What do I like to do besides write? Excellent question.
My nerd hobby is Magic: The Gathering. So, I go to extreme lengths to foil out my cube, and things like that. I used to have a lot more time for things like this than I do now. And that's mostly having a family, right? As you grow up and put on your big-boy pants, you're like: I have three children, I'm gonna spend discretionary time on things that they enjoy. Which means I end up playing Roblox way more than I end up playing Dark Souls these days. But as they get older, I'm hoping they will enjoy some of the things I like, as I spend time doing the things that they like, as well. I actually have a pretty healthy work/life balance. I'm fortunate in that my job, I can do anywhere, at any time of the day. What I usually do is, I get up at noon. (Because I'm a writer. I'm not an insurance salesman, I'm a writer. This is just one perk to the job.) I get up at noon. I work from about noon until five. Then I shower, get ready for the day, hang out with my family from about 5:30 until 8:30, 9:00. And then I'll usually go back to work at about 10:00, somewhere around there, and I'll work from about 10:00 until 2:00.
I found that, for my writing... Writers are all very different, right? I like two four-hour blocks. By the end of about four hours of work, I'm brain dead. The words are just not flowing as well anymore. And if I take a break and go to a second block later on, I'm way more effective as a writer. I have the benefit of having no commute. So I can do things like this. All through college, what I would do is, I actually worked a graveyard shift at a hotel in Provo. And I would go to work at 11:00. And it's Provo, so nobody's there after 11:00. You're a really sketchy person in Provo if you're staying up 'til 10:30. So from about midnight until 5:00 or 6:00, I could write every night. And that's how I put myself through school, was working there. But these days, you know, I try to make time. I used to work Saturdays, and I don't anymore unless there's something like [a convention]. I take Saturdays off. I have a pretty decent balance. The only time where it gets a little unbalanced is if I have a big tour. And those can be pretty grueling. I would much rather have this problem than not, right? My first signings, you can find pictures of me with my grandma here at the Iona Falls Barnes & Noble, where I was sitting in the front, and there were five people there who were all related to me, and that was our book signing! And now I will go to... often, book signings start at 6:00 PM, and get done at 2:00 AM if I'm in Portland, or Seattle, or one of the big cities like that. So, you do that six days a week, in a different city every day, and it can get a little exhausted. So I don't love that part of it. I like the signings. I just don't like the twentieth signing, if that makes sense.
Let me give a little bit of advice here. If there are those of you who are writers out here, there are two things that maybe to keep your life in balance I would recommend. The number one cause of breakups and divorce among my writer friends is that their spouse feels like the writer's ignoring them. It's very easy to do. As a writer, it's very easy to... it's one of these jobs, there are a lot of them like this. Being a schoolteacher is like this. You don't leave your job behind. Your job is always there with you; there's always a little bit more you can do. And because of that, it tends to consume everything if you let it. And you can be out to dinner with your spouse, but you're thinking about your book. You can be driving somewhere and giving only noncommittal responses, because you're thinking about the book. On the other side, if you happen to be the spouse of a writer, the number one thing you can do is jealously guard their writing time. For a lot of writers, a small interruption can mean... To you, it's like, "Oh, I need to ask this question for thirty seconds." But if that breaks the writer's concentration for twenty minutes, because they're spun in to the work, they're really into it, they get interrupted at just the wrong time, it can be a big interruption. So, the balance I suggest is to make a deal. Writer, when you're there with your spouse and your family, be there with your spouse and family. And then make the deal that, when the writing happens, they're gonna try to guard that door and protect you from being interrupted.