Over the last few days I’ve been trying to round up my grey matter and point it all in the same direction. You see, at any given time there is the equivalent of a pond of spaghetti’s worth of storylines, characters, potential articles, possible markets… all stuffed into the space between my two ears. It wouldn’t suprise me if, one day, my brain actually popped.
Glueing all this together is the unquenchable desire to write. You just can’t get away from the very thing you were built for.
My problem is that I have a young family tip-toeing through the pasta-jungle of my fried neurons. There are extra Eisteddfod rehearsals to remember, lunches to be made – healthy but edible, of course. Ballet and gymnastics, hockey and drama. Tests, homework, tests, speeches, tests… did I mention tests? My girls need a mom whose brain can actually accomodate them. In fact, a mom’s brain who can nuture them and bring out all the gems that are tucked away inside. I am often not that mom.
So I’ve made a choice. I can’t replace the spaghetti, but I can reduce the amount of it by putting some of it on ice for later. The best part is that I’m not getting rid of any of it, simply taking off the self-imposed urgency for now. I’ve been trying to juggle novel #2 (working title – Dispossessed), a Writing for Children and Teenagers course through the Institute of Children’s Literature, bi-monthly humour pages for All About Cats, monthly quizzes for Soul. I’ve also been commissioned to write an e-book on starting and running a dance group for the International Christian Dance Fellowship. That’s apart from being wife and a working mom with 3 children.
The sad result is when I do get time to write – i.e. not all that often – I’m overwhelmed by the options. So I don’t do anything. Cannot carry on this way and still call myself a writer. Much more of this and I’ll be an un-writer.
So this is the plan: Dispossessed is being postponed until 2011. In fact, till the end of my writing course. Like a Robin Hood arrow compared to a blunt stick, I’m trusting that this little adjustment is going to help comb my spaghetti into something more manageable and family friendly.
Sometimes you’ve just got to say no, even though the pull of a story is so strong you can taste it when you close your eyes. Like a lifetime love, a good story will wait until the time is right.
May you have much wisdom in how you choose to spread yourself between family time and writing time!