Monday, September 14, 2009

Answers to life from a Writer's Perspective

Recently, I asked blogger/writer Kristi how she finds the time to write. Here is part of her reply--which I totally loved and took to heart. Ask my husband, I have spent hours writing almost everyday since Kristi wrote this post. And the best part? I'm making progress and my hubby helps clean the kitchen!

"The short answer. I don't. I make time. Which means I sacrifice lots of other things. Writing about life and experiencing it don't always go hand in hand. I wish I could tell you this isn't true. I wish I could say that all writers live in grey shingled beach houses, write bestselling novels in a weekend after the muse strikes, then spend the rest of their time gardening, buying used books, and falling in love in Italy.

If you know successful writers who live this life, please share. Because I really want this to be true.

In my world writing happens in ten minute segments stolen from very, long, overworked days. My writing happens with a four year old on my lap. A cat bawling under my window. The answering machine recording ten plus messages a day and a dozen people demanding that I need to do something for them right now! (Ok, so this helped me decide that it is alright if I don't answer the phone every time it rings. So if you call me and I don't answer, but for some reason you are sitting in my drive like a stalker and can see that I'm home because my van is there, please know that I am not avoiding you in particular. I've just decided to block out 9am-11am as my writing time and I am avoiding everyone. Leave a message and I'll get back to you...beep.)

I recently read an article where a very successful male author said the best way to write was to get in the zone. "Eliminate all distractions and pound out that book as fast as you can." I wonder if he's ever had to write a kissing scene while his four years screams from the bathroom "Can you wipe my bum?!?"

Yeah. That's my reality: laundry, bills, weeds and a whole lot of butt wiping. (Can you hear me laughing? This is so my life as well right now, except I ignore the weeds.)

The article goes on to say the best time to write is in the morning. "Get up early before everyone else in the house is awake." I already wake at five-thirty. It's not possible for me to rise any earlier since I teach night classes and am not home before 10 p.m. Which also eliminates writing late at night. (I'm lucky that I actually get more time to write at night as well as during the day--usually between 9pm-10:30 then I'm a good girl and go to bed so I can get up early and run in the morning.)

I'm not feeling sorry for myself here. (Okay, maybe just a little.) I'm just trying to be truthful. If you are a mother and a writer then you have to make the time to write everyday. Because nobody is going to give it to you. I guarantee it. That means a lot of other things in your life have to go. (Isn't that the truth about so many things in life?!)

For a lot of my writer friends, it's housework, lunch with the friends, or sunlight and showers. Just cast out the glamourous image of the writers life right now. Writing is a job. You can love it. You can need it. But until you treat it as a serious profession you have to do every single day you'll never "find" the time."


quisqueya said...

Amen! ... from a fellow sister in writing. :)

flori said...

This spoke to me. I've been feeling the same about my personal endeavors--it they're going to happen, I have to MAKE it happen, not just hope it will someday go "according to plan".

Amy and the boys said...

Charity, what a great post! I think this holds true for alot of personal endeavors that Moms take on. For me, this is exactly how I've felt about my photography and having to put alot of time into learning my camera and studying light and practicing and editing on the computer and sacrificing one thing for another. SO.. your post reaches across the boundaries for writing and includes alot of other areas. Moms are trying so desperately to do their jobs as Moms and love it while feeling fulfilled by pursuing their dreams as well. Thanks for this. And, wow, what a wonderful write up you got from Nathan!

Margie Gelbwasser said...

This is a terrific post. Thanks! I guess I have to write when I can. I didn't think of it this way--of letting go of some stuff to write. I just kept wanting a block and that often doesn't happen. Like now--I thought I would write while DS napped. He has plans other than napping.

Thanks again!