Balancing Life with Writing by Kevin R. Doyle – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kevin R. Doyle will be awarding one physical copy of the book, U.S. only to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


The topic presented to me for this post is balancing writing with living. There’s probably as many ways to do that as there are writers lurking around. In my case, the method of balancing the two is going to shift drastically in about nine months, but more about that later.

In many ways, I’m almost the total cliché of a fiction writer in the real world, as opposed to the glamorous image most people think of. For the last quarter century, I’ve worked as a teacher of English and communications at both the high-school and community college level. Not to sound like a whining teacher, but it really is difficult for most people to comprehend the amount of working hours that goes into the profession.

Once the school year is up and running, I usually spend between fifty-five and sixty hours a week focused on teaching. Sure, the actual school day only lasts eight hours or so, but factor in lesson prep and grading and the hours really pile on. The grading, in particular, is more onerous in some subjects, such as English and math, than in others.

Again, this is not to complain but to point out the demands of a regular work week, and that doesn’t even get into spending time on other aspects of life. Because of that, balancing it all with a writing career can take quite a bit of effort.

And no, unlike what some may assume, I don’t do all my writing when I’m off in the summertime. True, I get a lot done then, but I write year-round, so I’m having to balance the mix all the time. Then how to do it?

The way that works for me, and as said above there are probably as many variations as imaginable, is to ensure that I produce at least a page or two a day, no matter what. Even if it’s around eleven o’clock, and after a night of grading I’m ready to hit the sack, I take the time to do at least a page or two, maybe only half a page if it manages to finish a chapter.

It’s amazing at just five hundred words a day or so, how quickly you can rap out a first draft.

Even so, it’s possible for someone to get in over their head and every now and then have to take a break. A few years back, I began the school year with contracts for two books, that I hadn’t started on yet, due by May. I was still in the stage where I hesitated to say “no” to offers that came my way and ended up taking on what could have been too much. Now, a few years later, I just wrapped up writing my fifth book in three years, and a few weeks back I decided it was time to take a creative break. I decided to cut myself off from starting any new projects until the first of the year.

Time to breathe a little bit.

And in about nine months, I’m going to be doing a whole lot of breathing. Come May, after a quarter century of teaching with the last twenty years being at the high-school level, I’m going to be calling it quits and retiring.

When that happens, I’m guessing that the whole balancing writing with life thing will be quite a bit easier to handle.

Released from prison for one murder, only to be arrested for a second, Sheila Hampton has no one to turn to save Sam Quinton, local private eye, who sets out to prove her innocence and uncover the knot of corruption that entangled its victim for over two decades.

Enjoy an Excerpt

The do-gooder organization must have found something because they somehow managed to get an emergency hearing in front of the state appeals court and, not too long after, the appellate court overturned her conviction and ordered a new trial, at least nominally setting Sheila free after over two decades of incarceration.

Exactly six days later, Bernie Lyman sauntered into my gym and offered me some work.


“What news?” I asked.

“You’ve heard of Robert Harris, right?”

“Sure. The DA who prosecuted Hampton back when. So what?”

“Former prosecutor.” Bernie’s eyes were practically dancing in their sockets. “He got quite the splash for the Hampton trial, eventually made it up to Executive Assistant, then retired a few years back.”

“Wasn’t he a sure thing for the top job at some point?” I asked.

Bernie shrugged. “Everyone thought so, but he never went for it.”

“So what’s your point?”

“The point, my boy, is that six days ago Sheila’s conviction was overturned, the conviction brought about, primarily, through the efforts of former ADA Harris.”

“Uh huh.” I felt a sinking feeling in my gut that I was about to hear something bad.

“And this morning, Sheila was arrested for Harris’s murder.”

About the Author: A high-school teacher, former college instructor, and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of numerous short horror stories. He’s also written three crime thrillers, The Group, When You Have to Go There, and And the Devil Walks Away, and one horror novel, The Litter. In the last few years, he’s begun working on the Sam Quinton private eye series, published by Camel Press. The first Quinton book, Squatter’s Rights, was nominated for the 2021 Shamus award for Best First PI Novel. The second book, Heel Turn, was released in March of 2021, while the third in the series, Double Frame, came out in March of 2022.

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  1. Good morning. Wanted to thank you for taking part in this tour. I’ll be checking later in the day for any comments or questions.

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Very interesting book details.

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