I’ve been bad again. It’s been almost two weeks since I blogged, but I promise, I have a good reason. A couple, actually. (Wait, didn’t I say that last time? Hmm.)
Last weekend, when I thought I had all the time in the world to read and write and do all the things I wanted to do, my husband and I spent almost an entire day buying a car. When we were on vacation, no less. I mourned the loss of my Saturday, and my Monday as well, because I knew I would have a lot of new car business to take care of when we got home. That’s a pretty good reason, right?
So what in the world have I done this weekend that kept me from blogging? We didn’t go out of town. Actually, other than a trip to the store and church, I’ve been sitting around in my PJs just about all weekend. The big writing project for this week was to get a short story published online. I thought, worst case, I’d have it done Saturday morning, leaving the rest of my weekend for other projects. Ha. You’ll probably notice I haven’t done it yet. Aside from revising my story multiple times, questioning myself with every deletion and addition, I had to research e-publication itself. As a traditional print kind of gal, this is unknown territory. I’m still not done (I had no idea how different formatting would be for the web), but I know a lot more now than I did at the beginning of this project.
The problem is that life just gets in the way. Maybe if I lived in a bubble and could devote sixteen hours a day to writing only, I’d have a dozen novels written by now. But then again, if I lived in a bubble, with all the time in the world to pursue my writing goals, what in the world would I have to write about? Certainly not that my evening got hijacked when my almost-toddler pulled up on some shelves that were a little too rickety, pulling them down in the process. After that, I had to figure out what in the world to do with all the stuff on those shelves, find other places to stash things. In the end, I spent an hour or more cleaning, organizing, throwing out piles of junk that my hoarding four year old has collected since the last time I did a major overhaul. As a writer, I have nothing to show for my lost evening, except this blog, I suppose. But as a slightly OCD mother, I have a dining room table that can actually be dined on now, baskets of neatly organized toys, and a garbage can that I hope my son won’t look into until it’s been emptied.
I have to ask myself if life gets in the way of my writing or if writing gets in the way of my life. I would be lying if I denied that writing is a huge part of who I am. It is what I do as well as what I love. More often than not, I am not paid to do it, yet I continue. I have little choice in the matter; it’s a compulsion. Sometimes I feel that if I don’t write, I’ll explode. Actually, that’s why I’m blogging right now instead of figuring out how to format my story for e-publication.
I don’t think there’s a pat answer for me or anyone else out there infected with the writing bug. We just have to continue, sometimes exasperated when life throws a roadblock on our neat little writing path. But I would hate to miss those moments when my son tells me how much he loves our new car, or when the baby pulls up on a cheap shelf and wobbles his way across the room. Aside from giving shape and meaning to my life, those could be essential elements in my next story.
This is when “Full-Time Writer” and “Mom” are both mutually exclusive and beautifully mutual.
Life is going to happen whether we orchestrate it or not.