One of the hardest things to do, as a self-employed person, is to find a way to balance work, rest and play. Most of the demands on me are purely mental and there is no doubt that if you want to be successful to any degree then you have to be driven and single-minded. I have those in abundance so I guess that's half the battle. Fortunately, being a creative person allows me to view the writing, and even the editing, side of my work as pleasure rather than work. Sleep can be problematic sometimes. I don't turn the creativity on and off by choice, it's there or not there, and that can be at any time of the day or night. The trick is to work around it as best as possible.
Touring is a mixture of pleasure and pain. My time in schools is exciting, exhilarating and very creative and I have the benefit of working with some of the most creative minds in the country - the children. Year's five and six are my personal favourites; as they learn that there is a grey area between the black and the white for a brief while they open their minds to the seemingly impossible and it is fantastic to share that with them. The pain is more concerned with getting to the schools in far off counties and often I spend more time in a day driving than I do with the children teaching. It is the most tiring thing I do.
keeping yourself physically fit requires a little discipline too. Most of what I do involves either sitting down or just standing. Little in the way of physical exercise. I swim as often as I can during the week and enjoy walking the countryside at the weekends. Both physical activities have the feel good factor about them for me and ensure that I am in the best physical shape I can be in for the demands of my work. As you get older, its natural for your body to tire and you have to be sensible and not push it beyond what it is capable of doing. I can't afford to be ill or suffer from injuries caused by sport despite still having the need for competition. These days I compete against myself in different ways, challenges and goals I want to achieve present a different form of competition but help towards achieving my goals.
In truth, the simple way of saying all of this is that you need to look after yourself, both physically and mentally and if you do it right it should provide a balance that can help you work at the top of your game.