It’s been a week since my stomach went on strike and the smell of some foods still make me sick. You may ask, Why is that relevant to you and your writing? Give me a paragraph and I’ll share that little tidbit of information.
So! While I was sick, I came up with a really interesting idea about someone transforming into something else and having the same symptoms I was having a week ago. Except their problems are going to be worse. Much worse. There will be more screaming at the toilet. More ‘oh God if you make this stop right now I’ll be less snarky to my husband’. More cold sweats and… well, you get it. That was the only good thing about me being sick this past week. Great ideas!
Back to why I know you want to know why I’m talking about me being sick. And here it is: us writers who don’t have the luxury of sneaking off to a quiet place to read and write have tons of other stuff to deal with. It’s called life. I have a fourteen month old daughter. She is walking and running, teething and grumpy, screaming because she is so happy and crying because she’s so sleepy. I gotta tell you, she does not make it easy to write. I wouldn’t trade her playful growls and giggles for anything on this planet. Or on Alpha Centauri. Or the Death Star. Or in that made up place where werewolves and Sethians roam free and angry. So you have to get creative. Well, not that creative.
I won’t lie and say that EVERY time she’s takes a nap I dash off to the computer and write until I hear her little cute self moving around on the baby monitor that can transmit a fly fart from 300 paces. No! If I’m off of work that day (yip-yip days off from hell, I mean work) I take a nap when she does. If I don’t, I can’t stay up until two or three o’clock in the morning writing! That hour long nap in the middle of the day is powerful. For both of us.
I can go to work and function with only four or five hours of interrupted (and yes, I do mean interrupted) sleep. And can work all day long, go home to my daughter, get dinner ready for her and my husband and do all the other stuff that I have to do. And after I put her to bed, I check my Café in Facebook, sit on the couch with my husband (unless he’s already gone to be to get 8 FREAKING HOURS OF UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP) and then I write.
And then I write.
For at least an hour, I edit, I write, and I jot down little ideas that have come to me while I was cooking dinner; or while I was wrestling a piece of God-knows-what from my daughter who is in that stage where she wants to chew and taste everything.
Most of us simply can’t stay home peacefully while someone else takes care of everything. I can’t go to a coffee shop to get away from the family so I can write. Maybe when she’s a little older. Maybe when my husband cooks and cleans and the most crass person you know decides to take etiquette classes. We’ve got to learn to work around it.
How do you do it? For those of us who MUST write, what do you do? How do you carve out time to spew out all those creative thoughts that roam around in your head? ‘Cause for those of us who just HAVE to write to function properly, there is no other choice.
That didn’t sound sappy, did it?