This morning, as I dragged my very sleepy, grumpy self out of bed, groggily dressed in work clothes and sensible pumps, took out my braces, brushed my teeth, kissed my wife, made coffee, and climbed into the car for my hour-long commute into work, I found myself wondering how on earth other people manage it. I know there are folks out there who can expertly balance a full-time job, a marriage, kids, and still have time to churn out multiple awesome books in a single year.
But I have to admit, when I’m sitting in my office staring at a computer screen that doesn’t contain the story I’d much rather be working on, I am indescribably envious of those who have partners or spouses to pay the mortgage, so that they can sit and write all day – surf the net for inspiration, read other writing blogs, maybe even travel to various writing conferences and conventions and signings and the like – but most importantly and satisfyingly, WRITE. When you’re the primary breadwinner in your household you have to squeeze writing in, often at the expense of those precious few hours you have to spend with your family at the end of the day. When you’re a chronic insomniac who is in a perpetual state of tiredness throughout the week, it’s even tougher. When you’ve got a story burning a hole in your brain in the meantime, it’s far too easy to slide into a funk of ingratitude and dissatisfaction with one’s life.
I despise such funks, especially since I’m well aware of how very, very fortunate I am. I have a great life – a good job, a nice house, an absolutely amazingly wonderful partner. If being sleepy and not having much time to write are really the biggest things I am able to complain about, then I have a pretty charmed life. And though it may sometimes be hard to remember that early in the morning, when it’s still dark by the time I hit the road, and my coffee’s not quite strong enough, and I’m facing the prospect of another whole day in the office instead of curled up with my little netbook, I still need to take a step back from my disgruntled frame of mind and remind myself how great my life really is. Instead of grumping over how little time I have to write, I need to be concentrating on treasuring every last second of the writing-time I do get to squeeze in… and relishing those moments when they come along.
Storytelling is not a race. I will get this story out a piece at a time, as it comes, and it will be all the better for the anticipation that builds when I’m not able to work on it as I’d like.
In the meantime, while returning work emails, I’ll just crank up my Prayer of the Handmaiden inspirational playlist… which is itself a post for another day. :)