A Question for Writers

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I’m having a writer’s crisis of conscious….

 

How do you all divide your week between work, family, friends and writing? What does the graph look like when you break it down into percentages?

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As a wife with a full time job, the percentage I devote to writing each week varies but is always low on the totem pole. I have dealt with this struggle for quite some time, but as I become more serious and focused on my writing aspirations, I seem to be waging an internal battle.

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I can only say no to friends so many times before they feel snubbed. I’m married to a man who wants to spend every minute together when not at work or community involvement. I know that isn’t a problem, but a gift. But how do I choose to turn down a Sunday hike with my husband to spend it in an office typing away?

The truth is my writing takes the back burner.

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Here is the vicious cycle:

Anytime I choose my writing over my husband; feelings are hurt. He does not yell, “How can you choose words over me!” It is the look that creeps up on his bearded face saying, “You made my heart hurt today.” Then my buried Catholic guilt comes banging on my conscious…followed swiftly by writer’s block.

 

When I decide to join in on whatever fun activity my husband has planned for us, my inner ramblings turn sour. They tell me I should be in my tiny writing haven, not hiking in the forest. Or out of spite my thoughts are racing with ideas that I can’t write down.

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My husband has many commitments related to the community and work taking him away a several nights a month. Friends see those as a free night out. I see a mini writer’s camp. Mind you, I’d love to decompress over a glass of wine with girlfriends or hang with my husband. I just have a dream I’m chasing.

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This dream was once a hobby, and now is a calling. It’s a deep-seated itch I have to scratch. From life lessons to characters in a fictional world, words find me all day long and ask to be written. Even if no ones read them, I choose to be a part of their journey from headspace to page- because I love the literary life.

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Thus far, my best compromise for outdoor activities is taking a notebook with me. My husband actually keeps one in his vehicle in case I forget mine – something sweet I learned on our last hiking adventure. When he finds a place along the river to drop a line, I find one of nature’s chairs and break out my pencil. You may have seen the pictures in some of my #writeoutside series.

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So how do you do it? I’ve read this is a common writer’s dilemma, though having only two or three  friends that write, I have little to go on.

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                                 I appreciate any and all feedback or encouragement !

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Writing has to be your bio:) on the side my friend. Pretend it’s texting you for a rendezvous and you have to shirk others to make it happen at times. You just do👍

  2. That was supposed to say BOO on the side😉

  3. My husband is very understanding and currently our daughter is my full time job. I also freelance here and there, now looking to go back to work full time. So, I’ve been researching options and opportunities. It seems I have to write at night or during my daughter’s naps. I can also head over the YMCA put her in day care for 2 hours and write for those 2 hours. But in a nutshell, it isn’t easy. It’s pretty tough.

    I wrote my last novel just after I gave birth to her and it was easier because she wasn’t mobile. I’m now getting it edited, but my editor asked me to work on a new chapter and I had to literally cram during her naps to get my word count in. For blog posts I definitely have to do it when she’s occupied like in her high chair and eating or like I said during naps.

    It isn’t easy, I guess it takes scheduling it in. I would say to designate an hour or so where you can write. Like if you can rise early and write then or write before bed? I’m trying to get up earlier in the morning to get my writing done, but I struggle with insomnia so it’s tough to fall asleep.

    Anyway, I say designate some time in the day to write or designate an hour or two to write. Have your hubby agree that this is your time to write. Good luck! I know it’s hard, trust me…I get it. 🙂

    1. I’m the same way with the insomnia! Although I’m not blessed w a child yet to also have to work around naps and such. That’s would be very hard! I hear a lot of writers getting up earlier and my first thought is… I already don’t get enough sleep, lol!
      I know I need to just be better about a strict schedule and sticking to it.
      Glad to know I’m not alone in the struggle.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment and I wish you well with your writing too!

  4. Pat Owens says:

    I was going to say “take a notebook” but you do or hubbie does. He sounds like a “keeper”. So my advice is get up 30 minutes earlier than you do now and write for those 30 minutes.

    1. He is a keeper 🙂
      Thanks Pat!

  5. I totally feel you. I was in such a quandary myself but we’ve learnt to balance things because my husband knows that if I don’t write I will not be me.
    I wake up early so I use that hour or two to get out some words. Then scheduling helps me. Though I ensure that most days, I block out family time and shut down all other stuff.
    Keep going.

    1. That’s a great point – without writing you wouldn’t be you. It’s definitely something that calls to me and when I don’t answer it, I feel out of sorts.
      Thanks so much for reading, following and commenting!! Greatly appreciate the advice and encouragement as well.
      Take care!

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