I recently read a great book about writing called THE ART OF WAR FOR WRITERS by James Scott Bell. I could incorporate everything he'd written about and apply it to my life except for 1 section. The section talked about being a prolific and fast writer. He's right. The more we write, the better we become as writers and as revisers. And the list of prolific writers and their example of how much they wrote was very impressive. I was blown away by all that they had done. One writer even went to a library and used a dime driven typewriter in the library's basement where he banged out a novel in 6 weeks. Impressive. Very impressive.
Now look at the pronoun: HE.
And guess why HE went to the library? Because he'd just become a father of a new baby (not sure how many HE had with his wife) and the baby's crying *um* disturbed his writing time and concentration. Oh, how I can relate. But then, in a similar position, guess what I'd be doing? Yup. I'd be at home with the baby and taking care of it between looking after the house and the groceries and the laundry and maybe the job and oh, trying to squeeze in writing time.
I know one writer friend who is a mom, has a full time job, and currently just signed a three book deal. She gets up at 4AM every morning and writes until it's time to go to work. But I bet she also takes care of a lot of other things, too. I bet her hubby helps. But then, I'll have to ask how she does it all and does it well. And I wonder HOW MUCH MORE PROLIFIC WOULD SHE BE if she could go to the library and write all day?
Hmmm... Truth is women are master jugglers. Often times, the busier we are, the more we accomplish. Less to do equals less accomplished in many cases. But I have to go on to say that in all the examples given by James Scott Bell, NONE OF THEM WERE WOMEN. Which then brings me to a mini rant about how much more beautiful the world would have been had women been given the time and opportunity and education eons ago during the pre-liberation ages. How many artists and writers and dreamers and innovators did we lose because the potential to become those wonderful things was wrapped in a female's skin?
I know. I am being a bit "political." But I just finished a power and haunting book that shows me how great a gift it is to live in a society that gives women the opportunity to become who they need to become. Trust me. Not all societies in these days offer women that freedom. And that's a post for another day.
I'm one of the lucky female writers because I don't have a DREADED DAY JOB or what's referred to in the Romance world as the DDJ. I have been raising the chick since she came home and filled my hours with volunteer work at church, school, HOA duties, and various other roles. I wasn't eating bon bons or watching TV all day (I admit a fondness for ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE back in the day--probably where all my ideas come from LOL).
But the truth is, I have a lot to take care of in addition to the writing. The Physicist travels a lot, sometimes for many weeks. So I'm often dealing with the Teen alone. Not so bad these days, but it is still my responsibility to make sure she's fed, watered, healthy, etc. Along with all those duties, I do the bulk of the household duties because I am not bringing in an income. I feel I must justify my existence and I use what is called "maid money" to support my writing habit.
So there's laundry, cleaning, dusting, grocery shopping, clutter clearing, overall maintenance of the day-to-day living that take up my time. I don't have the luxury of going to some library and typing on my laptop all day. That's the truth of it. And since I'm not a night owl, I must write during the day and figure out how to squeeze all the other duties in without losing site of my writing goals.
I have a schedule. I can ignore dust, but not for long. So I often clean house while I'm waiting for my pages to get back to me. And nowadays there's this pressure to be a presence in the social media world, but I ignore that pressure because I agree with James Scott Bell: THE BOOK TRUMPS EVERYTHING.
I'd like to be more prolific, but LIFE trumps the books. And at the end of this writer's life, I hope to have quilt of happiness enveloping me. A quilt that love, friendship, motherhood, companionship, and writing created.
And speaking of happiness, here's the winner of THE RIVER WITCH: Robin!! Yay!! Congratulations and I'll get your information to KIMBERLY BROCK.