Written by: Featured Writing

Balancing Time and Effort Between Writing and Life

Craig Rainey and Larry Sands on Set

How did it all Begin?

Only a few people know that I live more than a double life. It is more like a 5 part life – and all those parts move at the same time. Since about 2004, how to balance it has become a major component of my life. Those who complain about the time and effort it takes to be in the public eye probably went into it with less than realistic expectations of where they wanted to go. I knew what I wanted to do from the first. I wanted to create a legacy through art – with a limited skill set. 

My life has been remarkable in the number of truly gifted people I have had the pleasure of sharing time with. many of them I had only read about, or seen on TV, or heard their work on the radio. My first experiences were in the music industry when I was married to a wonderfully talented country western singer, Carlene Walker. Her singular vocal talent drew the best musicians, and the attention of industry leaders. I started off a half-ass drummer and wannabe music management professional. Because of the people I met, because of her talent, my experience and skill grew to where I was respected as an industry professional. 

In the film industry I fell in with Hollywood professionals starting a production company in Texas. Craig Rainey became a respected name amongst actors and directors, and the startup production company grew to become one of the most admired film-makers in south and central Texas.

The introduction in my first novel recounts the story of how I became an award winning screenwriter, then a published novelist. Again, I found myself among highly talented and influential people who helped me in my career. They provided me guidance on my journey.

Finally, my wife, Alexandra, is the single most influential driving force in my multi-faceted career. I will never be able to express my gratitude for her help in my becoming what I am today. 

Only 10% of all actors make more than $2,000.00 per year

Only 10% of all actors make more than $2,000.00 per year. Most of my career, based upon this fact, I have been in the top 10% of actors – Barely!

Because of the financial limitations, most actors supplement their income elsewhere. A few of my film colleagues branch out as acting coaches, directors, producers, casting agents, and film crews. I admire the commitment they show, but my lifestyle demanded more income than I could eeek out of an acting industry endeavor. 

To pursue my dream of acting, I had to build a life where I was able to set my own schedule, be available for casting calls with no notice, be able to commit to being on set for days or weeks at a time, while making a full time white collar income. Entrepreneurship here I come. To be fair, I had already covered that avenue while I was in the music business. I remember working for Clear Channel Communication in San Antonio. I worked for the WOAI Business Weekly. I sold ad space for the publication. I also remember my last day with them. My manager fired me because I had to take half a day off on Friday to set up my sound system for a music gig that night. I chose the dream over the job.

Now I own a consulting firm in the remodeling industry. It has taken nearly 20 years, but I have finally stumbled upon a business model which is  fruitful yet also allows me time to write my novels (3000 – 5000 words per week), develop content on my multiple content platforms (3 podcast episodes per month, 4 blog posts per month, and keeping up with a growing readers group membership.) Honey do lists, travel, faire, and family occupy much of what remains of my waking hours. I am fulfilled and so is my time. 

A Labor of Love

I stay busy – true. My motivation, however, is a love of life and a loving dedication to what I want to make of my life. I don’t crave fame or acclaim. My ego is not so important! I want my art to be seen read, and heard. I want to live up to my potential. Life is short – I saw this pointendly when my father passed away 6 months ago. In that limited time I am given, I burn with a desire to make it count for something. I make no judgement on others. Ultimately, we are accountable to ourselves. 

My goals are my own but I am clear about what they are and why they are important. One goal I am able to reveal here is my desire to maintain a clear balance between my work, dreams, leisure time, friends and family, and health. This is likely the most challenging task I have assigned myself. I find that many of the obligations I service fall in continual danger of being relegated to second place as the fulfilling of others takes its place at the forefront of my attention.

A recent example of that is the considerable time and effort required to rebuild all of my web sites – many from scratch. Building my author’s content platform is daunting in its scope and commitment of time and energy. I am putting the final touches on the 3rd book in the Carson Brand series. My consulting firm demands  its own place. My clients’ needs are of paramount importance to me. 

Those tasks alone are full time pursuits. Doing them concurrently is a logistical feat. 


I am not a Workaholic

I grew up with a credo I still observe: I don’t live to work. I work to live. Since we are wielding hyperbole like a convenient club, it is said that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. Maybe I don’t feel like I work that hard at my life because everyday I do what I love. 

I mentioned that ego is not in my motivation. My work necessarily draws the attention of others. That is a central component of the arts. At the beginning of this piece I mentioned that it seems that those who complain about the time and effort it takes to be in the public eye probably went into it with less than realistic expectations of where they wanted to go. If one is primarily motivated by self-aggrandizement, the task list, the time commitment, the unplanned continuing education, and the sacrifices required will become daunting indeed. 

The kind words and compliments paid me about my work serve to encourage me that what I am doing is pleasing to others and appreciated outside of my limited purview. My goal is to please others with a quality product – something that enriches their lives and sparks their imaginations. 

I hope this writing accomplishes that in at least a small way.

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