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Take the hint, dude


There's never enough time to do what you want -- in my case write. I keep hold of this silly delusion that one day I'll have enough time to take care of my kids, convince my husband that I've done my share, and write something worth writing that never once -- in the process of typing and retyping and doing and undoing -- made me punch a wall or swear at myself in the mirror.

I'm one day into a month 3-month leave, and I'm already in trouble for leaving the breakfast dishes in the sink, leaving pop cans on the counter, letting Lily abandon her shoes and socks on the kitchen floor, and not making dinner. I think I was supposed to empty the cat box too -- I didn't, obviously.

I went to the bank, though, and the store. I fed the cats and took care of the dogs. I kept up with Ashlyn all day and started sorting through the stacks of junk on the kitchen counter that serves as an inbox for mail, school work and random junk.

And here it is 7:30 p.m., and I'm writing again about not writing, which I guess is the reason I started this blog, but ...

 It seems that all writers at one time or another have trouble convincing the people they live with that writing is work and/or worth the inevitable teeth gritting and hair pulling.

Why is that?

I suppose the answer to my problem is: Put the dishes in the dishwasher and cook dinner, but that's too easy. I'd rather beat my head against a wall and write about the resulting concussion than do something easy.

Here's a bit of free advice if you're dating a writer and any of this sounds completely intolerable. RUN AWAY.

Consider the following quotes from better-paid writers than me:
"Nobody ever got started on a career as a writer by exercising good judgment, and no one ever will, either, so the sooner you break the habit of relying on yours, the faster you will advance. People with good judgment weigh the assurance of a comfortable living represented by the mariners’ certificates that declare them masters of all ships, whether steam or sail, and masters of all oceans and all navigable rivers, and do not forsake such work in order to learn English and write books signed Joseph Conrad. People who have had hard lives but somehow found themselves fetched up in executive positions with prosperous West Coast oil firms do not drink and wench themselves out of such comfy billets in order in their middle age to write books as Raymond Chandler; that would be poor judgment. No one on the payroll of a New York newspaper would get drunk and chuck it all to become a free-lance writer, so there was no John O’Hara. When you have at last progressed to the junction that enforces the decision of whether to proceed further, by sending your stuff out, and refusing to remain a wistful urchin too afraid to beg, and you have sent the stuff, it is time to pause and rejoice."
GEORGE V. HIGGINS
"Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have "essential" and "long overdue" meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg."
J.K. ROWLING

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