Where does writing fit?

I have been under a great delusion. For some reason I believed that once summer ended, my daughter came back and we settled back into a routine, life would settle down. I suffer from this delusion all the time. I think “once the holidays are over” or “once the summer is over” or “once softball season is over” everything will get back to normal. But it never does. Apparently, this is normal.

A few days ago I was writing an email to a friend and started listing all the things that are going on in my life in the next few months. Not until typing it all out did I realize I’m going to be insane by Christmas. The insanity starts tonight (well, intensifies anyway).

Tonight is our first softball practice. When I say *our* I mean my daughter’s but I’m saying *we* since we’re in this together. I do not know yet how often we will practice nor how often we will play games but I’m thinking it’s going to take up at least 2 to 3 evenings/mornings of my life. My daughter starts school the day after Labor Day, I have a final paper due that day and a final exam to take that evening. I have a meeting the following Saturday at which I will find out exactly what I have to do to promote my local RWA chapter conference coming up in November. I somehow got *volunteered* to be in charge of publicity though no one has told me exactly what that entails.

October 1 my fall quarter begins and it’s back to school for me. The first weekend of October I’m attending the NJRWA conference only to return on Sunday afternoon in time to attend the Brad Paisley concert that night. As mentioned, our local chapter conference is in November and I have a feeling I’m going to have heaps of promo materials threatening to take over my house for several weeks prior to the big she-bang.

Throw into all this I’m in charge of planning our company Christmas party for the first weekend of December. Though the major decisions are done, come October I will again be inundated with flower arrangement decisions, menu decisions, compiling the guest list, picking and printing the invitations, handling the RSVP’s, booking hotel rooms (including my own for free – Whoohoo!) and in general making sure the night goes off without a hitch and looks like it all took care of itself.

So, my question is, where will I find time to write? My friend says I need to cut back. Where would I cut back? I’m not going to screw my daughter out of playing softball. Quitting school is out of the question. I have no intention of quitting RWA nor missing the conferences. I’ve invested way too much at this point to back out now. I could tell the chapter I can’t handle the publicity job but I would never do that. Once I make a commitment, I keep it. (Yes, yes, I’m divorced and that was sort of a commitment but give me a break!)

I know I just need to make the time. And I really want to get this book done. But right now I spend my days so exhausted I get a headache just thinking about writing. The laundry won’t do itself, the kitchen won’t clean itself, the garbage will not walk itself to the dumpster and the job is sort of mandatory for survival. So what’s a girl to do?

Anyone out there a master at time management? Anyone know a good, cheap (read: free) cleaning service in my area? Anyone want my life? LOL! Anyone else have this problem. And can you tell me where does the writing fit?!

11 thoughts on “Where does writing fit?”

  1. irisheyes says:

    I hear ya, girl! I have a husband with a full time 9-5 job, a part time teaching job, he sits on several community boards and he is very involved in our kid’s lives (softball/baseball coach, camping, boating, movies, etc.). I have 2 pretty active, “I wanna join everything” kind of kids who I hate to discourage. They both just tried out for travel teams last week and neither one was picked. Being the awful mother that I am, I said a little thank you prayer up to The Big Man for sparing me all that extra running around. All 4 of us are battling health issues whether it’s allergies, asthma, high cholesterol or chronic fatigue. Both the DH and I have elderly relatives that we feel the need to help with doctor’s visits, home repairs, and once a week visits. Between my huge family, my “I guess I can help out” attitude and my DH’s outgoing personality, we always seem to find ourselves put in charge of family parties, group vacations, picnics, neighborhood block parties and the like, not to mention the amount of birthday parties we get invited to. It just never seems to end. We had a free weekend a couple of weeks ago and every time the phone rang we both screamed – “Don’t answer it!” Isn’t that pathetic!

    I was very, very seriously considering getting a job this past summer to assuage my “stay at home mom” guilt, but the DH convinced me the job I do around here is way more valuable than the extra cash I would bring in. Despite the fact that I feel like I’m meeting myself coming and going half the time and know I’m going to end up in a padded cell one of these days, I still feel very blessed. I tell myself at least I have a husband (who helps and is interested), at least we are all relatively healthy and at least I don’t need to work to support my kids.

    So, I guess, no I don’t have a solution for you! Sorry 🙁 I agree that you’re doing too much, but I also agree with you when you say – What do I cut out? I ask myself that question 10 times a day. I think Americans as a whole, and women especially, take on too much these days!

    I wish I lived nearby and I could at least watch Isabelle for you while you go to school or something . My hats go off to all of you single parents. It is a helluva job with two of us. I can’t imagine going it solo. The only bit of advice I can give you is the same advice I’ve been handing out to a lot of my friends lately – JUST SAY NO! But if you’re anything like me I can imagine that’s easier said than done.:)

  2. terrio says:

    Geez, Irish, you make me look like a slacker. LOL! Tonight at practice the coach asked for a volunteer to be team mom. Needless to say I kept my hands at my sides and tried to become invisible. In the car Is asked why I didn’t do it. After the long explanation she received I don’t think she’ll ask again. LOL!

  3. Janga says:

    Terri and Irish, you two make me feel guilty for complaining about lack of time. But I think that whatever stage of life we are in, there always seems to be more to do than time to do it.

    My sister was griping today about her lack of “down time,” but I can remember when she would have thought having time to soak in the tub instead of taking a hurried shower was a luxury. She went back to school after she had four kids. She worked at the high school library during the day, went to school at night, took care of four boys 2,6, 10, and 12 and a house. She would have laughed had anyone told her that twenty plus years later, she would have three degrees, four adult sons, and still be complaining about lack of time.

    From watching my sister, Terri, I would say one secret to surviving is to multi-task and to use bits of time. Can you read or study at Isabelle’s practices, for example?
    And yea you for not raising your hand today. Not taking on things others can do will help too. How many times do you have to say no to turn it into a habit? 21? 🙂

    CM gave me some great advice on RNTV for using fifteen-minute segments for writing tasks. You might find her ideas useful too. The writing is for you, so I think it is important that you hold on to some writing time, even if it is in small segments.

    Women like you do the impossible every day. You are the true super-heroes.

  4. Diana says:

    I’ll take over your life. Although, I don’t know if you want mine…

  5. quantumphase says:

    We have a saying in England ‘If you want something done,ask a busy person’
    I think it must have been first said by a lazy person!

    Come to think, my own writing efforts have slowed right down. Too many other pressures and I miss your stimulating input.

    Terri, You’re just too nice. The first rule of survival is ‘NEVER VOLUNTEER’
    The second rule is ‘PRIORITISE’

    If you run out of time, be ruthless and drop the lowest from your priority list.

    If I’m honest though, I have a very nice wife as back stop…saved my life more than once. Sorry luv. I am trying to be helpful. Happy marriages can solve so many probs..but you know that anyway!

  6. I try to write before I go to work. In my case, it’s somewhat easy, cause I don’t have to be in until 10:30 AM. So I wake up around 5 and putter. Of course, when it’s time to shower and dress… I DON’T WANT TO GO TO WORK because I’ve got a flow going.

    And lately I haven’t been making so many blog and BB stops, because I’m being harsh with myself to not have fun so I can concentrate on the writing. (But I’ll still visit you. Promise you’ll still visit me. *g*)

  7. irisheyes says:

    Oh, Wow! Yeah, sorry guys that was a bit long and whiney, huh? Caught me on a bad day. I spent most of yesterday on the computer trying to avoid getting things done! 🙂

    Anyway, Terri, great advice here from everyone! I had another thought – what about using a personal tape recorder to talk out your dialogue or plot points, especially if you are in the car a lot by yourself. Hey, people listen to books on tape while driving or commuting, why not write one that way!

    Janga, your sister sounds like just one of the many that truly amaze and humble me. I think you’re right – no matter what stage of life we’re in there just never seems to be enough time!

    Maggie – I’ve been trying to cut down on my internet time also. Yesterday I failed miserably! 🙂

  8. terrio says:

    Janga – your sister is a wonder. I really have no idea how parents with 3 or 4 do it nevermind single parents. I’m lucky to just have one and that one practically raises herself!

    Q – yes, the would be a nice solution. So when they start selling helpful spouses at Wal-Mart, I’ll be all set.

    Di – the only reason I wouldn’t take your life is because I have no desire to be that young again. And besides, you’d pay me to take mine back in about 15 minutes.

    Irish – you never have to apologize for how long your post is. Look how small that < space is. You type all you want. And I never thought of recording stuff but then I would have to find the time to transcribe it and who knows when that will ever happen.

  9. terrio says:

    Oh, and Janga, I do usually read or do school work at Isabelle’s practices.

    And Maggie – of course I’ll visit you. I have cut back on some but I check the internet stuff at work mostly and that’s because I’m paid to sit in front of the dang computer all day but with nothing to do. I might as well make the thing useful.

    And before Hellion can yell at me – I know I know – I should write more at work!

  10. Okay, you’re gonna hate me for this…but…I think you should back off some of the volunteer stuff for your RWA group. Not saying don’t keep the promises you’ve already made, but you have to stop making those types of promises and carve out a spot for your writing. Make a promise to yourself and keep it.

    I am something of an expert in this area because I went through medical school and residency as a single parent of very young children. The only way there will be time to write, is if you neglect something else. People often used to ask me, during that phase of my life, “How do you manage to do everything?”

    The honest answer, “I don’t!”

  11. terrio says:

    Hey India – thanks so much for stopping by. I believe I am going to request a co-publicity person or something just to make sure I don’t get crushed under all this. And after this conference I have no plans of volunteering for anything anytime soon.

    I will carve out more time. My laziness is my biggest obstacle. Thankfully I have all of you to keep the pressure on and get me moving. *g*

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