, and learn new things (which can be read as research, too). But […]

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