How My Family Survives My Writing – #MFRWauthor

2017-01-13 Pic 1

I laughed when I first read this prompt.  I mean, my family isn’t particularly negative about my writing.  My husband is a professional photographer, so he knows what is involved in creating things.  My kid is interested in his own stuff, so he’s not particularly aware of what I’m doing because he’s absorbed in his own stuff.

But then I got to thinking.  There was a weekend where I wrote for fifteen hours Saturday, and eighteen on Sunday.  My husband informed me, on the Monday following, that I would spend the next weekend with the family and go to a movie.  o.O…  So I think it’s more a matter of learning how to balance writing with other responsibilities and commitments.  I’ve also made friends and have been fortunate enough to find people that they understand me and the way I see the world.  But that took a lot of work to find those people, and to find my “tribe.”

So if I had to say what my one piece of advice would be to people trying to fit writing into already busy lives, it’s this:  hunt for your tribe and balance your writing with the other things you’ve already got in your life:  day job, kids, marriage, friends, and family.

What about you, Dear Reader?  How do you balance passion and necessity?

15 Replies to “How My Family Survives My Writing – #MFRWauthor”

  1. Well, that’s something I need to work on. Once I get writing, time seems to fast forward. When I do get up, I am still thinking about what I am writing. I’m fortunate that my room mate also writes at times and also gets totally absorbed in it. My husband and brother have passed on so now it is only me and her. And Gryphon, my cat. He is not so understanding — when he is awake. But he is older and sleeps a lot. Then there are my neighbors here in the “old people’s home” as I refer to it. They’ve come to believe I am antisocial because they rarely see me. One in particular knocks on the door every so often. When I do go to visit her for short periods of time, she asks me about my writing and is amazed that I am still working away at it.

    “How long is this book?” she continually demands to know.

    I tell her that it is more than my novel, it is my writing classes and short stories I should have begun with in the first place. I tell her that writing is a lot of work, but she doesn’t understand or chooses not to. She would rather have me there in her apartment, talking to her.

    I know the situation needs to be more balanced. But once in my head, creating, it is hard to get out. My shrink tells me I should set a timer. Yes, good idea. Have I done it? No. I don’t want to lose my train of thought just to do some dishes or laundry that can wait til later. But more and more I am finding myself spending too much of my waking time in front of the computer. Email. Facebook. Writing. Researching. Sometimes never getting out of my pajamas. What made me fully realize what a problem this is, is the fact that my room mate is now doing the same thing. So I will try harder to break up the day. If not for me, then for her. We are both growing roots where we sit.

    1. I hear you on the growing roots thing. I use a digital timer too, for 30/on, 30/off. Set it for 30 minutes and do whatever, writing in this case. Then do 30 of something else. You’ll train your brain. It will take time, particularly if you’ve become addicted to sitting there. But you’ll begin, over time, to feel the balance and wonder how you didn’t have it before.

  2. Truer words…. Balance is something we always aspire to, but can be hard to achieve. It takes one small thing (e.g. a school play, transition from school to summer), and the schedule has to be rejigged. Like writing, balance always feels like a WIP.

  3. I love your post and I *adore* the picture! How true! Yes, writing is all fine and good for us until it “interferes” with others. lol. Even if that interference is simply not spending time with them. Balance IS the key.

  4. Balance is everything. Because I work two jobs, I struggle to achieve it, finding myself hunkered down in my writing cave every weekend. I’m trying…and it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  5. I think you hit on the key–balance. That’s important in anyone’s life. Think about workaholics who might as well sleep in their office. We can only try our best. When you’re in the groove, the way you were the weekend you described, probably doesn’t happen that often (it doesn’t for me, anyway) and your family left you alone. How wonderful. They deserved your attention the following weekend and you deserved some time off, too.

  6. I am so grateful my partner is absorbed in an online game right now and willing to take on shopping chores when I act particularly pathetic. It’s been my great joy to spend several hours every day rewriting an old beloved short story series. Your knowledge and inspiration are so appreciated. Happy writing!

Leave a Reply to Elizabeth Alsobrooks Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.