I am officially back to writing full-time, which at the moment equates to part-time.
Many people hold a romanticized view of writers: so dedicated to our art, we opt to leave everything behind and retreat to the isolation and inspiration of a cozy mountain cabin where we spend every moment crafting and perfecting our masterpiece.
Whenever I create a new book draft, I secretly wish I could work on it all day, every day. I dream of adding chapter upon chapter and excessive daily word counts while thoughtfully sipping hot coffee and surrounded by the peaceful quiet of an open schedule, clean house, and no responsibilities.
Enter the real world.
Most days (like today) I write in the early morning after my son gets on the bus for school. I hope to squeeze in an hour or two before the realities of the day take over. My schedule is not open, the house is not picked up, beds are not made, dishes sit on the counter, laundry waits in piles, and alas, my coffee is cold.
I blog or write whenever the opportunity arises because like so many of us, I have other obligations. Some very important, some not. But they still gobble up my time.
I put the blame on Life. After all, just the simple act of daily living can suck up enough energy. But more often I wonder – where exactly does all of the time go?
Some culprits (in no particular order): husband, son, family, friends, errands, appointments, sports practices, sport games, banking, cooking, baking, volunteering, socializing, internet, social media, self-care, entertainment, vacations, exercise, reading, school, husband’s travel, laundry, grocery and other shopping, organizing, planning, scheduling, lawn care, house projects, cleaning …
And that only covers the so-called routine tasks we all must tackle in any given day. As for my work time, there is research, outlining, drafting, writing, editing, designing, marketing, publishing, legalities, bookkeeping, social media, web maintenance, and blogging for both LAPALM BOOKS and INSPIRED ME, JOYFUL BE.
I am in no way complaining about my situation. I love every bump and bruise along the way.
Even more, I feel extremely fortunate to say I love my job. The flexibility of working from home, the independence, the freedom to express myself, the ability to connect with others, the process of creation, and more.
But I readily admit there is one thing that frustrates me – the constant, underlying pressure to be doing something. With the success or failure all on my shoulders, the need to be productive can become overwhelming. I feel I should take advantage of every possible moment, use any available free time to cross something off the list, get caught up. Plus, there is no traditional commute home. The office. The work. They are always there – waiting.
Perhaps Lawrence Kasdan said it best:
“Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.”
Yes, there is always something to do. And in all honestly there are days I do not want to do any of it – not because I have too much on my plate, but because I need to rest, recharge, and simply live life. When that need arises, I knowingly step back.
But now is not one of those times. I am actually, really, and truly in the midst of writing a book. I want to wrap my arms around every word, hug the characters tight against my chest, and hold onto the dream world I am creating. And I want to do it every day. All day.
But I can’t.
BOOK NOTE: Progress on my current work = 10,000 words [about three chapters]. I am happily moving along and will continue to move along at whatever pace life allows. Because that is what we do when we love something. Even when we do not have time, we find time. So please stay tuned for updates, an excerpt, and all the fun that comes with a new book.