Writing on Borrowed Time
What do you sacrifice to write? I was thinking today as I was cleaning the house, and was behind on everything as usual, about the sacrifices I make to be a writer. But it's not just me, most of the writers out there have other jobs and families. What are they sacrificing to write?
Time to write isn't given, it's borrowed. It has to be taken from somewhere. If I get up at 6 a.m. to try and get in an hour of writing time before my daughter wakes up, I'm going to be more tired throughout the day, and I won't be functioning as well by naptime when I have to write blogs, research keywords or make web pages. If I stay up late and write I won't make it up as early in the morning. Several days in a row of lack of sleep take their toll. So why do I do it? It's sort of like self-inflicted torture really, but somehow it's worth it anyway.
If I put on some cartoons for my daughter and get enough work done in the morning, sometimes I can write during naptime, but that means sacrificing time with her. I won't be working on reading and writing with her like I normally would in the morning, and then I carry guilt the whole day, feeling like a bad mother. She gets more antsy on days like this and generally I get more frustrated with her. It's a vicious cycle.
The house is always a mess when I write. I used to pick up throughout the day and at nighttime just before bed. Laundry was always done. All this appeased my very type A nature. But now every spare minute I have, when I'm not working, taking care of my child, babysitting other kids and making meals, is occupied by writing. I can no longer stay on top of everything. I always feel like I'm paddling against the current.
As a writer I do it anyway. Some days I wonder how I'll make it through. Some days I wonder how much easier it would be to give it up. Things would certainly be easier. I wouldn't always be so tired and so behind. But I can't give it up. Something burns deep within me, a flame I can't put out. If my life was orderly it would be ordinary. No more make believe conversations and settings would be inked to paper. My creative outlet would be quieted. My hopes and dreams would be silenced.
We write because we can't see ourselves doing anything else. That's why we make sacrifices for it. What are the sacrifices you make to write?