#AtTheCliffFace: Musings of a Romance Academic

This month, PHS editor Ali Williams is talking about balancing research, writing and a full-time job.

I'm not a full-time academic and I'm not a full-time writer; I have a day job that I enjoy, that takes up most of my week and that pays the bills.

By day, I create and run the timetables of two schools of a university, walking the tightrope between keeping people happy, and making sure that the space we have is utilised efficiently.

And by night?

By night I write and I research and I edit the Pink Heart Society.

It's a life that's both rewarding and demanding, but one that I've carved out for myself. A number of years ago (nearly five now), I was a teacher. There were aspects of teaching that I loved - sharing knowledge and working with sixth form students - but my creativity almost entirely disappeared. I was too tired and worn out to write or to explore the academic fields that I'd adored. It took a huge amount of stress and a near nervous breakdown before I realised that I just wasn't cut out for teaching. So I quit.

How does that fit in with my situation now though?

I can't afford to research or write full-time, at least not at the moment, and so I've had to carve out time for this side of myself. It's meant working out a mini-schedule that balances all the important aspects of my life, and though it's challenging, it's absolutely vital.

We have to cultivate the creative parts of our lives (and yes, as a massive nerd, I consider my research to be part of the creative side of my life), and find an equilibrium between business and creativity.

So in September, I'm speaking at the two day Wildfire Women Conference in Brighton, UK. It's a weekend full of debate and conversation, where writers, actresses, researchers, coaches and businesswomen are coming together to talk about how to channel creative inspiration into business.

The delegation is great and the other guest speakers come from a variety of backgrounds with one thing in common - a passion for what they do!

And I'm going to be talking about finding a balance, and carving out a space for creativity within your life. My research isn't going to end with my PhD; I'm starting something that I hope will become a career trajectory and I'm excited for the opportunity to meet and network with other like-minded people.

If you're interested in attending, the conference currently has an early bird conference fee: £50 for both days! For more information, check out Eventbrite.

This equilibrium in my life has changed everything - and just goes to show how important embracing all sides of yourself can be.

How do you balance the different sides of your life? Share your advice and tips with Ali by using the #AtTheCliffFace hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Ali Williams is an all round romance nerd, who splits her time between working on a her PhD proposal, quilting and trying every restaurant in the West Sussex area. For more information about her and her writing project, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#AliWIlliams #PhD #PopularRomanceStudies #AtTheCliffFace #writing #Writing #Conference #Brighton #WildfireWomen #Balance #Creativity

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