At last, at last, I have writing time again. The kids are back in school and I have long, glorious mornings of time to use as I see fit, and I plan to use it to plow through the final edits of this novel. With luck, I’ll be finished by Christmas.
This summer had a lot of highlights and the kids got to do a lot of fun stuff, but it was a tough one for me. I didn’t have any time off, other than a couple of hours on weekends, and I absolutely need a regularly scheduled routine in order to write efficiently and well. And I am not as patient or kind as a mother when I don’t get the chance to recharge. I have to fight the impulse to call that selfish, but it absolutely isn’t – parenting should never be a single person’s task. It’s too intense. So next year I will do things differently, and make sure I have regular breaks. It’s only been a few days of the school year, and already I feel better, and the kids are more responsive, and the whole system is smoother.
I feel a bit like I’m on a timeline. This year my youngest is in kindergarten in the mornings, so I have my glorious time, but when she starts full-day grade one next year, I have a looming sense that I need to get myself straightened out work-wise. I love writing, but it doesn’t pay me anything right now. My job is extremely part time to fit our current life and I love it, but it also doesn’t have great long-term prospects. So next year, when there’s more flexibility, I feel like I need to get my career sorted out. I’d love that career to be writing. That requires putting in a lot of work this year, to prove that it’s worth it. It’s an interesting impulse, the desire to prove that writing is worth my time and energy. It’s worth it insofar as it makes me feel more whole, but if it isn’t earning us any money, it seems hard to justify. On one hand, that’s gross. On the other, I would really like to earn money from my writing for the status of “paid author.” So for better or for worse, that’s my goal. And I have one year to sort it out.