Friday, 3 June 2011

Fits & starts

I know, I know I'm not the only person manically juggling work, family, home, a few desultory attempts to stay somewhere close to a healthy weight and what used to be called volunteering & is now called keeping-essential-services-open-under-guise-of-a-big-society with writing but sometimes it really feels like it. And somehow when I stagger under the weight of all my obligations it is always the writing that loses out. Stephen King, who knows a thing or two about writing, advises us to have a place and a time where we always go to write. Always. Christmas, Thanksgiving (if you're American, we don't really do Thanksgiving in the UK, not sure what the equivalent is?) whatever - go to your place and write. And at the same time every day. Now I am fully aware that Mr King followed his own excellent advice when he was living in a trailer with two small children washing gruesomely stained sheets for a living, wedging himself in a small passageway every evening to type away, I am also aware that a certain very famous romantic novelist locked herself in her bedroom telling her young sons to only disturb her if they were bleeding. I on the other hand am soft and spend my evenings chauffeuring 7 year old around, feeding her, reading to her (Milly Molly Mandy at the present time to the great enjoyment of us both)falling onto the sofa just after 8 capable only of tweeting and drinking copious amounts of gin.
And then I'll get my mojo back. I will write whilst watching Swedish Wallender (not a clue what happened, turns out writing and watching subtitles is impossible even for a multi tasker), I will write in the car outside gym club, I will write while my husband cleans to a standard I have to make myself accept with a false smile on my face. It all feels doable for a while and then... life steps in again - birthdays, cub camping, school assemblies, work events and it all goes pear shaped for a while - until the next spurt that is.
There has to be a better way, suggestions on a post card please! And with the deadline for the New Writer's Scheme scarily close and 35,000 words and an edit to go please make them good (offers of cleaners/chauffeurs/large sums of money will be gratefully received).


Julia Broadbooks said...

I'm probably not the best person to offer advice. I'm always being interrupted by family so they can tell me about the funny new commercial that they just saw on tv. Consequently, I find that I do best if I can get the writing done before school is over for the day and late at night after they are all in bed. I'm not a morning person, so I tend to stay up, but then I'm tired the next day.

The real test will be next week when school is out and they are all milling around wanting me to amuse them.

redwriter said...

I do 6 a.m starts. Earlier when husband is away. And I write in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed. Apart from reading, which I fit in whenever I have a spare minute, I've had to let go of everything else. If it's not vital, I don't do it. I can't remember the last time I actually watched any TV.

Xandra James said...

I've lost my writing mojo completely at the moment due to 'life' interrupting. I know what (and when) I should be doing it, it's just the practice of it that fails me. If you find that magic combination (or find a free cleaner or distributor of money), let me know :) x