Writing while being a wife, mother, grandmother can be challenging. Our grandson is staying with us for a week. I’ve tried to find some “fun” things to do with him, but he’s ten, loves Pokemon and other games. His “fun” is a bit different from my “fun” and regular life-things that I take for granted…well, let’s just say:
“Time for a shower” brings a pout.
“Time to read” brings a pout.
“Okay. Play your games.” And I disappear into the living room with my books and laptop and works in progress. Thank goodness his aunt is computer/game savvy and loves playing and doing crafts with him.
And this was for only one week. I try to remember what it was like many years ago when my daughter was young.
Oh, that’s right. I got up an hour early to write. I went to bed an hour late so I could write. But I was also younger. Things seemed to come easier to me back then. Well, the “doing” was easier. But I find that as I get older the ideas come more quickly. Maybe it’s because, now that I’m retired, I don’t have the little grey cells crowded with work-information. That makes room for the “good stuff”—like thinking about how the world would react if it realized that aliens actually have been among us for centuries.
If you’re a mom (or a dad) with young children and with a job, stealing those times to write can be a challenge. When you’re a parent (and when you’re working), your time belongs to others.
I still carry a notebook in my purse, for those times when an idea comes to me and I’m waiting in the doctor’s office (more often as I get older) or standing in a long and slow grocery line. I still get up early (early for a retiree) but since I have the day to write, I use the early hours for emails and social media. I also use some time later in the day for updating my Facebook author page.
But the best laid plans of Mice and Mitzis—during our grandson’s visit, my husband had an emergency admission to the hospital for three days. Again blessing my daughter who kept the ten-year-old occupied, I took my netbook to do some work while I watched The Master of the House snooze and waited to interrogate physicians (which, as a former RN, I do very well).
Stephen King, the modern font of writerly wisdom, says that a writer should write the first draft with the metaphorical “door closed”—no one should read that first draft until it’s done. Sometimes the writer has to make an invisible, metaphorical door (like WKRP’s Les Nesmen) depending on where—and when—they’re writing.
Time and place for writers is a challenge—for the plot and the process.