balancing writing and family

I journalled since I was taught to print.

I tried short stories in elementary school, and passed them around the social studies class for others to read, during class.

Between my elementary short stories and my thirties, I took a long hiatus from story writing until I had a personal awakening, a coming of age? Then it was time to start writing again.

Then I didn’t want to do anything else. At the time though, I happened to be pregnant with my third baby. Two little sweethearts waiting for me at home. How to fit ‘my thing’ into my ‘spare time’. I was frustrated that I hadn’t figured this out ten years prior.

Fast forward two years, I’m at a summer writing conference, and the author of the writing group tells us that her masters degree writing student wants to sequester herself until she’s written her book. In fact, she’s willing to leave her husband and family and friends and responsibilities and write until it’s written. Become a full-time writer. Like Henry David Thoreau in the middle of nowhere. Alone with his pen and paper till something was finished.

My writing group author told her, “Nope. Don’t do it. You want something to write about? You’ve got to keep living”. Certainly food for thought for me.

I certainly get why that student wanted to focus on her project. I have had an awful lot distracting me from mine. But I had always wanted a flock of four. Not that I was tempted to leave everything just to finish my novel, but I’m tempted by the allure of success like anyone else. These “other things” I’m choosing, I want to be doing.  So how to make these two aspects mesh?


It is possible to find time. Not in eight hour chunks a day. Rather, in snippets. But enjoyably satisfying snippets that break up my day, my week. Creative moments that move my project forward, and require me to continue sifting through my notions and not barrel ahead to just complete it for the sake of completing it.

Learning to balance both aspects: tricky. But doing one exclusive from the other? No thanks. I’m choosing this path.

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