THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 82: Kristy Woodson Harvey, Writer and Blogger

Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious—and maybe a little obsessed—about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us all feel a little better. I hope the conversation will be steered toward that reality rather than toward the flawed and dangerous assumption that we should try—or even want to try—to perfectly do “it all.”

BY THE WAY…

  • Looking for THE BALANCE PROJECT, the novel that was inspired by these interviews? It’s here.
  • The Balance Project interview series recently celebrated its first birthday!
  • Fortune ran a feature about The Balance Project.
  • Want to be a part of The Balance Project? Complete the interview.

No. 82: Kristy Woodson Harvey, Writer and Blogger

Age: 29
Where I live:
 Kinston and Beaufort, NC
Job: Writer and Blogger
Kids: 
a 3-year-old son

Harvey Port 02 retHave you changed jobs or adjusted anything in your career to have more balance?
I went to journalism school and have a Master’s in English but actually worked in finance after college. It was an amazing job and I loved it, but I ended up quitting to write more. It was definitely a financial hit but I don’t feel like myself when I’m not writing. It’s easy to say now, with my first novel coming out, that it was the right move. But, back then, it was so scary!

Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I think it depends on your definition of “it all.” I’ve traded “having it all” with “being happy,” I think. I have an amazing husband, a beautiful son, and my career dream is coming true. I am elated and couldn’t ask for anything more. Someone else might not consider that “having it all,” but I think I do! Either way, I’m happy and so content with my life. And that’s really the goal, right?

What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
I’m technically a stay-at-home mom, so, during periods like this, when I’m using my couple of free hours a day to work on publicity, I can’t quite figure out how to get in my daily writing time. I haven’t worked on my work in progress in like three months!

What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
I’m getting better at taking a few quiet moments. My husband and I recently invested in a sauna for health purposes, and it’s amazing because I make myself get in there for twenty minutes and meditate. It’s a totally quiet and mind-clearing experience. And, even if I didn’t get in my exercise that day, I feel like I did something good for myself!

What was the best advice you ever heard on balance?
From a mentor/co-worker? “You can have everything, but you can’t always have everything at the same time.”
From your mother? Learn to say, “No!”
From your spouse? I asked him how long I should keep writing, keep trying to write books knowing that I may never get published. He said, “You quit when writing quits making you happy.”
From your kids? My son looked at me one day and said, “Mom, you’ve got to learn to let go a little.” It was one of the funniest moments of my life. He meant because I was holding onto him while he was climbing up the slide, but, well, clearly it meant more than that to me!

If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
Meditation. Yoga. Devotion. Upon a rare occasion I do get that hour! I tell myself I’ll take it when my son’s in school all day, but we’ll see!

What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
You don’t have to do what everyone expects of you or follow the “rules.”

What do you hope to know by the time you’re 60?
You don’t have to do what everyone expects of you or follow the “rules.” Haha! It’s one I have to relearn over and over!

What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
LAUNDRY. Our dry cleaners always tell me they’ll pick up and take it to wash, dry, and fold but I’m a major germophobe, and I just can’t do it!

Whose job do you wish you had?
Maybe Nicholas Sparks’. He’s mastered the art of writing a book, having it fly off the shelves, and then immediately made into a blockbuster movie. That wouldn’t be so bad! But, for now, I’m so happy to have my first little book on a bookstore shelf I can’t even tell you!

Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
My husband’s! He’s a dentist and he loves it, but even a glimpse of some of his pictures grosses me out! Again… germophobe.

Favorite books?
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is my all-time favorite!

What are you reading right now?
What I Remember Most by Cathy Lamb.

Biggest vices…
Activity? 
Reality TV. I know you’re judging me. I can’t help it. I’ve been watching The Bachelor since I was like twelve years old!
Food? Chocolate. It’s so bad!
Website? Design blogs! I’m an interior design blogger so I have a lot of blogger friends who I have to check out every day! Pretty makes me feel inspired!

How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
6-8. But I really, really need at least 8! It’s a major goal of mine every day.

What do you read every morning?
Jesus Calling. It’s a super short devotional and starts my day off on the right foot.

Complete the following sentences:
I think I: can get more done in three hours than I really can!
I wish I: could be more organized.
My son: is the best thing I will ever do with my life.

Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
Everything you’ve ever wanted is right outside your comfort zone!

PastedGraphic-2PastedGraphic-2Anything else you’d like to add?
I think balance is amazing, and, when I’m in that zone of feeling totally balanced, it’s fantastic. But I can get a little crazed about making all of my “balance” items a part of my to-do list, which, of course, is the total opposite of what I’m trying to achieve. So, times like now when life is busier than usual, I cut myself a little slack. I’ll never get this time with my son again, so, for now, I want to make him my main focus. There’s time for the other stuff. And, if there isn’t, I don’t think I’ll ever look back and wish I’d spent less time with him when he was little!

9780425279984_large_Dear_CarolinaAbout Kristy:
Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of the recently released novel Dear Carolina. She blogs at Design Chic about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life. She is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism and holds a Master’s in English from East Carolina University. She is a regular contributor for The Salisbury Post, Domino magazine and Houzz. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three-year-old son. Her next novel, The Art of Little White Lies, will be released spring 2016.

Find out more about Kristy here:
www.kristywoodsonharvey.com
Twitter: @kristywharvey
Facebook: kristywoodsonharvey
Instagram: kristywharvey
Pinterest: mydesignchic

 

WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? CHECK OUT MY NEW NOVEL THE BALANCE PROJECT!

Related Posts
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 1: Jessica Mindich, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 2: Veronica Beard, Fashion Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 3: Emily Liebert, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 4: Lyss Stern, Mom-trepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 5: Lauren Slayton, Nutritionist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 6: Elizabeth Moyer, Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 7: Annabel Monaghan, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 8: Holly Gordon, Director
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 9: Jill Salzman, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 10: Jennifer Levinson, Jen’s List
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 11: Jenny Hutt, Media Personality
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 12: Angela Santomero, Kids’ Media Creator
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 13: Carola Donato, Yogi
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 14: Tiffany Washington, Pastry Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 15: Emily Giffin, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 16: Alana Sanko, Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 17: Cara Lemieux, Journalist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 18: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, Authors
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 19: Nikki Mark, Author & Foundation Director
Shonda Rhimes on Doing It All
Indra Nooyi on Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 21: Jill Bryan, Comedian
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 22: Cindy Callaghan, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 23: Stephanie Hirsch, Artist
My Times of India Interview on Work-Life Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 24: Whitney Dineen, Author/Baker
AmEx’s Sobbott on Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 25: J0-Laine Duke-Collins, Dessert Stylist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 26: Whitney English, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 27: Jennifer Gooch Hummer, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 28: Melissa Amster, Book Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 29: Nigel Marsh, Author and Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 30: DayNa Decker, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 31: Amy Selling, Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 32: Heather Sonnenberg, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 33: Allison Winn Scotch, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 34: Bibi Kasrai, Entrepreneur and Chef
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 35: Karen Sutton MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 36: Samantha Ettus, Balance Expert, Author, TV/Radio Personality
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 37: Pam Yudko, Holistic Health and Transformational Coach
THE BALANCE PROJECT| No. 38: Nancy Huang, Nonprofit Outreach Director
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 39: Mary Laura Philpott, Writer, Editor and Illustrator
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 40: Towanda Long, Marketing Communications Specialist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 41: Kristyn Kusek Lewis, Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 42: Tracy Pollan, Actor and Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 43: Christianne Phillips, Fitness Consultant and Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 44: Susannah Lewis, Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 45: Kimi Culp, Producer, Author and Creative Consultant
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 46: Traci Bild, Entrepreneur
The Balance Project Interview Series Turns 1!
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 47: Laura Vanderkam, Journalist and Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 48: Amy Tara Koch, Style Expert and Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 49: Cozy Friedman, Kids’ Hair Expert
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 50: Bobbii Hach-Jacobs, Music Promoter
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 51: Niketa Jhaveri, Game Creator and Web Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 52: Sheri Silver, Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 53: Lori Pollan, Cookbook Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 54: Chatón Turner, Attorney and Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 55: Joanne Wilson, Investor and Blogger
T
HE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 56: Nicola Kraus, Author and Creative Coach
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 57: Shiri Sarfati, Marketing Expert
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 58: Audrey McClelland, Entrepreneur and Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 59: Jessica Lahey, Writer and Teacher
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 60: Lindsay Bressler, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 61: Marie Claire Lim Moore, Banker, Author and Speaker
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 62: Stacey Ballis, Novelist and Cookbook Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 63: Amy Hochhauser: Co-Founder, JoyRide Cycling Studio
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 64: Molly Sims, Actress, Author and Humanitarian
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 65: Colleen Oakley, Writer and Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 66: Nichole Montoya, CEO of Cheddar Up
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 67: Eileen Palma, Author and Instructor
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 68: Adina Grigore, Founder of S.W. Basics
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 69: Dana Pollan, Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 70: Melissa Hawks, Owner, The Well Appointed House
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 71: Emily Greenspan, Art Consultant
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 72: Michelle Hodges, Software Executive and See Girl Be Founder
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 73: Kendra Basner Mallen, Attorney
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 74: Alysa Bajenaru, Dietitian and Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 75: Anita Shepherd, Founder of Anita’s Yogurt
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 76: Dana Marlowe, President of IT Consulting Firm
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 77: Jill Royster, Marketing Consultant
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 78: Debra Olshan Cooper, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 79: Zainab Zaki, Technology Product Manager
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 80: Marisa de los Santos, Novelist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 81: Kamy Wicoff, Writer and Publisher

Leave A Comment