Friday, May 25, 2007

Writers' Rest

I wonder, do writers ever rest? Since deciding to put my writing in 'full throttle' mode, my life seems to have spun out of control.

Naturally, writing doesn't cancel out the other compartments of my life. And those compartments were full to bursting before I decided to squeeze in writing. So how do writers do it? I imagine that, like me, they 'juggle', and perhaps it explains why writers are always interested in other writers' routines. 'When do you get time to write?' is an oft repeated question, and writers everywhere crane their necks to hear the answer, hoping it might yield a secret to how to do it better.

When I decided I was going to give my writing a serious chance of succeeding, I didn't imagine how it would take over my life. Yes, I had to make room for writing, while the usual demands remained - family, work, household chores and keeping connections going with friends, which are the important threads in our lives. Without these, there would be little to write about.

Creating room to write has definitely put a squeeze on everything else. My house is messier than it's ever been, my husband has less time to spend by my side in the evenings, my children - loved to the extreme as they are - forget excursion notices and party invitations in their school bags, because I'm one of those bad mothers who forget to check!!! I only ever skim the newsletter, and one day my husband delivered the youngest to a deserted school only to be told by the bemused office staff, that it was curriculum day. And yes, it had been advertised in the newsletter for weeks. Obviously one of the bits I'd skimmed - repeatedly.

To compensate for this 'squeezing' effect, the less-important things had to go. One of those was spare time - LEISURE. Now, that is a sad thing, and I think my writing has missed it. Lately I have been besieged by migraines that are aggravated by lack of sleep and no time to relax, so I have decided that my writing future is demanding back some of that greatly missed spare time. Bring back a bit of TV time-wasting, I say. There are some great romance movies that will inspire my writing in all sorts of ways. Plotting, dialogue, characterisation, setting and visual stimulus, which I thrive on. And watching telly always brought with it another pleasure: knitting. Perhaps if I force myself to have some 'down time' in front of the telly, that other love will be revived and I'll finally finish the beanie I started three winters ago.

Yes, it's definitely time to make a pledge:

Tomorrow, I welcome leisure back into my life. My dear, dear friend - also a writer - AbFab and I will meet for a brunch and a chat, and when I return home, I vow to spend Sunday on the couch. Sunday on the couch - it sounds so decadent, but isn't that what Sundays used to be for? When I was a child, my mother (the devout Catholic) used to tell me it was a sin to work on Sundays. If a button came off my father's shirt, she would refuse to sew it back in place, on religious grounds. She - the ever industrious housewife - had a dispensation from the Pope to have some time off. So where's my dispensation? Six days of work deserves a day off. Tomorrow I will start to claim back my seventh day of leisure. For the sake of my health - body and mind - and for the sake of my future writing career.

If I'm a good girl, I'll allow myself some writing time after dinner. Promise.


Lisa66 said...

And what a lovely brunch it was!!!

Hope you had a nice rest. I wrote a little and then veged a little. All in all a perfect Sunday.

Scribbly said...

It was indeed a lovely brunch. Not done often enough, to my mind, highlighting how little time we claim for ourselves. The balance between time devoted to others and time spent 're-charging' is grossly out of scale. Yet this is what we need to keep healthy in body and mind.