Balancing Life and Writing by L.A. Morton-Yates – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. L.A. Morton-Yates will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Balancing Life and Writing

Like most people, my life is a balancing act. I have 3 kids, a wife, a house, school, a job, and my writing. I’d be at risk of understating if I simply said my life was “busy”. So how do I keep up with it all? Do I ever sleep? How have I not gone crazy?

Sometimes, I wonder that myself. It is easy to get overwhelmed with everything, and when that happens, something always starts to slip. Even if for a few days I think I’m managing everything ok, I soon realize that I’m only barely hanging on—and moving quickly toward burnout. It’s a constant struggle, but here are three things I’ve learned about how best to keep your head above water and do some writing, too.

1. Be Intentional with your Time

As things start to get crazy, it’s tempting to try to tackle things only as they come up—after all, if you keep treading water, you can’t drown. But if you want to do more than just survive—you want to create—you need to do better than that. It might sound like adding extra work, but deliberately scheduling your time (even your rest and recovery time) can go a long way to make space for the things you want to do. When you take a look at how much time you spend on everything in a given day, chances are you will find that you’re wasting more time than you realize on things that aren’t a) making progress on your goals or b) helping you relax and recuperate.

For a lot of people, a frightening amount of time goes down the drain by scrolling on social media or flipping through short-form video content. But what are you actually gaining from this time? It’s obviously not productive time, but for most people it isn’t actually relaxing either. I can’t remember how many times I used to get off of social media more irritated or stressed than when I got on. If this is you, I definitely recommend reconsidering this use of time. You could instead use this time to read a book, play a game, exercise, or write. So long as it’s something that you genuinely enjoy, you’ll feel a lot better about it and the time won’t have been wasted.

2. Find Regenerative Down-time

As I implied in my above point, this looks different for different people. Some people can read a book and feel recharged after doing so. Some people can exercise and feel energized by it. Some people can play a video game and feel their stress melt away. The point is that you need to find what does this for you and, importantly, to be honest with yourself about it. If something doesn’t actually help you recuperate, you can’t use it here.

For me, video games have historically been common means of procrastination. Even so, I’ve found that when I’m really stressed, sitting down with the right sort of game (one that actually relaxes me, instead of adding to my stress) for 20-30 minutes can make a huge difference in my mental and emotional state. This obviously isn’t always available—life comes first, after all—but knowing this allows me to use video games as a tool to de-stress when I do find the time.

3. Write at Every Opportunity

I don’t generally have the luxury of sitting down for an uninterrupted 2 hour stretch of writing. For me, writing happens one word, one sentence, and one paragraph at a time. I set myself a word-count goal at the beginning of the day, and through little bits here and there throughout the day, I do my best to get it done. If I set myself goals that are both ambitious and reasonable, it can really add up.

So what does this look like exactly? I use a standing desk at home, and in between chasing my kids around, I sneak in a sentence at a time. At work, I use those periodic quiet moments where others would be browsing Amazon or scrolling on social media to add a few new lines of dialogue. It might not sound like much, and it isn’t as exciting as making a lot of progress all at once, but when you look back on it, you’ll be surprised by how much you got done.

That’s about all I have space for (although I have been known to prattle on this particular subject). But what about all of you? Any tips or insights you’d like to share? Please let me know in the comments!

A Shade. A Storm. A Soul.

Cursed with forbidden knowledge, 19-year-old Dela must hide her secret from her nomadic tribe or face exile into the frozen wasteland of the Bitters. When she becomes separated from her people during a blizzard, a mysterious and dangerous wanderer named Talon promises to help her find her way back to them. She quickly learns that nothing is what it seems, that her curse may actually be a gift, and that the Bitters are far more dangerous than she could have imagined.

Packed with unexpected twists, Bittersouls is a mixture of survival, adventure, and slow-burn romance that is sure to get your heart pounding.

Enjoy an Excerpt

A Shade

Something moved at the edge of the horizon. It was like a shadow, black as a cloud but moving fast across the snow plain. Time seemed to stop, but Dela could feel herself sliding forward as if she were standing on a lake of ice. Freja was still yelling, but she couldn’t hear her. Her arms were flailing, but Dela hardly noticed.

A wave of lights moved in front of the thing, jumping and turning, quick as sparks. It was like a field of quails fleeing into the sky before a coming wolf, but the wolf—the shadow—followed them. The closer it got, the more the shiver racked her spine. She knew exactly what it was, though she’d never seen one. No one in the congregation had. There were no stories. No whisperings. Only a name.


Freja stared at her, bewildered into silence. Perhaps she was going to speak, but then—


About the Author:A life-long lover of the magic of storytelling, L.A. wrote his first story at the age of 7 and has been writing ever since. Speculative fiction, particularly fantasy, has always held a special place in his heart for the uniqueness of the places and the questions it can address. Though veiled by apparent strangeness, he has always seen it as capable of revealing deeper truth about our own reality.

L.A. graduated from Montana State University in 2015 with Honors in Biochemistry and a minor in Music Composition. This helped nurture his critical thinking and research skills which continue to be instrumental to his writing. During his collegiate years, he also met the love of his life, Julie, whom he later married. At once his greatest supporter and his staunchest critic (when he is wrong, which is more often than he’d like to admit), she has been an integral part of his creative process ever since.

In February of 2018, L.A. became the father of his first son, Griffin. His second son, Tiber, was born in December of 2019 and his third son, Malachi, was born in January of 2022. Though life has become considerably busier since he became a family man, L.A. continues to work on writing in what little spare time he can find. He hopes to one day pass on his love of literature to his sons.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Rita Wray says

    Sounds like a great read.

  3. L.A. Morton-Yates says

    Thank you for hosting! I should be around periodically to reply to comments.

  4. Marcy Meyer says

    I enjoyed the post. Sounds good.

  5. Tracie M Cooper says

    I love your writing tips especially about being intentional with your time!

    • L.A. Morton-Yates says

      It’s one of those things that is easy to say but much more difficult to actually do. That said, it really does make a difference. Thanks for reading!

  6. Very intriguing book details.

  7. Bea LaRocca says

    Good evening. Thank you for sharing your tips on ways to ensure a proper work/life balance. When my children were young I struggled with that on a daily basis, trying to balance being a wife, mother, employee and student. I was very stubborn about trying to juggle it all as I was determined to keep being myself despite all of the obligations that I had to everyone else in my life. Anyway, let me stop right there before I end up sharing my whole life story, lol.
    You have mentioned your sons and I am curious to know what they think of your stories?

    • L.A. Morton-Yates says

      I definitely know that exact feeling. Some days I try to convince myself that I can be everything and do everything, while others I am a little more honest with myself about my mortal human limitations. Haha.

      At this point my eldest is only 5 and is just getting ready to learn to read. He knows that I spend time writing, but I don’t think he really understands what that means or what comes out of that just yet. I really hope that he will share my love of stories someday soon, though!

      • Bea LaRocca says

        Thank you for sharing your response, I couldn’t remember your boys ages so I was unsure if your stories were age-appropriate for them or not.

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