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.