Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Who Stole My Writing Time?

Confession: the last time I sat down to write a bunch of words in a row, with the intention of creating sentences to form a story, was the last day of my little girl's school. Blog posts, sure. Interviews, yup. Emails, oh yeah. I’ve even sketched out some story ideas. But actually carving out three or four hours solely devoted to writing seems like ancient history – and an unimaginable luxury.

And I only have one kid, and only part-time at that! (She’s my stepdaughter, who lives with us exactly half the time.) How do mothers of two, three or four kids do it? I know they do, I’ve heard the stories. They make me feel like a loser.

I try, I swear I do. I bring my laptop everywhere in the hopes of snagging some minutes to write. I had high hopes for the pool. Surely she could play in the pool with her friend while I watched/wrote in the stands? Sadly, no. It turned out her friend doesn’t know how to swim, so I was required to be in the pool the entire time, a watchful arm’s length away from her.

Okay, so when my stepdaughter's with us it’s difficult to find writing time. But what about when she isn’t? That’s when everything else seems to take over. Planting the garden. Moving into the new kitchen. Making dinner for my husband’s clan of brothers who are here to work for a few weeks. Going fishing. Our summer days seem to last forever here in Alaska, and yet there never seems to be enough time. It makes no sense that the sun rises at 3:30AM  and goes down at 11:30PM and yet I’m always behind on everything.

These days, unless I have a deadline – like, for instance, this blog post HAS to go up tomorrow – NOTHING gets done. Even emails seem to go days without an answer. I swear, my computer might be more useful as a planter at this point.  Forget word count ... grow flowers!

Where did my writing time go? It makes no sense, unless you consider some kind of time-warp black hole theory. Maybe the writing time/space continuum has been altered by the end of the school year and beginning of summer, so every attempt to write gets thwarted by powerful universal forces beyond my control. I love summer, I swear I do. I don’t want winter to come any time soon. But those long snowy nights snuggled up with my computer are acquiring a nostalgic glow in my memory.

If you have kids, how do you get anything done when school’s out? Is my only hope for September to roll around?


Erin Nicholas said...

Three words-- Duct. Tape. Closet.

LOL! Of course, I'm kidding!

I do a lot of bargaining... "If I go upstairs and write for two hours, then we'll do something fun for two hours together". Oh, and it doesn't hurt that I have a 15 y/o who is almost too happy to be left completely alone!!

But yeah, school is a good thing. And the snowy nights are nostalgic for me b/c it's 100 degrees here! :)

PG Forte said...

If you do locate your writing time, check to see if mine's been visiting with it, 'cause I can't find it anywhere either. And I don't even have the excuse of kids anymore since they're both elsewhere and blissfully independent. Sigh.