Some of my writer friends write for four to six hours a day. I sometimes envy that because I'm not at a place in my life where I can. I'm pretty much in the 'whatever bit of time I can get on the computer' is my writing time. I have eight kids and two of them are under four. They keep me busy and being a mom is my first priority.
You see, with my older five children, I've learned that time with my kids really does go by way too fast and before I know it, they're moving out and are on their own. I even miss the times when they were small and they laid there listening to my made up bedtime stories in the dark. We have some wonderful family memories for them to take with them when they fly the nest. Well, mostly.
This week is going to be one of those times. It is the last week before school starts, before one of my children moves away to college, and I want to make some memories with the family in this last week of togetherness. I know I have writing deadlines. I know I need to do editing. But this has to come first.
A friend of mine who writes every day and puts out two books a year said that I should take a day for the family and then concentrate on my writing. "You can pack a lot into a day," she said. (she knows I have a lot to do and is great at encouraging me.) But, this time, I just can't do it. I'm selfish. I want the week. My writing will always be there and yes, I may be shooting my writing career in the foot and putting myself further behind on some things (I don't think that's fatal) but my kids will not always be here. And someday, when we're all sitting around the table, and their kids are running around my house, I want them to be able to say, "Hey, mom, remember when we took a car trip and had to listen to a Roger Miller album the whole way because that was the only thing that would soothe the baby? I still can sing every word of that whole album." Or "Remember when we all sang Barney tunes until my oldest son couldn't take it anymore, then we caught him whistling the same tune while we were in the museum and laughed until our sides hurt?" Yeah, that's my dream. For them to remember all the silly stuff we did and how much fun we had in between the arguments.
Writermom. That's the name of the blog, but sometimes I think it should be Momwriter. Such a delicate line.
What do you think? How do you balance family needs with your writing? Do you think breaks are needed or valuable?