Sunshine weaving through the blinds, steaming cup of tea at my elbow, dogs at my feet and a cat in my lap. That was my idea of writing full time. Swept away by the romance of the idea, I jumped in with both feet. As with most things, expectations and reality push against each other like magnets. I forget that I don’t write in a vacuum.
This working for yourself gig is tough. The boss is a bitch half of the time, a circus performer a quarter of the time which includes writing, a handyman (no PC gender assignments here, I'm not Janeway) an eighth of the time and a person the rest of the time. Note I didn't include salesman, accountant, parent, cook, housecleaner, blah blah blah....oh yeah, I teach yoga too. Okay, my schedule is in flux, but I keep telling myself I’ll get a handle on it soon.
I’m inundated with well meaning friends and friends of friends telling me, sending me or posting advice about writing, creating a writing ceremony, the habits of great writers or writing the breakout novel. The fact that most of those writers had housekeepers, nannies or full time housewives is patently ignored. Even Toni Morrison ran away to hotels to write in peace.
Looking back at all of the jobs that I'm currently juggling (I mentioned circus performer) I still have to write. I don’t have to tell you that keeping to a schedule can be tough. I can create the perfect window for writing and still stare at a blank page. Sometimes my characters go on strike, sometimes the story just stops, sometimes I just can’t ignore the weeds popping up with spring. Even as I sit here thinking about the enormous task of setting ideas to metaphoric paper, I'm giddy.
Sure, it’s tough some days, through the “Mom! Did you make that appointment?” or “What’s the dinner plan?” or “My last choir concert is tonight, and I need my suit cleaned, didn’t I tell you?” I LOVE writing! I love the uncertainty and the certainty....it can happen all at once. This is what I'm meant to do. Never mind that zero G terror that accompanies every public reading, test release or submission to an editor. I love this. I look at my book cover or send critique off to the graphic artist for the next cover. People ask what I do, and I reply, “I’m a writer.” The momentary euphoria of those moments carries me onto the next piece be it essay, chapter or blog post.