My car is pretty dirty at the moment. I contemplated cleaning it myself… for about five seconds. After that I began trying to work out how many paragraphs that equaled and soon after I was writing again, leaving my car to gather more leaves.
In context, I consider myself a home-making slave if I manage to do the dishes and hang the washing on the same day. These chore-type things are minor in comparison to the priority of getting my book finished. My poor husband has picked up plenty of my slack while I furiously pounded out stories. With this in mind I wondered what other things my family has endured because of my writing obsession…
So, I started a list:
* supper is never very creative (more often than not it is late or burned as well)
* our house will never make Garden & Home magazine (although I’m not sure my husband will cry any tears over that) because every good idea I get for our house is seldom followed through and never maintained.
* I run out of rooms sometimes (yes, on occasion I have been in the middle of a conversation) delighted by a great idea that must be written down.
* turning down social invitations so that I can finish a writing assignment
* I get cranky when I don’t write enough
* I buy the minimum amount of groceries because I’ve either forgotten what’s on the list or brought he wrong one (and most of the time, so long as we have bread and milk in the house, I am not too bothered because I know a shorter shopping trip means more writing time)
* I daydream… a lot…in public…
Those are just a few things that I thought might be general enough that some of you might relate, but there are other things (like preferring to spend sunny Saturday’s behind my desk rather than on the beach) that are more personal. I’m trying harder to put the writing aside occasionally, just to spend time with other human beings and speak instead of type. It’s difficult to come out into the harsh lines of reality after spending so much time in a world of your own making but I’m trying.
My family puts up with a lot when it comes to me and my writing. They sacrifice a lot. People often write about the sacrifices the writer has to make – the long hours, the countless rejections, the mind-numbing editing – but they seldom write about the sacrifices your family will make. I don’t ever want to take their support for granted.
So here’s to all your families (and mine)… The ones who endure your idea quirks, your rejection-letter-mood-swings, your celebratory squeal and fist punch in the middle of the shopping mall when your story is accepted, your late-night-bleary-eye writing sessions, your burnt suppers. For your tireless support, dear families, we thank you.