Right now, I’m balancing writing against a day job. I did the same kind of thing for four of my six non-fiction books. While it’s a lot of work, it’s also simple. Clever folks manage to stitch together profitable work from writing and consulting. (Reveal: I’m not that clever.)

My family shares a big beach house once a year. It’s a great time to see siblings, nieces, nephews, children, children's spouses, the whole tribe. Having a day job means that I can afford to join the fun. Having a book to work on. Well…

My own writing practice has been wrapped around nine-to-five office hours for years. On vacation, I can disappear for a few hours in the morning before everyone else is up. The downside is that by ten at night, I’m wiped out, and the party is just starting to ramp up.

In addition to the big-picture writing/working balance, writing in a coffee shop involves finding balance at a smaller scale. The environment can be a distraction. If the story doesn’t lift me above the distractions, there’s a problem: time to rewrite and create enough drama that the coffee shop fades into the background.

Writing in absolute silence seems wrong to me.

Since I’m writing SFF, there’s an even lower level of balance. The Hero’s Journey has to be sensible to the Hero. He’s got to have a reasons for putting up with, and eventually transcending a lot of very disheartening things. Listening to family stories helps put the SFF ideas into a larger, and more concrete context.