Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Pro's and Con's

For my job, I write each and every day. I'm a copywriter and I love it.

This is a good thing and a bad thing.

The good things:

1) My writing has improved so much since I started that it's unbelievable. The simple act of editing and revising each and every day has strengthened my skills.

2) I'm writing every day. This keeps my writing muscle well-toned.

3) I love my job. I'm writing for a living!

The bad things:

1) The last thing I want to do when I get home is sit in front of a computer to work on my novel. Lately, that's been a big problem. It wasn't always this way...I'm not sure what changed.

2) I don't feel like I have enough time to do the household chores, spend time with the kids, spend time with hubby, and write. Since I try and exercise after work, I usually don't get home until 6:30. That leaves me 3 1/2 hours before bedtime. And time absolutely flies in the evenings!

I told my husband last night that I'm incredibly hard on myself. I've given myself a mental lashing for not writing lately and perhaps that is contributing to the problem. Instead, I think I should just give myself permission not to write right now. But I'm not too comfortable with that, either, because I want to be writing.

I wish I could find the solution to all this. It seems like I struggle with this issue every few months. Maybe I need to quit making it a struggle. Maybe I'm taking myself entirely too seriously and need to take my own advice - to write for the joy of it.

I'm thinking of buying another laptop. The one I have is pretty ancient - I can't use my jump drive on it and floppy disks are so unreliable that I don't want to try and transfer data to my desktop with one. Maybe I'll look into the Alpha Smart. I don't need a fancy laptop - just something to write on and transfer to my desktop. I wouldn't mind sitting on the couch at night while my daughter colors and writing. Of course, when I write at my desktop, she usually drags her stuff downstairs to work next to me. :-) But having the comfort of a soft couch and a blanket with the lights of the Christmas tree surrounding me...ah, yes. That sounds quite perfect.

The kicker is that I really really WANT to write. But it's finding the time. I know we all struggle with it. But if you want to make writing your career, you make time, right? But what else is sacrificed in the meantime? I refuse to put my writing above my family. My daughter and stepson will only be young for so long. I want to cherish these times. On the other hand, I cannot deny myself the pleasure of writing.

Balance is the key! Implementing it is another story!


  1. Anonymous11:51 AM

    I can only speak for myself, but for me, the laptop was the answer to most of my problems. I do every last bit of my writing in my recliner, in the living room, with life going on around me. My kids sit on the floor and color, do homework, watch cartoons, etc...

    I'm there to help and answer questions, or just to chat. But I'm also working.

    The key is learning how to work with all the distractions. For me, editing is no problem while they're still awake. Then, I do actual composition after they go to bed.

    And I don't get much sleep. For now, that's okay. I expect it to catch up with me eventually, but at the moment, I have from 8:30 to midnight every night to write. It's my schedule, and for the most part, it works. For me.

    By the way, I'm jealous of your day job. I'd love for writing (of any kind) to pay my bills.

    Rachel (I'm not on my computer right now.)

  2. For me it is hard to write during the holidays. Last year I finished my time travel BEFORE the holidays hit. That way I could take off and enjoy the season. This year I was trying to wrap up my contemporary before the holidays hit and I failed. Yeah, I'm done now, but I felt so rushed. Next year there will be no writing, unless an agent or editor says so, during the holiday season. I'm just going to work, work, work until Thanksgiving, then take the time off until the new year.

    When you're self employed, like a writer, you can take time off when you want and work like a fiend when need be.

    Don't beat yourself up, Melissa. I too want to write, but finding the time is non-existant. The spin-off to my finished product is screaming at me to start, but I can't. I'd be doing myself a diservice if I did start it now.

    Relax and enjoy the holidays. Oh, and buy that darn laptop! I'm like Rachel... mine is attached to my hip. Now if I could only figure out how to plug the energy source into my hip I'd be doing good. Those blasted laptop batteries don't last long!

  3. I think the holidays are just impossible for writing, in particular, because holidays are family-centered. You just can't sacrifice that. Don't sweat it--make up for it in January! :)

  4. Balance is hard - even for those of us without kids! I feel guilty working too much on my writing when my dh is working the early shift, as we have so little time together. He understood during the GH push, but I still took time out every afternoon and worked in the evenings instead.

    The AlphaSmart is GREAT!!! I highly recommend it. I've had mine for four years and just LOVE it.

  5. Thanks, gals, for making me feel better. I do make life harder for myself sometimes. :-)

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