Last night my fellow Restless Writers (both child-free) e-mailed me after work asking if I’d join them for an impromptu drink. I replied that I couldn’t because…how did I put it?…oh yes – my kids were being assholes.
This is where it should be noted that I love my children (honestly!) and normally adore being with them. My family has been the main catalyst that got me writing – I finally had the time (typing while nursing is an art), endless material and, most importantly, the confidence to try. (Because let me tell you, after pushing out a ten-pounder with only half the epidural kicking in, you can do a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g.)
It doesn’t diminish the fact that most parents feel that, from time to time, their precious darlings are acting a bit…well…ass’ish.
I won’t bore you with the details (grape popsicles on bedroom carpets and make-up in the toilet), but it really drove home a question that Beckie and Maria have brought up: How in the name of Huggies do mothers find the time to write?
I spent over a year writing my manuscript with a newborn and four-year-old, which sounds a bit insane. I’ve spent the three years since revising and querying my manuscript, which sounds a bit sad.
I’ve written late into the night and early in the morning (conclusion: no one can write coherently at 4:00 a.m., except maybe monks). I work from home and, with one kid at school and the other napping, I desperately try to cram a full work day into those two hours (all of this while – not to sound too Betty Draper about it – trying to cook and clean for my family). So people look at me and wonder, when do I have time to write for me and why – at this point in my life – do I even bother trying?
My world is currently filled with constant demands on my time. My attention. My effort. At this point, I can’t not write, because it’s my outlet. My indulgence. My sanity.
I look – as ever – to Judy Blume, who wrote her first book at the kitchen table while her kids were at school. I’ve also heard that Kelley Armstrong wrote Bitten during her lunch hour at work while pregnant with her second child. Even Stephen King had to retreat to the loo of his camper to find the solitude required to finish Carrie.
My point being, you find a way. You multi-task. You write because you, my fellow harried parent, are a writer.
p.s. Feel free to vent in the comments!