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Writing versus life

Updated on August 28, 2014

Life is what it is they tell me. You do the best that you can and try to make every minute count towards something. I wonder at times where the lines are to be drawn when your life collides with your writing. Please note that I did not say "melds" nor intertwines. That would be saying they equal out in the time that you give to each one. I think I might like to try that some day.

The truth is, and I I certain that anyone here that writes for a living can relate to; sometimes our lives come crashing down on us. We struggle to make time for the very thing that we not only enjoy but pay the bills from. The wee hours of the night, when the house is quiet and everyone is sleeping becomes our best friend. We move around in the night like a mouse or cockroach, scurrying to get our coffee or whatever it is we drink and a snack to tide us over. We sit down in front of our screens and we write. Often times, only the sounds of footsteps or a toilet flushing are the only things that bring us back to the "real" world.

Creaking and whispers tell us that our sanctuary is about to be invaded by those that share our home. Our time for writing without interruption is about to come to an end. You hear your name called and pretend you didn't. You know it won't last long and wait for the next call out.

"Are you awake down there? Hello-o-o-o-o." With a heavy sigh and a push away from the desk, you respond and leave your writing to tend to whatever it is you are needed for. You do not think about what you were writing because that time is gone for now. You do what you do every morning and hope that it is finished soon. You want to get back to the writing as soon as you can. The desire stays with you like an amorous moment, waiting to be freed and fulfilled. If you are a writer, you are by now nodding a silent agreement and relating to every word written her.

Dividing time between writing and life can be very difficult. It can leave you frustrated and anxious, controlling your every moment. The question is, how do split the difference and get both life and your writing shoved into a twenty-four hour day. As much as I would like to, I have not found a way to make a single day last more than twenty-four hours. Wanting it to or not, the day will become that tomorrow I wasn't ready for. Projects are completed and people's needs are filled and so i sneak off to my writing room to try and slip in a few more sentences. Sometimes I can and well, most of the time... I can not.

How in the world have I managed to write and publish twelve novels while dealing with life also? I make sacrifices that I feel are warranted and beneficial to my writing. Life and writing are both passions of mine. I enjoy the outdoors and I Love to write. I don't want to miss out on either of the wonders in this life. I consider sacrificing sleep for the loves of my life a fair trade. I work as much as I can during the times when the house is empty or at least not in need of my presence. I smile at myself and pat my own back when I find I have managed to put 2000 additional words into the work in progress. I am content in the knowledge that I have filled out my day nicely.

My typical day, beginning at 5:30 a.m. consists of getting the kids up and fed and off to school. I then clean the kitchen and vacuum the floors. Two loads of wash are already done and one load is dried and folded. I make my father his breakfast and get him his pills and insulin {he is 80+ and not in the best of health.} I wait until he is settled and then go out to the garden to reap my rewards of hard work all summer. I stop now and then to sip coffee and smoke a cigarette. I sit to write, pausing only to repeat said things such as a refill of hot coffee and a smoke. Thankfully I multitask very well. I can write and smoke and sip my coffee all at the same time. Much like having a newborn baby in the house, you teach yourself to feed the baby, picked up dirty clothes left by your other children, eat the cold remnants of your breakfast and start a load of laundry; all of this done with a baby tuck under your arm.

Something in your life must be lessened if you are to be a writer with a life. What you choose to enjoy less of is entirely your decision but it must be decided. Sleep is extremely over-rated to me and therefore I choose to sleep less and write more. Whether or not the little cat-naps I unintentionally slip in during the writing counts as sleep I am unsure of. The three hours of sleep I take for myself in the wee hours of the morning are enough for me. The sleep that I do not get is given freely to my writing. that is how I have managed to write twelve novels and still not miss out on the important parts of family and living. Welcome to the world of being a writer. It truly is worth the sacrifice; wouldn't you agree?


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    • Dday50627 profile image

      Darrel Day 3 years ago from Iowa

      I wonder if anyone comments anymore. I have been away for a long time but hope to write and write more.