Many days I feel there just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish all I would like. Along side writing and editing my manuscript, I belong to two critique groups, I’m taking a writing course, and I write a weekly blog.
My writing life is full—taking up a large chunk of my time–but I have another life, what I call my real life, that needs my attention as well. There’s housework to be done, bills to pay, groceries to buy, never ending yard work, dinners to cook, and sleep. In a addition to all that, my husband and I own a small hobby farm: two miniature horses, chickens, ducks, two miniature goats, and a rabbit. All need feeding three times a day, cleaning and care.
Then there’s the relationships–people–in my life who also need attending to, from my husband, my two teenage sons, my parents, siblings, and friends.
Normally I’m pretty good at balancing it all, but there are days when my energy levels run low and something has to give. On these days, I take stock of my life—see what I can cut out. House work? No, that wouldn’t work. I’m very OCD when it comes to house work. Besides, I can’t write in chaos. Maybe cut back on gardening? I love gardening. It’s soothing, helps me solve writing and life related problems. My gardens bring joy and tranquility to my life. Cut back on my writing? Never. I love writing and critiquing. In fact I wish I had more time for both.
So what’s left? My relationships. Sadly, it’s usually the ones I love who end up taking a back seat. Wrong, I know.
Can you say guilt? There are days I look at my husband, and when he smiles at me my stomach aches as guilt eats a hole through it like acid. He has been so patient, trying his damnedest not to complain on the many nights I don’t get to bed before midnight because I tell him the words are flowing, I can’t stop writing now. He doesn’t complain when he comes home from working hard all day to no dinner cooked or slop just tossed together, barely edible. Doesn’t complain—much–when my characters are having more sex then he is.
Guilt eats at me when my boys ask me if I can helped them with their homework. I always do, but usually not before I say, “Yes, but can you give me half an hour? The words are flowing, I can’t stop writing now.”
Then there are the times friends and relatives ask my husband and I if we’d like to go out for dinner. I say yes, loving the idea at the time. Yet when the evening comes, I secretly don’t want to go. I would rather stay home and write. Deep inside I feel I’m wasting precious time that could be spent editing my MS, returning critiques, or writing another short story for my writing course.
Lately, my attention is always divided. No matter what I’m doing, be it, cleaning, cooking, yard work, helping my sons with homework, even talking on the phone, my mind is only half on the task at hand. The other half is on my characters, on how to word a particular scene, whether my sex scene is hot enough, etc, etc.
As I’m writing this, I can smell the dinner I’m cooking, burning on the stove. I guess that’s my cue to cut this short and deal with my real life. I glance at the small chicken clock on my desk. Another day gone, and I haven’t finished all I had hoped to accomplish.
I would love to hear from other writers, to know if you feel like I do at times.
Thank you for reading. Until next week, happy writing.
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