(the condition of a system in which all competing influences are balanced)
I'm not much of a scientist, but I vaguely remember lessons about equilibrium and disequilibrium. I found the following under a physics definition:
If a system is in stable equilibrium, small disturbances to the system cause only a temporary change before it returns to its original state.
I'm impressed with Stephanie's ability to hold so much in balance: writing a first pass of a novel, editing a novel in the works, and developing a whole new series, all while helping her youngest transition into a new phase of her life. What grace. She's a pro, for sure!
The introduction of disturbances—whether these are unexpected problems with pressing deadlines, or new ideas calling for development, throws off the equilibrium at least briefly. They compete for attention.
In the last 2-3 weeks I've been revising text and art for DREAMING UP: A CELEBRATION OF BUILDING which is my next author/illustrator project publishing with Lee & Low this fall, helping a local creator write a pitch and story for a new e-book app series, studying for the California test for wannabe teachers, rewriting my resume, filling out job applications, preparing/delivering presentations for my recently published book OUR SCHOOL GARDEN!, and going on college tours with my daughter. I'm in disequilibrium with competing forces and I look forward to a place of balance.
In the midst of this my writing is calling to me—back burner/old ideas and new ones. Once my current book is off to the printer I can return my focus there. I'm paraphrasing, but I remember a William Stafford interview where he said he would gladly give away (or lose) everything he's written for the chance to write something new.