hi, i've been following you for a while now and i rlly look up to you so thanks for being a perpetual source of inspiration!! that being said, i know you're both an academic and a creative and i was wondering abt how you balance that. i myself aspire to get into astrophysics, but at the same time i love writing/art/theatre, and can't seem to find enough time to indulge in both fairly. do you have any tips on how you manage to live, balacing your science work and writing career? thank u so much x
addition to above
also, since you’re like the epitome of a cool as hell space nerd and legitimately intelligent scientist (srsly i can never get enough of your facts) i was wondering if you could recommend any resources on becoming as knowledgeable as u? any books, or documentaries, or films or tv shows or websites or things to sign up to- anything, really. again thank u so much and thank u for always brightening my dashboard with ur swag cosmic ways!!
Hey there!! For some reason, now I feel like I need a space tshirt with the words, “Cosmic Swag.” Swag cosmic ways….. XD I love it!
Thanks so much! And I’m glad that I can be a source of inspiration! Sharing knowledge and trying to inspire people is definitely something I’m striving for, so I’m glad that it’s working :)
As for how I balance all this….well….if you’ve seen some of the posts I wrote about, like, wow. 5-6 months ago now (has it really been that long???), you’d see that balancing everything in my life didn’t come easy. It takes a ton of work, planning, scheduling, and personal changes. I used to always let my writing get in the way of school (to the point of totally shutting college out of my life), so I was a horrible student until almost two years ago. Like, I was awful. Skipping classes, purposefully failing things, not studying or doing homework…. It was bad. The road wasn’t easy, but I’m now in a totally new mindset, with all sorts of new motivation and goals, and I work every day to improve who I am and further my pursuit of success.
So, to balance work/academic/creative life, learning to manage time and work efficiently is CRUCIAL. While I’m writing a book (like I am now), I know that I’m going to wake up at either 530 am or 630 am and go to Panera and write for 2-3 hours. I give myself that block every single day specifically to write. Then I go to work, and in the afternoon, I either go for a run, or go do a cardio workout at the tennis courts, or, on Wednesday evenings, play tennis doubles at the country club I go to a clinic at! On Monday and Tuesday, I have my graduate classes at night, and they wrap up my day. So my days are generally structured like that, and it’s rare that I ever have what people would call “free time,” even though some people think my “free time” is when I’m writing my book.
But it’s not. Writing my book is work.
It hasn’t always been like this. Learning to structure my life has been an immense challenge and an outright emotional roller coaster. I can’t say it was fun. It wasn’t. Not in the slightest. But becoming who I am now, and being *where* I am now–in grad school, with a job, writing my 6th book, with a B&N book signing coming up, and an active, sporty lifestyle–was worth the struggle not against the world, but against myself.
So that’s my advice! Structure your life in such a way that you’re always active, always doing something you’re passionate about, while working in time to sorta slow down here and there, maybe to go stargazing, or read a book, or watch a movie (every night for the past week, I’ve watched an hour of Lord of the Rings before bed). Holding to an active structure will naturally motivate you to stick to it and fill it with everything you want to! (Also I only sleep maybe 5-6 hours a night, which gives me plenty of time in the day to work with).
As for resources to read up on science and such…. definitely go on Netflix and satisfy your childhood with Bill Nye! I think they released a few more seasons? And also watch Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson!!! Soooooo beautiful. The Universe, from the History Channel, is a show I watched a looooonggggg time ago (it’s also on Netflix now).
As for books, I really like Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, and Bill Nye’s Undeniable and Unstoppable, both very good reads about planetary science, evolution, natural mechanics, and climate change :)
When it comes to websites, join the Planetary Society! You’ll get a quarterly magazine about recent announcements and discoveries in space science, a nifty t-shirt, a membership card, and you can attend national meetings (this past February they made a call for people to register for a litigation event in Washington D.C., where you got to speak with real members of Congress and advocate for space exploration (I’m sure NASA’s recent Mars Bill is some result of that, too). If you have a Facebook, join the group “SpaceX,” or “I Love Astronomy - VIP Club,” and others, where you’ll always be engaged in group discussions about day-to-day space news! It’s very exciting :D
Thanks for reaching out! Awesome to hear from you, and stay inspired!!!